Can someone please tell me how important blocking is? I've never blocked anything I've made and I don't even know whats involved in the process. When should you block and how? Thanks in advance!
It depends on what you are making. Doilies need to be blocked. I take a big piece of cardboard or styrofoam and use a permanent marker to trace circles of various sizes (I use lids, bowls, etc. as templates), starting with small in the middle and working out to large. so I have a circles within circles...that is my blocking board. Then, I soak my doily in cold water (you can use stiffener if you like... just follow manufacturer inst.), and lay it on the board. Next, I start pinning it beginning by lining up the first round with the smallest circle, then next round to next circle, etc...you will use lots of pins, as you'll want to pin it the entire way around...this stretches it out to size. Let dry, remove pins, and your doily will look gorgeous! For things like snowflakes, use stiffener. Also, use rust-proof pins. Most yarn projects don't need blocked. I hope this helps...
Thank you Toymaker. I was really hoping someone would say most things don't need to be blocked!
They really don't. You don't even HAVE to block doilies....but they look much better if you do.
As a new crocheter, I made a granny square poncho for my niece. Because some of the blocks were tighter/smaller than others, I did "block" it. I washed it in cold water & stretched it out on a towel, stretching as needed to get the garment to look more even. It worked out well, in my case.
A-Ha! I was just asking what blocking was on a different thread. Thanks for this excellent description!
Sarahcrit crocheted a cape and posted pictures of it before ( http://crochetme.com/forum/cape ) and after ( http://crochetme.com/forum/blocking-my-cape ) blocking it. It made a difference.
To me, blocking shouldn't be looked upon as another step that can be skipped. Rather, it should be regarded as being as important and necessary as the actual stitching, maybe even more so.
That is when I studied up on blocking. I learned that each yarn fiber acts differently to blocking and there are many blocking methods to explore. So I did it and blocked for the first time. I never saw those annoying, curling edges again!
Ultimately, I think it all depends upon YOU and your work. Do the stitches in your shawl look uniform and even? If not, maybe a blocking job could reconcile this? Who are you crocheting for? If you are giving it as a gift wouldn't you want to make it as professional looking as possible? What about making garments? Sweaters and the like NEED to reach to certain measurements in order for them to fit right. Blocking can help here.