I am going to try to help show how to block a shawl. If any one thinks I should add something or that I have forgotten something let me know. Also if this helps you let me know.
Here is my shawl getting its bath. I use a wool wash but you can use Hair Conditioner also. I run hot water. Add the wash so it is all mixed in with the water. I then add my shawl. I do not more it around too much as I do not want any chances of felting it I hold the shawl under water to make sure it is completely wet. This will stay soaking for...at least until the water is completely cool longer does not hurt. I go set up the mats for blocking.
After the bath, I pull the drain to let the water go out. If you used conditioner you may need to rinse in cool water at this point. I then gently squeeze out some of the water. I then place the shawl in a large towel and roll out the extra moisture. Sometimes it takes 2 towels, some people use a salad spinner at this point (I don't have one).
I use Stainless Steel Welding Rods to block with. They are 1/16". I purchased them by the pound at a welding shop. I wiped them down to make sure they are clean. I weave the rods in the areas I want straight. I am hoping these next 2 pictures show how I use the rods. I over lap the rods if I needed. I then pin against the rods to give the shawls a straight line. I start at the center and work my way to the edges. I do gently pull the shawl to stretch it out moving it along the rods as needed. The first time is for general shaping.
I then slowly work my way along the shawl pinning by rows back and forth. I keep going this way until it is all pinned out. I sometimes need to go back and re pin some parts as they become loose.
Clicking on the pictures you can see the pin placements.
Another picture to show rod weaving.
A picture to show using the rods to block points in a shawl.
Thanks Debbie H. for my mats that make this process easier.