Wet Blocking Tutorial
Once you have finished a crochet work, it may not look as the finished piece in a pattern book. The answer to this is simple: You need to block the piece, so the stitch pattern comes out right. Beneath you see a crochet scarf before blocking. Like most lace projects it looks more like a bird’s nest than an elegant accessory.
Why block crocheted or knitted items?
The blocking technique gives a much better stitch definition, because it opens up stitch patterns.
It straightens edges and reduces curling of the fabric.
If there is a slight difference in length or width one can adjust for that.
The wet blocking technique is very simple and you need these materials:
- A bowl or sink that can fit the project
- Lukewarm water
- A flat surface – I use a yoga mat
- Stain free pins
Sew in all loose ends before you begin. Fill the bowl with lukewarm water and put the item into it. Let it soak the water for a couple of minutes. Optionally you can add some shampoo to make the water more soft.
Take the scarf out of the water and press as much water out of it as you can. Do so without wringing or twisting, else your beloved project will get out of shape.
Put the scarf flat on a towel without stretching it too much.
Fold the towel, roll it up and press it gently for a minute to absorb any excess moisture. Do not try to remove too much water, because you still want the item to be somewhat wet. You want it to be somewhere between damp and wet.
The scarf is damp now and ready to get pinned. Spread it evenly on your surface and pin it, so your lace pattern comes out nicely. Blocking wires are a great help to block larger projects like shawls symmetrically. (This is not shown in the photo below).
Depending on the room temperature and the thickness of the yarn, the item will be dry in one to several days.
Here is the finished scarf, where the lace pattern comes out the right way. You can easily see the different results between blocked and unblocked.
Don’t skip this final step when crocheting or knitting a scarf, shawl or anything with a lacy structure. The blocking process will turn your hard work to a lovely crafted item!
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