The Secret of the Stole III, like all of our previous stoles, has a very unique shape. Sometimes, a uniquely shaped knitted piece can present quite a challenge during the blocking process. This particular stole has rounded edges on each end so traditional blocking wires that are very stiff will not work well for this type of blocking. Instead, we suggest the use of either thin blocking wires, thick fishing line (almost like weed whacker line), or even better, stainless steel welding rods of .30″ in thickness. Here is how we did it:
We soaked the stole in clean warm water and a little bit of knit wash. You can use baby shampoo, mild detergent, or even nothing but water. Without agitation, we made sure the stole was thoroughly wet and then laid it out on towels, which we then rolled up to keep the stole moist.
Unrolling it a little at a time, we laced the welding rods through the very edges of the stole all the way around, using a new rod whenever needed. For each rounded edge, we used only one rod per end so that the edge would not have a point or jagged look. After “installing” all the rods in the edges of the stole, we then removed it from the towels and placed it on our blocking mats.
Working on the straight edges first, we placed pins into the boards in a way that would hold the wires apart, stretching the lace to the proper width. This is something that can be greatly manipulated in this type of lace, so you will want to make the stole the width that looks right to you. After the straight edges are “straight” and pinned down the proper width apart, we curved the end wires out and pinned them down as well. This is very easy to do, provided you use one wire.
After you have the entire stole pinned out you will want to go back and adjust the pins and the width and length until it looks good to you. Let the stole dry in this position and then, when dry, remove it from the boards and weave in any ends of yarn.
For more information on blocking lace in general, visit our previous post on blocking a stole or shawl.
Finally, wear your stole with pride and don’t put it away in a drawer. You worked very hard on this beautiful piece of lace, show it off! Enjoy.