This scarf has spent a long time in the “finished but need to block” pile. I have a few of those. I have now gotten over my fear of blocking – wetting and pinning out a finished crochet/knitted piece to give it better form. All of the thoughts run through my head, will the colour run? Will it ruin all the work I’ve done? Will the pins go rusty? Yep, had a few issues. Well they have now been resolved. The first crochet piece I tried blocking happened to be a gift for Leah, lucky it turned out!! And turned out beautifully. I will share the result in another post.
In this post I will share with you my blocking process for natural fibres. I’ve done it 3 times now so have it down pat ;-)!!!!
First I take a photo of it unblocked, not a necessary step but needed to demonstrate the process ;-). I just use kids play mat blocks, not the prettiest but will do until i find some plain colours. You could also use a towel or even an ironing board or rug.
Next I take a big bowl and fill it with cold water. I then submerge the piece into the water and leave it there for about half an hour.
Remove the piece from the water and squash the water out between your hands, don’t squeeze or wring just push your hands together. Take an old towel and lay it on the floor, place the piece onto the towel spreading it out a bit. Roll it all up and squash again to get excess water out. You still want the piece to be damp but not dripping.
Lay the piece out onto your mats. The number of mats you thought you would need will increase as you spread the wet piece out, it will continue to grow as you pin. I thought my table with all it’s extensions out would be long enough, hmm, no.
Depending on the shape of your finished piece will depend where you start to pin. For this scarf it is at the start. I pinned each of the peaks first then went back along again a repositioned the pins as needed. You want to stretch it out but not too hard that you damage the threads.
I then went along the edges to give the correct shape. I didn’t want peaks but rounded edges which was a bit difficult at first. I also ran out of pins!!!!! Leave it like this for about 24 hours or until it’s really dry. The piece should then keep this shape.
Love the result.
If you don’t have the time to do the whole emerging in water bit, you can also use steam from an iron, just be careful.
Lesson learned, even if you have half a ball of yarn left after the pattern says you can stop, you don’t need to finish the ball, the scarf is very long!! Also, make sure you have enough pins before starting to pin out ;-).
I used the pattern Boteh Scarf by Kathy Merrick. I stuck to the pattern except for making it longer and didn’t do a row around the edge. If you are on Ravelry you can check out all of the yarn and hook details there, here’s the link.
I’d love to hear of any techniques you use for wet blocking, please leave them in the comments.