Blocking a finished knitting project (Burrafirth Shawl)

Blocking a finished knitting project is quite straightforward as long as you follow a couple of rules. Rule one, make plenty of space and rule two, take plenty of time.

Before blocking your shawl, you will need to have washed and partly dried it. Please see my blog on “Washing your woollen hat” for advice on how to do this.

To block this shawl, I used the following equipment:

  1. A space on a carpeted floor. You can use a rug, child’s rubber play mats, camping mats, gym mats, and so on but make sure they are clean and colour fast before blocking.
  2. Plenty of clean towels
  3. Dressmaker’s pins

Firstly, make plenty of space and lay out your towels so that your knitting has enough space to lay out flat.

There’s plenty of space on the towels for the shawl.

Take your time. Pin out first, one edge of the knitting without stretching it.

Have a look at it from above or from a different angle and tweak it if it doesn’t look right

The straight edge still isn’t right, so it needs pinning again

Making sure not to stretch the garment, re-do it if it isn’t right first time.

This edge is stretched out too far and needs to be un-pinned and re-done
This is much better, but still needs to be evened out

Gently smooth the garment out with the flat of your hand.

The shawl took about an hour to pin out (and re-pin several times!) and about 24 hours to fully dry. It’s well worth the effort to take the time.Once dry, carefully remove all the pins and you can now wear your shawl!

The pattern for the Burrafirth Shawl is by Gudrun Johnston and was found in the Shetland Wool week annual 2019.

This shawl was made using handspun yarn mainly from a shetland fleece (pale cream and light grey) with some Jacob (dark grey) and Merino (mid grey).

Published by Sarah McAlister Hat Maker and Textile Artist

I make all my lovely hats, caps and textiles by hand.

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