When I started crocheting, blocking was a mystery to me! Today, I want to share with you what I have learned.
What Is Blocking?
Blocking is a technique used to “polish” a completed piece. By polish, I mean to make the piece lay flat and take the desired shape. The technique is great tool to have in your crochet medicine bag, so to speak.
Why Block Your Projects?
Blocking provides a variety of uses:
- Polished appearance
- Shapes the design
- Sets the design
- Smooths stitches
- Allows the project to be stretched to a desired measurement
When To Block?
Blocking requires that your project be completed. When you have finished a doily, it is the perfect time to block. After blocking a doily, you will be able to see the beautiful lace pattern. Blocking sets the stitches in the doily to hold that beautiful design. Some hooksters block each granny square before sewing together. This allows the blanket to be uniform and have completed look once joined. Most clothing patterns require specific measurements for sections or panels. If crocheted slightly smaller than the desired measurements, blocking can allow you to stretch and set the section to the correct measurement.
How To Block?
The most important instruction is to read the yarn label for any special care instructions. Many fibers can benefit from steam blocking, BUT some specify NOT to block at all! So make sure that you are reading the care instructions before proceeding.
What you will need:
- Rust-proof stick pins
- Fluffy towels
- Blocking board/Ironing board
Cold blocking is best for the fragile yarns. You pin the edges of the piece into the desired size and shape. Cover the piece with a damp towel. When the towel is dry, the piece has been blocked.
Wet blocking is best for thread projects like doilies. If the yarn label states that it is hand washable, use a mild detergent and rinse the piece. Do not wring or twist the piece. To draw out the excess moisture, lay the piece out flat and pat dry with a towel. Pin the piece in the desired size and shape. When the piece is dry, it has been blocked.
Steam blocking is the most popular method. It is a great technique, used for most projects. Make sure not to steam items that can be damaged by heat. Pin the piece into the desired size and shape. Hold your steaming iron or steamer slightly above the project. Steam the piece thoroughly, making sure NOT to touch the iron to the fabric. Touching the iron to the piece can scorch the yarn! Leave the item pinned until it is dry. Once it is completely dry, the piece is blocked.
So my questions to you are:
- Do you normally block?
- What other advice for this would you share with others?
Leave me your comments below on any other tips you may have? Also, if you have another topic you wish for me to investigate, leave me a comment sharing your ideas too!
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