Have you ever wondered why so many knitters and crocheters block their work?
Blocking is the term for getting your work to the right shape or dimensions defined in a pattern you are making and is a very useful way to make sure your project looks it’s best when you have finished it. If you are making a blanket, blocking all your shapes to the same dimensions is essential.
There are a few tools you will need such as blocking mats and pins. You can get hold of the mats from your local yarn store, but some people use the foam mats that you can buy for children which are a good substitute. If you have a bit more money then a blocking board, specifically designed for crochet motifs with vertical posts is a fantastic time saver, no pinning just pop your motif on the posts.
Any dress making pin will work well but some people prefer to use T Pins which are a bit less flexible or even blockers with multiple pins, which are especially useful if your project has straight edges.
Before you start make sure you have sewn in all your ends.
This motif comes from our Pressed Flowers blanket. As you can see, we have used normal pins because this is a round shape.
Be careful not to pull your motif out of shape, rather ease it in to the dimensions you want otherwise it will distort it as you can see in this image.
For a square motif like this one from our Tessellation blanket you can use blockers to ensure the sides are straight.
And here is what a granny square looks like on the blocking board. Keep your eyes on craft magazines which sometimes have them as a covermount.
Now that you have pinned your work you need to either squirt it with some water or hold a steam iron over it (don’t be tempted to put the iron on your work as this will flatten it) and let the steam do the work. This will relax the stitches so they hold the shape you have eased them in to.
We have shown this on crochet motifs but blocking works in exactly the same way for knitting, although you will only be able to use pins or blockers.