Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shawl we dance? (I should be shot for that one)

Yesterday I finished the Seraphina Shawl and it was a lumpy, stiff mess. I had really hoped that the weight of it would cause it to smooth out and drape better, but those were pipe dreams at best, I now realize. Here, I'll demonstrate:

Ew. (And yes, it was a hat day, what of it??) It didn't even look much better when I smooshed it out (technical term) on the floor:

See? Even smooshing couldn't make it lay flat.

So I blocked it.

"Now, wait a minute," you're thinking, "you said you were making this from acrylic! Acrylic doesn't block!"

Okay, so let me rephrase. I steam ironed it.

ACK!! Ironing acrylic???? I know, right? But I have this method, and it works pretty well, and I haven't started a fire or died of fume inhalation yet, so I'm going to continue to use it in certain circumstances.

Here's what I did:
  • Lay the shawl out on the floor, as smooth as it will get.
  • Fill the iron with water and set to "wool" (so it will steam).
  • Very Important: Lay a pressing cloth over the portion of the shawl you are going to start with! I use a clean flour sack dishtowel.
  • Make sure the steam is roiling out of that sucker.
  • Run the iron lightly! over the section of the shawl covered by the cloth, hitting the steam button for all you're worth the whole time. Do not put any pressure on the iron; just let it do a bit more than make contact with the pressing cloth. And steam. Really go for it. Your thumb should kinda hurt from pressing the button so much.
  • Set down the iron and remove the pressing cloth quickly. Pull and shape the fabric while it's still hot. You'll be surprised how much more supple it is now. Of course, that's because you just melted it a little bit, but we're not going to worry about that. Concentrate on the suppleness!!
  • Continue moving the pressing cloth to other areas and repeating the ironing and shaping.
  • Thrill to the sight and feel of your much less lumpy project!

It's ever so much nicer now! It drapes much better (and it's bigger now, too!):

And it lays out nice and flat:

And it drapes nicely on the sofa, too:

Seraphina's Shawl by Doni

TLC Heathers yarn in Blue Moon

Size K hook

So, yes! I am completely unrepentant that I ironed my acrylic project. I'll do it again, too! So there! Ppbbfftt!




Anonymous said...

Wow, that really made a big difference!

YarnThrower said...

WOW, it turned out GREAT! And I can't tell at all that it is acrylic!

Nothing wrong with a hat day... Have a great week!

Becky G said...

Beautiful shawl! I've blocked acrylic before, too. I did it almost the same way you did, except I used a wet pressing cloth and a dry iron. I ironed it until the cloth was nearly dry. Then I wet the cloth again and ironed another spot.

jmk said...

It just looks like a completely different article, doesn't it. I'd only seen the "after" picture on Ravelry but now I can appreciate the transformation!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I didn't know you could actually block acrylic. Seems to have worked. Lovely shawl. Funny pun. ;o)