Continuing from this post, the lace mat from Tatting Design for Busy People by Norma Benporath is on the blocking board. While it is drying out, I thought I'd share how I block my tatting.
First of all, I haven't had the need to block my tatting much. When I design, I pay particular attention to the stitch count so that the finished piece will required no blocking, at most just a bit of pressing. But then, it all goes down to the tension. If your tension is almost like mine, you would find that my patterns doesn't need blocking much.
The only time when I need to block is when the pattern has long chains in it, or when I tat a large piece such as doilies, like this Norma Benporath's pattern.
First, I print a polar graph with the number of spokes according to the rough shape of the tatting. For example, 12 spokes for 6-pt motifs like snowflakes, or 8-spokes for squares or octagons which I am using for this mat.
You can print the polar graphs off the internet. I printed mine from here.
Then, I wrap my blocking board with a piece of clingwrap from the kitchen and slide the polar graph paper under it.
Before I start pinning out the tatting, I give it a soak through with a bit of gentle detergent, rinse it out a few times and squeeze the excess water by rolling it in a towel. If it needs a bit stiffening, I use spray starch on it a few times. Then, I pin it out on the board.
I adjust the shape following the lines and concentric circles of the polar graph paper and let it dry for a few hours. And here it is, the finished work.
I think the one from the scanner, below is a better picture.