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poofandmook's avatar

Crocheters/Knitters: How would I block this piece?

Asked by poofandmook (17272points) October 6th, 2010

I’m working on this shawl, and it needs to be done for Sunday. I’ll have the crocheting done by then, but I’ve never blocked before.

I’ve googled it, but there are so many different opinions on the best way to block. The yarn I’m using is 96% acrylic, 4% metallic polyester.

Can I block on a piece of cardboard? Where, ideally, should I place the pins here? And what’s the best blocking method for something like this?

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8 Answers

hannahsugs's avatar

With acrylic yarn, blocking doesn’t do very much. It may help even out your stitches a little bit, but unlike wool or animal fiber yarns, acrylic doesn’t really “need” to be blocked. However, it won’t hurt, and is basically just like giving the shawl a wash before it is worn.

First, you’ll want to get the shawl wet in a gentle bath of warm water, and maybe some mild soap if you want. Let it soak for 20 min or so. Drain the water, and press the shawl against the bottom of the bath. Don’t wring it out. Lift the shawl into a towel, and press more water out of it. I often fold up an finished project in a couple of towels then walk on it to press the water out. After it’s mostly dry, spread it out for blocking.

You could block on a piece of cardboard. I’ve blocked on a spare bed, on a carpeted floor with a towel under it, on a card table with a towel under it, and even on the top of my washing machine (with a towel under it). I’ve heard that cork bulletin boards (laid flat) also work well.

Depending on how the shawl looks pre-blocking, you may not need to place pins at all. If it mostly looks how you want it to look when it’s done, just lay it out nicely in the shape that you want the final to take. If you do decide to use pins, place them frequently around the edge of the shawl. If there’s a long straight edge (i can’t tell from the photos), you may want to consider using this method. The general rule of thumb for pin placement is to put them around the edges so as to make the final product the shape that you want it to be.

If you’re not already a member of ravelry , you should definitely join. There’s almost 1,000,000 members world-wide, all crocheters, knitters, spinners, weavers, etc. There forums would be another good place to ask this question, you’ll get responses from much more experienced fiber-artists than myself.

Again, I think in this case blocking is probably optional, since you’re working with acrylic yarn. If you like the way it looks now, just let it be! Or if it needs a wash, give it a gentle bath and lay it flat to dry.

Good luck, and let me know what you do! Also, if you join ravelry my username is hannahsug. :)

poofandmook's avatar

@hannahsugs: I want to straighten it out a little bit. You know how when you do more delicate stitches and stuff like this it looks a little bunchy no matter how even your stitches are. I thought if I pinned it all out and let it dry that way, it would fix the bunchy. No?

hannahsugs's avatar

It might! It certainly doesn’t hurt to try. Again, the collective knowledge over at ravelry has much more expertize than I do. You may even find that some people have made the exact same shawl or used the same yarn (or both!) and can help you out.

hannahsugs's avatar

Indeed, I just searched the pattern on Ravelry, and 87 people have made it and posted a photo of what they’ve done, and many people have notes about the pattern, yarn, etc.

poofandmook's avatar

wow, this specific pattern? geez… I have to go look! lol

poofandmook's avatar

well, it’s finished. I did block, and it made ALL the difference. I wish I’d taken a before picture, but this is a blurry picture of it all pinned, and this and this is the finished piece. It’s damn near twice the size now that I blocked it. Most intricate thing I’ve done so far, I think. You can’t tell but it’s moderately sparkly.. I used Vanna’s glamour yarn.

poofandmook's avatar

…then I moved all the pictures. The three pictures are in here.

hannahsugs's avatar

I’m SO glad it worked out! I don’t work much with acrylic yarn, so I don’t have a lot of experience blocking it. i knew it wouldn’t hurt, though :). It looks great!

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