Blocking Acrylic Yarn Success!

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When I started my cousin’s going off to college blanket, I made the starting chain very loose. I hate working into those chains! As I added height to the blanket, I ended up with about a 5 inch section at the bottom that was probably 4 – 6 inches wider than the rest of the blanket, though.

unblocked

If you look at the picture above, you can see that I have bunched up the bottom and it is still wider than the top. Of course, I didn’t notice this problem until I was well into the blanket–way too far to want to rip it out–so I decided this would be the perfect project to attempt acrylic yarn blocking. I hated the way it looked, but I was on a deadline, so I didn’t want to start over.

I completed the entire blanket, including the border last Friday night, Saturday morning I washed it alone in my washer, and Saturday afternoon I pinned it out on a gray mat in my bedroom. That was a more strenuous job than you’d think, because there was barely enough room to put the mat next to my bed, so I had to do a bit of contortionist bending to get the pins in place. I pinned it all, then rearranged the pins several times, getting the top stretched out and the bottom pushed in a bit without puckering.

pinned blanket

Once I got it pinned in place, I left the ceiling fan on and closed the door to keep the dog out and just left it there to dry in place. I crawled into bed from the foot of the bed that night because I wanted to leave it overnight just to be sure it was fully dry.

Sunday morning, I unpinned it all and folded it up to see if it worked. I call it a success!

folded in quarters

It is not perfectly square when folded up, but it’s a heck of a lot closer to squared off than it was. When I folded it before, the bottom part would engulf the top and there would be 2 – 3 extra inches on both sides. I really hated how it looked. Now it looks like a normal blanket. And most importantly, when I delivered it to my cousin on Sunday afternoon, she loved it, too!

folded MSU blanket1

This is actually the first major blocking that I have done. I believed what I read online at various places or heard in conversations–there is no point to blocking acrylic yarns, blocking is only for natural fibers. This turned out so well, though, I will be doing more blocking in the future.

Do you do blocking? I would love to hear more experiences as I get more into this aspect of yarn crafting.

8 responses »

  1. Congratulations on the terrific blocking job. YAY!
    What a lucky cousin!

    I have a crochet suggestion – something you might like to try when you start your next blanket. Instead of working into what’s thought of as the ‘top’ of an extra loose starting chain, you could try working into the back or spine of a regularly crocheted one. I call it a ‘spine’ because that’s what the line of single strand bumps on the other side looks like to me. I find it’s much easier to get my hook through those than the double strand on the front and there’s the added benefit of having the beginning edge of your blanket look just like its ending!

    Now, go play with some yarn! 🙂

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Linda! That is how I usually work into the chain, because I find going into the top too difficult. I just have a tendency to make my chains a bit too loose, obviously. But I am still learning quite a lot about crochet–because I am somewhat obsessed and I crochet so much, I have to remind myself I’ve only been doing this really for about 2 years, and I am still refining my technique, ;).

      Also, thank you so much for the compliment–it means a lot from someone who does the beautiful work that you do!

      • You’re welcome, although, as it turns out, my suggestion wasn’t of any help to you. sigh

        It’s rather hard to force yourself to change gauge in a subtle way. . . I Must crochet this chain Tighter – but not Too Tight! lol. Maybe using one size smaller hook for the chain than for the rest of the blanket would do the trick? Just flinging out ideas as they occur to me; want to save you from having to block the next blanket you make. 🙂

        You do beautiful work, Susan, especially considering how new you are to crochet!

        Aw, shucks. Now you’ve gone and made me blush! Thank you.

  2. Linda, that is a great idea–I could use a smaller hook for the chain and the first row, then switch to the hook I want to use. Working into the chain is where I get into trouble–I make it so loose because I know it is hard to get in there, so the first row in the chain is where I really go wrong. It drives me crazy that the beginning is so bad when I am very consistent once I get going. Thanks for the great idea!

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