As the daughter of an extremely talented knitter, I have been blessed with instant access to all kinds of knitting help and advice.
Like most motherly advice, a lot of it goes in one ear and out the other. Things like - "You should really learn to read a pattern before you start modifying it" and "Are you sure you don't want me to tink back for you so you can fix that glaring mistake?"
Lots of it, I should have listened to - such as "Stockinette stitch + thin yarn+ big needles = stretchy mess." (My first sweater - still in the closet - I'm going to felt it and make Peno a cat blanket) or "Alpaca has no memory, it's just going to keep growing" (Dave's sweater with the amazing growing neck-hole).
Others bits I have actually heeded (mostly after the results of the above sunk in). One of those bits is blocking. And the wisdom of this advice is no where more apparent that with lace:The right side has been blocked - the left side has not. Blocking can do so many things - even out stitches, emphasize stitch definition, and, as above, bring out the true beauty of a lace pattern.
Even blocking non-lace is a good idea. It makes edges lie flat for sewing, and just helps everything sit just so.
About the only thing I don't block is socks - they can block on my feet as I wear them.
Oh, another bit of motherly advice I have a tendency to ignore:
"Don't leave WIPs where the cats can get them.""You mean you didn't make it just for me???? But I am an 'Aristocat' after all!!!"