Monday, May 9, 2011

124::365 falling star & some tips on blocking

124::365

Pattern: "Falling Star" by Melinda Miller.

This was an easy pattern, but it is a great example of a square that needs to be blocked to straighten out the edges. If I were to make this square again, I would decrease the number of sc stitches in the corners of the third round that I worked in white. And I'd probably try corners in the last two rounds of 1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc.

Yikes:

blocking

This is how I block my squares when necessary. Instead of a fancy (and expensive) blocking board, I use a sheet of 1/4" thick white craft foam. The sheets are sold in 18" x 24" pieces, so you can fit several smaller squares at once. I start by stretching out one side until it seems to lie flat without much distortion, then I pin the two corners down to the foam.

blocking blocking

Then I fill it in along the side with enough pins to keep the side straight. Start in the middle of the side or you'll find that it pulls to one corner! By this I mean that you need to pull the middle of the side (check out the one below to the right) down to the middle of your straight line and pin it in place, then even out the rest of the side and pin in place.

blocking blocking

I straighten out each side in this manner, then spray with water from a bottle I keep handy. If I'm super patient, I wait for it to dry naturally. If not, I lay a towel over it and soak up the water and pretty much immediately unpin the square.

blocking

Note: my initial idea for using the foam for a blocking board was to adhere two sheets of it together for a 1/2" thickness, but I haven't done that yet and although the holes don't really heal themselves, the two pieces of foam I bought over a year ago have lasted through hundreds of squares! If you do it my way, just make sure you aren't ruining your good tabletop with pins that may poke through a little.


4 comments:

  1. Thanks for your wonderful blocking tips. :) You have such lovely straight edges.

    I haven't gotten to this square yet. I had one too many margaritas this afternoon and crochet was not in the cards for me upon my return home this evening. A half pot of coffee later and I'm still awake, but in no shape to follow a pattern.

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  2. Blocking does so much for a square. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Thanks for posting this...when I come home later I'm going to add this link to my blog!
    m

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  4. For my blocking board (for crocheted snowflakes, that need starching and blocking), I got a 1/2 or even 3/4 inch rectangle of styrofoam somewhere (a package?) and covered the entire thing (both sides) with masking tape. It holds up really well - I've used it for maybe 10 years. One side is sparkly (I sometimes add spray glitter to the snowflakes), one not. I couldn't ask for anything better! (I did have to learn that not all pins are rustproof, though!)

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