Am I the only one obsessed with twirly ends on a well blocked crescent shawl? I discovered them last year after playing around with a lot of blocking and have fallen head over heels.

I see a lot of photos of shawls stretched out for blocking. Lots of you send them to me (thank you!), I spot them on Ravelry and there are plenty on Instagram too. I must confess to often wanting to reach into the photo and do a little rearranging so your shawl blocks out even better. A well blocked shawl is usually bigger, smoother, shows off the lace more clearly, drapes beautifully and is easier to wear.

Triangular shawls are fairly easy to block. The shape is obvious – the top edge lies straight and the body pulls outwards and down to a neat central point.

It’s crescent shawls that seem to cause most of the confusion. Crescent shawls that start at the top centre with a couple of stitches look as if they want to sit with a lump in the centre of the top edge. It’s difficult to see that in fact that lump can be curved right around so that the top edge ends up a neat “smile” shape with the ends of the shawl swooping up and sometimes nearly touching at the top.

I find wires are super helpful to get good smooth edges on shawls, no matter what the shape. And T pins are fantastic too. I know that you can substitute regular sewing pins but I think the T pins are a great investment if you’re planning on knitting a few shawls. They’re strong and will hold your shawl exactly where you want it.

I made a couple of tutorials last year to show you how I block shawls and I’ve included links to them below. If you’re keen on twirly ends and shawls that drape beautifully, do take a look!

p.s. If I take a while to respond to your comments this week, don’t panic. This post will be published when I’m on holiday. I thought it would be nice to keep the blog posts coming even while I’m not at my desk. We’ll be back to normal in February :)

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