It has been brought to my attention by my sainted mother that some people, who aren't knitters or crocheters but who read my blog (mainly because my sainted mother sends it to them), don't know what "blocking" is.
In short, blocking helps with shaping. I hope you can see from these photos the difference blocking will make with this shawl. Maybe not a huge difference, but nonetheless noticeable.
In the photo, it's clear things are a bit poochy. Even when I smooth out the shawl and try to get it to lie flat, it refuses.
|Stubborn shawl refusing to lie flat|
Handmade items can sometimes appear a bit wonky, even when well-made, sometimes just because you're working with fiber, which has stretchy and smushy properties ("smushy" being a technical term. I know this because the computer keeps trying to auto-correct my spelling of it.)
Plus, some days your stitches can be a little tighter or looser than others. This can happen for a lot of reasons. Say you watched the news as you knitted (reason enough to make myriad mistakes, let alone have your stitch tension be really tense!) Maybe you didn't get enough sleep, or conversely, you did get enough sleep, or you were hurrying to finish a row before you had to get back to work from your lunch break, or the weather was humid, or you were distracted talking with your knitting buddies, or it was Wednesday.
We knitters and crocheters use T-pins for this, as that crossbar at the top of the pin keeps it from potentially poking all the way through, as a regular sewing straight pin would.
Some people soak the item, roll it in a towel to remove excess water, then pin to shape and let dry, but I never bother with that because I am lazy. Or maybe because I would rather be working on the next project. Yes, let's say it's the latter, that sounds much better.
I know! It's because I am saving water in the drought!!!!