Evenstar Shawl: Blocking with a Hula Hoop

So, the other handy knitting trick I got to use while finishing up the Evenstar shawl was blocking with a hula hoop. This is great for circular shawl projects, as it lets you easily block them in a more-or-less perfect circle. All you need is a hula hoop (the bigger, the better), a tape measure, and the rest of your usual blocking implements (pins, towels, large flat surface, cat barricade, etc.) Make sure your hula hoop is clean, especially if you tend to leave it outside or in the basement.

blocking-2blocking-1Start by pinning down the center of your shawl. I like to use 4 pins about two rows out from the cast on loop.

Next, center the hula hoop on your shawl. I find that the easiest way to do this is to measure across the diameter (ooh, geometry!) of the hula hoop and make sure that the center of the shawl lines of up with middle of the diameter.

Do this across two different points, and you’re all set.





Next, move around your shawl, stretching and pinning the outside edge a set distance from the hula hoop. It is helpful if you can use a pattern repeat to help you space out the pins evening. Otherwise, place them approximately 2-4 inches apart. For the Evenstar shawl, I measured four inches back from the hula hoop and pinned at the edge (before the beaded border).

To start, I find it’s best to pin about 6-8 inches down on one side, then do the opposite side. Also, make sure that you are stretching directly out from the center of the circle, not at an angle. (Unless you want wonky ripples at the edge of your shawl. Which I did in the Shipwreck shawl, so there you go!)

blocking-3  blocking-4

Let the shawl dry completely. Technically, you can remove the hula hoop now, but I sort of like how it circular it makes the shawl look.blocking-0

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About Tilinka

Mistress o' Puppets and plunderer on the high seas. Currently quite entangled in the realm of spinning and knittery.
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