Little Lessons: Lace Finishing with Finesse

By Jen Arnall-Culliford
October 16, 2020

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14 Comments
  • Wow. No blocking wires. Would this also work with a large shawl? Thanks, Jen.

    • Yes, absolutely! Although you might find it trickier to get enough tension in the thread over a long length. So you might have to use a couple of lengths of thread along longer edges, just to get it tight enough. (So fasten one off and start another.) I hope that helps!

  • This blocking tip is brilliant. I guess if you’re smart enough to remember, you could stop every inch or so and run the cotton up the sides as you knit rather than wait till the end.

  • Great tip, never thought of using a slip knot! I usually make a knot around a leg of an open safety pin or stitch marker… will give your way a try next time I play yarn chicken which is inevitable…

  • Does soaking work on any yarn or combination ? Or would some respond better to another method?
    Am I right in thinking that for a triangular shawl the thread would be run along two sides and not the cast off edge?
    Thank you for the very clear video.

    • Hi Pip! Soaking definitely works best of yarns with an animal fibre content (wool, silk, alpaca etc…). Synthetic yarns don’t respond as well. And for a triangular shawl you would run the thread along all three sides of the triangle and pull tight along each edge. I do hope that helps! Jen

  • This is great!
    Could you explain steam-blocking?
    Thank you!

  • I use the “tie a knot” trick all the time, but usually to finish the last row and a bind-off row. My experience is that the bind-off uses more yarn than the working row in many stitch patterns, so working right up to the knot might leave you with the shortfall.

    • Especially if you’re using a stretchy lace bind-off. So you can bind off early, rip that back and measure that, then reserve that much yarn on the end of your remaining length of yarn, marking it off with a loose knot as above. Then follow Jen’s instructions to determine your last two-row yarn amount.

  • Using the cotton string is a game changer for me. Trying to weave blocking wires through wet stitches is torture. I need to block my Albers shawl and can’t wait to use this method.

  • ‘Block me, Amadeus’! Baby, baby, do, do you block me! hahahaha now I have falco playing in my head. Thanks for another great set of tips Jen.

  • Isn’t it funny how a simple trick feels like a game changer? No more yarn chicken! (Not to mention, a slap to the forehead and ‘why didn’t I think of that?’)

  • As a new lace knitter, this is SO helpful! Thank you!

  • I would love to save this article, but I don’t have the little bookmark icon at the top of the article. What can I do?