Blocking can be a little intimidating if you have never done it before. But it’s really rather easy. All you need is a few supplies and a little bit of time.
I begin with my foam mats (mine has princesses on the other side….I’m not ashamed), my steamer (bought at WalMart for less than $20), some rust resistant straight pins (mine have colorful balls on the ends of them) and of course my finished crochet piece. Today I am using the Magic Spike Mandal Square by Moogly that I crocheted for the Keep Calm & Crochet On UK 2015 CAL
I put my boards together so they are big enough to lay my finished piece out on and stretch it to the size I want it to be. I wanted this square to be 12″ x 12″. I measure out a space on the board and make sure it is square using a ruler or tape measurer putting a pin at each corner to mark them and keep it square. You can also use a ruler and marker and draw lines on your board if you prefer.
Slowly go around the square adding pins along all sides and corners while stretching the piece to the size you want. Remember that you can’t always make a square larger with blocking. Sometimes it’s best if you add a row or two of single, half double or double crochet to get the piece to about the size you want. You don’t want it stretched so much that it ruins the integrity of the piece.
Run the steamer over your piece from one side to the other and from top to bottom, making sure to get the corners and edges. If you are using an iron instead of a steamer with a plastic guard make sure that you do not touch your work with the metal because it will more than likely melt. Acrylic yarn isn’t a big fan of the heat that an iron puts off and there is nothing worse than seeing that work and time melt before your eyes.
Leave your piece pinned to the mat until it is completely dry. After it is dry you can take out the pins and your square should keep the shape that you pinned it into and it should lay really nice and flat vs. those curling corners and wavy sides. You should be able to wash your finished piece without losing any of its integrity after blocking. I wash my afghans all of the time in cold water with an extended spin and then dry on low to normal and have no problems at all.
Then all you have to do is take some pictures and share your work with your friends!
I hope this tutorial was helpful and now you feel more comfortable blocking your work. If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments or over on Facebook and I will do my best to find the right answers for you.
Happy Hooking, Angela