Blocks and Blocking

31 May

I finished my gorgeous ball or alpaca yarn today, and I made one row short of 13 different blocks, which was actually more than I thought I would get.

It was interesting watching the blocks form, some were much bigger than the pictures implied. The blocks that looked like they should be easy from the picture were often the more challenging and the ones I looked at and thought “how on earth am I going to do that?” were the ones that came together first time. I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed making the first blocks for my afghan, and I can’t wait till pay-day to go and get some more yarn.

I have seen blocking mentioned quite a number of times in regards to finishing an item. I definitely want my afghan to have a handmade rather than homemade look so I thought I would give blocking a go.

There are some good explanations of blocking here and here.

Basically it is wetting your work and either manually working it into the required size and shape or pinning it and then leaving it to immerse your piece in water, use a spray bottle or a steam press/iron (without letting the iron touch the yarn)

This is a before of the Evelyn square

This is a before of the Evelyn square

Since my blocks were alpaca I chose to use the spray bottle method. So after pinning my blocks to a quilt that I had wrapped around a board I gave them a heavy mist and have left them to dry.

This is my squares being blocked

This is my squares being blocked

Make sure all your ends are woven in first to give them a chance to adhere to the rest of the yarn.

It is important to not touch your piece until it is completely dry otherwise you run the risk of having to start the process again.

So it rained here for two days and it took a really long time for them to dry, luckily today was sunny and I was able to put them outside  to finish them off. I unpinned them this afternoon and they look so good! The edges on some are still a little wonky, but that is more due to my dodgy crochet skills, blocking is not able to undo uneven work but it will make it look better.

Here are my squares

DSC_0691

The Michele Square

DSC_0692

The Janine Square

DSC_0693

The Waffle Square

The Chantal Square

The Chantal Square

The Bicolour Square (although mine is obviously not bicolour)

The Bicolour Square (although mine is obviously not bicolour)

The Old America Square

The Old America Square

The Sylviane Square

The Sylviane Square

The Héléne Square

The Héléne Square

The Simone Square

The Simone Square

The Evelyn Square

The Evelyn Square

 

The Antoinette Square

The Antoinette Square

The Danish Square (being blocked)

The Danish Square (being blocked)

Blocking has made the motifs more visible and made some of the squares a more uniform shape, hopefully some of the wonkiness will be hidden when they are stitched together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “Blocks and Blocking”

  1. Eden's Lace (@edenslace) June 11, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    Beautiful selection of squares – fab grey colour. I was looking for posts on other crafter’s experiences with blocking – glad I found this!

    • craftyminx1980 June 11, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

      I was really happy with the blocking, it makes such a difference

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