23 August 2012

A Breakthrough in Blocking

I have no problems admitting i almost exclusively knit and crochet with acrylic yarn. Some of us just don't have the funds to be yarn snobs.

Besides, there are some pretty great acrylic yarns out there.

When i was still new to knitting, i tried blocking. I did. I tried it. A lot. And it never worked. It never made any sort of a difference in anything.

So i gave up.

I mean, all those strangers on the internet saying 'there's no way to block acrylic' couldn't be wrong, right?

Wrong. You were wrong, random strangers on the internet.

I decided to knit a Casu Cowl recently. I had another skein of Bernat Mosaic (in Ninja, this time), and i thought it would be great for the cowl. As i was knitting, i noticed the eyelet part of the cowl was curling a bit on the edges, but i didn't bother worrying about it. However, when i was all done knitting, i decided i should give blocking one last shot.

My sister, the doof model.

I googled blocking acrylic, and guess what. It CAN be done, and SHOULD be done. (Thank you, Bead Knitter Gallery)

I set about pulling out the iron and ironing board, some towels, and my pins. I pinned it all down while the iron heated up and when everything was ready, i steamed the crap out of the cowl. Let it sit for a while. And after i'd waited long enough, unpinned the bad boy and was amazed by what a little steam had done. It's not like the cowl had been curling in on itself and bunched up and a big, jumbled mess... but just seeing that the steam had helped that little, tiny curling problem was such a huge relief.

I set about blocking other things. Like a practice Soho Scarf i'd made some time ago from some leftover Red Heart Super Saver. While Super Saver is great for some things, it just does not have the drape that other natural fibers do. Which is why i used it for the practice scarf.

I mostly wanted to get the hang of blocking because at the time, i was working on a shawlette called Seven and Zero. I knit it with Bamboo Ewe in Sprout and Mermaid. (I cannot get enough of these two colors together right now, by the way. I find myself wearing this color combination about three out of every five days...) It's so soft, has a lovely drape, and it's affordable. Especially when you've got 40% off coupons at Jo-Ann. :)

While the shawlette looked adorable pre-blocking, all ruffly and whatnot, i was on a blocking high and had a go at it, anyway. This time, i did not steam it. Instead, i found out the best way to block Bamboo Ewe is to pin it down and spray it with tepid water.

So, i pinned it out, sprayed it, and waited. It was worth it. Again!

Colors get so washed out late at night with no natural light and a camera phone...
I've had a breakthrough, y'all.

The happy turtle was happy to model for me.

If you've been discouraged by blocking before, i encourage you to give it another shot. It's worth it. It's worth the failure because when you finally get it, it feels so. good.


  1. hi angie =) that turtle is so cute. i stopped by to tell you im passing the liebster blog award on to you. you know i am jealous of your mad skills and love reading about your adventures. visit my post to get the rules and so you can pay it forward to other bloggers
    lily bean

  2. This is great to know, Angie! I never would have thought it was possible. Thanks for sharing.