Hello, My name is Bethany and I'm a Yarn Addict. I've struggled with/enjoyed my addiction for 20 + years. I'm on about the 12th step of my pattern and I have no intention of kicking the habit. I have a large stash (of yarn) and I've been known to share (knitting) needles. My Fiber of choice is lace. Yes, I am a yarn addict, and this is my story...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Acrylic Blocking, 101

Just as an introduction, this was NOT a difficult project, nor was it one of my favorites or most functional, but I needed something small to make as an 'Acrylic Blocking Sample/Tutorial', so, here goes.

I've had a lot of people tell me that blocking acrylic blend yarns is not possible.  I wanted to add a tutorial here to show it is not only possible, but necessary.  If you do not block your acrylic projects, they will look like my pre-blocked bonnet:  A ball of mush.

 Not horrible, but not exactly holding it's form, either.

To block your acrylic, the best method is to use steam.  It will not kill your fiber, like directly ironing it, it blocks more dramatically than trying to wet block (which usually has no result), and is PERMANENT!  YAY!

First off, pin your acrylic item down in the shape you would like it to ultimately be.  Because this item was small I pinned it directly to the ironing board.  For larger items, cloth covered blocking boards can be used, with either an iron to block or a steamer, if you are lucky enough to have one.

Next, hover your iron on a steam setting 1-2" above your work, allowing the steam to penetrate the piece. If you hold the iron directly on the yarn, it will cause the plastic (AKA acrylic) in the yarn to melt and flatten, looking strange, possibly ruining the project/yarn, and possibly melting and adhering to your board/iron.  No bueno.  Hover, hover,hover.

And, as always, there is a story that goes along with this project.  The iron in the photo above is/was my beloved Black & Decker, a trusty member of my household for about 10 years, passed down to me from an ex-boyfriend's mother.  As I began steaming my project I noticed an unhealthy amount of water (ok, the entire amount of water!) leaking out from where the plate met the actual iron itself, rather then steamily billowing out from the plate's holes.  Frustrated, I did what anyone would do and poured another bottle of water into the hemorrhaging machine.  To no avail.  It just leaked more.  Then I remembered an event the week before, where I heard a deafening crash come from the closet where the iron and it's companion board are kept while my hubby was retrieving his jacket.  When asked what the sound was, I was answered with "Nothing!!!".  But I digress.  The happy ending of this story is that I received a lovely new iron =)


After the steaming is complete, let the item cool, take out the pins, and if it is flat enough for your liking, it is complete.

 Flat, no rolling, and ready to wear.  TAH-DAH!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Love it!! You're so hilarious Bethany!! I love ya!!