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.