I’m like most people, I learned to crochet and suddenly all these new words and techniques have popped up.
Today I’m tackling “Blocking”. You’ll probably read a lot of patterns that will say “block your item” or “block your squares to x size”.
So what exactly does this really mean?
Basically its exactly the same as the washing label you’ve probably seen that says reshape when wet or dry flat.
In crochet we might make something square with our stitch counts, but using acrylic, wool, or cotton fibres, these tend to change shape, so even though the maths might be right, our squares end up slightly off square, like the picture above.
Making it go square again will help you so much when trying to sew them together, and is well worth the effort beforehand!
Or it might be a piece of crochet with chains that give it its shape (like the glass cover), this didn’t look good before it was helped by blocking.
Blocking fixes this.
You need a blocking board, of which you can buy many fancy ones from Etsy, or you sometimes get them free with magazines – but the downfall of these is that they only give you the sizes where the holes are are not flexibility.
Or my preference, you can use a camping/ play mat, some pins and a spray bottle (ours has been named Vicki – after me by the pink and blue ones!)
Now if making a square, measure the size you need to be blocking too, and add the pins, then slide your crochet over the top. See all the pins in the corners?
In actual fact with these, I added more pins to the sides, which can be seen in top row. So pin your squares out, spray with water, and leave to dry.
Top Tip: Only do this just before you want to sew them together, as within a couple of days they will start to loose their perfect square shape.
Heres a before and after picture so you can see the difference.
So for squares it makes it easier to sew them together, but for other shapes, it actually makes them the shape they should be!
Take the glass cover/ mini mandala I made this week. This was the before picture. A little help from blocking………
And here we go…….after an hour or so in the sunshine.