I thought I would take this opportunity to show you what a tremendous difference it can make to block your projects!
Here are my squares from Nuts About Tranquility week10 before blocking. Not very impressive, right?!?
But what do you say about this?1?
It is almost hard to believe these are the same squares, right?
There are a number of different ways to block your projects, like soaking them in water, spraying them with water, using steam and so on. There is even a method called “kill your squares” where you use an iron to lightly melt the surface of acrylic yarn. I have never been tempted to try that though…
I used to always soak my work when blocking, then arranging the project in desired shape and let it dry. But, especially for wool, I find that yarn that has been completely wet tends to go limp and it can be really hard to get correct shape.
So lately I have started to pin my projects dry, often using a template, like the card board template you see behind the squares in pic above. The template comes in very handy when you are making several squares that need to be the same size, and there is no need to make anything more intricate than mine. The pins I use are slightly larger than your regular sewing pins. I bought mine at a yarn store. But regular pins work just as well.
You can by a special blockingstation, or you can even build your own, like for example this one. Since I am quite happy with my template I just haven’t come around to making one for myself.
You can also buy special mats to block on that have grids to help you with shape. I have also seen a lot of hookers using play mats for children, the kind you can join and therefore adapt size of mat after your project. My blocking mat is a piece of foam that sat under a dish washing machine when it was delivered to my old job. I cover the foam with an old towel. Not very fancy but does the job well. When I need a larger blocking mat I use my bed. Only problem is I then have to sleep on the couch for a couple of nights 🙂
When I am happy with the shape of my project I spray it generoulsy with water and leave it to dry. The water makes the fibres in the yarn relax and take on the new shape easier.
Remove pins when project is dry and marvel at your beautiful work!
If you are not used to blocking your projects I hope I have encouraged you to give it a try now. It makes such a huge difference!