Due to the fluffy nature of brioche stitch, Aurora is not straight-edged when it comes off the needles. In fact, the increases and decreases used to create the points at the start and finish also make it look odd. The i-cord edging helps create a bit of structure, but Aurora definitely needs to be blocked!
Blocking works wonders to open up the fabric and create a much more structured shape (though the brioche means that it will always be a little irregular).
I found that blocking wires worked wonders and allowed me to get exactly the shape I wanted to block Aurora to. Conveniently enough, these even slipped beautifully into the hollow core of the i-cord edging, making them super easy to use.
How I blocked my two Aurora shawls
First, I soaked the shawl in cold water with a few drops of wool soak for about 20 minutes and squeezed it gently in a towel to get rid of excess moisture.
Then I lay it out into the approximate shape I wanted on the blocking mats. (You’ll see from the photos that it’s my custom to put towels on top of the blocking mats).
I then threaded short blocking wires through the edges relating to the points of the shawl and down both sides.
I started by pinning out the very points to get the length I wanted and the shape I wanted for the pointed parts at both ends. Then I pinned out the width for the main body of the shawl. Here’s what the shape looked like for both shawls (excuse the lighting and colours – indoor blocking really isn’t designed for flattering photos of your knitting!) You’ll see the elongated point option on the two-colour shawl and how it differs from the straight edge option in the three-colour shawl.
Once I had the shape, I threaded short blocking wires through the garter sections next to each of the points to create a straighter line. Especially with the decrease end, it won’t lie fully straight and it’s a trade-off between a straight line and how bunched the brioche gets, but you can see the effect I went for in the photos below.
At this point, I checked that the width of the shawl along the straight section was fairly even the whole way down and I wasn’t making part of it wider than any other point. I also played around gently with the tension to get the overall effect I wanted.
Right at the end, I checked the intersection of the points with the straight edge to ensure that I wasn’t creating any strange jagged shapes. You’ll see how I handled this in the photo below.
Then I waited impatiently for it to dry! Because that’s always the frustrating part of blocking (I can’t wait to wear my newly finished items).