Blocking challenge

Recently I had a blocking challenge – I knitted a scarf (from 100% silk) where the central panel (lace and a bit of a cable leaves) was protruding from the seed-stitch border. I needed to block it to give it a finished look, but when I blocked the swatch in a traditional way (wash, then block), the leaves flattened out and I didn’t like the effect. So using my own ideas and input from fellow ravelers, I’ve set out to do it in a complicated way to keep the structure. This is how it looked before blocking:

So here’s how I did it.

1. From the back side, measured how wide should the leaves panel be – I wanted to stretch it a bit to open up the lace.

2. I used baby cloth diapers, as they are thinner than towels. I folded each so it’s as wide as the leaves panel, and pinned it down:

There are two lines, as the scarf is made of two halves and first I wanted to block them at the same time, but i ran out of pins…

3. I put the scarf over the cloth so that the central part is exactly over the cloth, and pinned down the edges of the leaves right next to the edge of the cloth, so that the leaves are raised:

4. Then I stretched into shape and pinned down the edges

5. and sprinkled it generously with water, leaving to dry well for a couple of days.

AND VOILA! Here’s the result, just as I wanted. You can see the blocked half next to the one yet to be blocked.

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