Sunday, 11 December 2016

How to block acrylic

I remembered!! The crafty thing I wanted to mention last week but couldn't remember was that I'd seen a post on one of the lovely blogs I read (sorry, can't actually remember who shared the link...) on how to block acrylic properly.
Most people, myself included, don't think acrylic can be blocked effectively. You wet it down, pin it to shape and allow to dry naturally but as soon as you unpin it starts to go back to the shape it wanted to be before you started. Well not any more!!
Have a look at this from Every Trick on the Hook. Polly gives detailed instructions on how to go about blocking and steaming acrylic in such a way that it will hold it's shape once dry. And it works!!
The wet heat softens the plastic fibres just enough that when they then cool and dry they hold their new shape. It's supposed to be permanent so that when it's washed and dried again, the blanket will retain it's blocked shape. But I haven't tried that bit.

As soon as I read it I knew I wanted to use the method to reshape my Rippling Clusters Blanket. You know, the one that took me so long to make I forgot how many chain stitches to work in the pattern part way through, so one end of the blanket was wider than the other... I immediately took it off the bed and laid it on the floor - smoothing it down so it gripped the carpet so I wouldn't need to pin it - measured it carefully so the narrower end was the right width and got steaming with the iron. You have to be very careful not to touch the yarn with the iron, or to over steam - it would be very easy to destroy all your hard work! - but you can actually see it working! I left it to dry then tentatively put it back on the bed and O - M - G it lay so much better!! I couldn't believe it!! It needs a little more work in the middle section which I might do later today but WOW, what a technique!!

I wish I'd known about it when I was making the Springtime Baby Blanket and I tried to block the squares before joining them. Remember when I blocked them like this?? Never again...

In fact, I tried the technique out yesterday on another baby blanket. I saw a lovely one with lots of texture on a charity stall at the market and bought it, knowing I could block it properly as the edge was a bit "wibbly". It isn't any more! If it had occurred to me I would have taken before and after photos. Sorry. I'll try and take an "after" photo later and pop back and add it.

I'm wondering whether this is the right method to use on the star blanket that's put away waiting to be finished. I was making it for my Mum before she died and it's been put away since then. The edges were going to curl terribly but maybe now, with a little steam blocking, they won't...

Tina's Allsorts, Star Blanket

That's it for today. Til next time, T xxx

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