Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blocking an Acrylic Yarn Project

Yey!  I finally finished crocheting my Granny Stripe blanket.  I am so loving the colors and I've been crocheting around 5 stripes at a time.  However, I've noticed that my tension isn't very consistent and after the 4th stripe, I am crocheting a lot looser and the rectangular blanket is starting to look more like a trapezoid.

So, I measure the width after every 4th stripe just to make sure the blanket is not flaring outward.

I added a scalloped border and really liked how this blanket ended up.  However, no matter how I tried, the shape wasn't quite a perfect rectangle and the border was wavy - much like a lettuce.  I was really disappointed. 

So after much research (thanks Google), I decided to block this blanket.  Normally, I wouldn't think twice about blocking as I've done that many times before.  But, blocking acrylic yarn is trickier.  In fact there were countless warnings about blocking acrylic and how you could potentially kill the yarn.

So here is how I did it.

Step 1- I washed the blanket and tumbled dry with no heat.
Step 2- I pinned the blanket down onto the carpet and pinned it down, making sure the width and height measurements were consistent.

Here's an area I was trying to stretch out a bit.  See the yellow head pins?  By the way, it really helps that the carpet has a square pattern so I can block my projects without a ruler :-)

Strep 3:  Heat steam the blanket to block.  Make sure not to touch the acrylic yarn with your hot iron.  I used an inexpensive metal trivet that I had.  It is about 3/4 inch tall so it comes very close to the project and ensures the iron does not touch the yarn.  Then just press the steam button and let the steam heat block the area.  

I repeated the process all around the blanket and just left the pins on overnight to set the shape. I will post a photo of the blanket in a few days so you can see how it turned out.

Right now, I'm putting on the finishing touches of my Abundance quilt.  Quilting is done, binding is sewn on so I am glad this quilt is almost done.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Are You an Innie or an Outie?

So apparently, when it comes to using yarn, there are those who pull the end of the yarn from the top of the skein - what I'd call an Outie.

And those who pull the end of the yarn from the inside of the skein- what I'd call an Innie.

Before this turns into the great over or under  toilet paper debate, I will stay on neutral ground and say that either method is correct.  The advantage of using yarn from the outside is that the end is definitely easier to find.  The disadvantage is that when you pull on the thread, there is a tendency for the skein to roll off and travel across the room.

Using the yarn from the inside is a bit trickier because you have to stick your fingers in and find the little ball where the end is tucked.  It's sort of like taking out the bag of turkey giblets stuffed inside the bird.  But the advantage is the outside stays neat and you can keep the yarn label on.

At any rate, I was inspired to start a new crochet project and my colors were inspired from this swatch of fabric from Lecien.  I think it's from the Flower Sugar collection.  Love, love, love!

So, here's the yarn I gathered together.  They're from Michael's and Hobby Lobby. Don't you agree they're yum, yum, yum?

I couldn't wait to get started and I chose to go with an easy Granny Stripe pattern.  You can find the pattern here.  I love Lucy of Attic 24!  

Here is what I've made so far.  I can't wait to finish this.  

Speaking of finishing things, I'm almost done quilting my Abundance quilt.  Will post photos soon!