Blocking & Finishing Crochet
Blocking Blocking is a process in which your crocheted item is gently stretched or pinned into the proper shape, then allowed to dry naturally so it will keep its shape. Blocking can be as simple as using a warm iron to press a garment into the correct shape, or it can be as structured as using a stiffening solution such as starch to make it stiff.
- To block items without stiffening them:
- If needed, wash your project by hand using a mild soap and cold water.
- Rinse well in cold water.
- Don t wring the item out. Instead, place it in a thick, terrycloth towel. Roll it in the towel while applying pressure to force the water out of the item and into the towel.
- If your piece is clean, dampen it by spraying it lightly with water.
- With the right side up, spread the project out on a flat, padded surface.
- Smooth the project out to its correct size. (Make sure all loops, picots, etc are open.)
- If necessary, pin the piece in place with rust-proof pins.
- If desired, spray lightly with spray starch.
- Dry completely.
- To starch/stiffen your project, you will need the following:
- Stiffening solution such as: a commercial stiffening solution found in craft or needlecraft stores, white craft glue, or a thick solution of boilable starch (note: liquid or spray starches will not work).
- Plastic bag with a zipper seal.
- Pinning board such as a sheet of Styrofoam, heavy cardboard, fabric cutting board, or foam floor tiles from a hardware store.
- Rust-proof straight pins.
- Blocking form, if one is needed (note: the pattern will call for the correct shape and size). It can be as simple as a tea cup or mixing bowl.
- Spray bottle of water (if necessary), to dampen the item.
To starch/stiffen your item:
- Cover pinning board and blocking form with plastic wrap and pin in place. Note: it may be easier to see what you are doing if you use colored plastic wrap.
- Make sure your hands are clean.
- Pour your stiffening solution into a plastic bag. Put the bag into a bowl to keep it from making a mess.
- Immerse your item completely into the solution.
- Once it s well coated, remove it from the bag and gently press out the excess solution. (Note: do not wring or squeeze the item.) Make sure all solution is removed from any decorative holes in the item. (Note: leftover solution can be stored in the zipped plastic bag for a couple of days, but must be thrown away after that.)
- Pin the item on the board or form, shaping as needed. If desired, pin it in place.
- Remove pins from the item while it s still damp.
- Use a spray bottle of water to moisten the item to reshape it if necessary.
- Don t bend the starched item unless it s still damp. If it s too dry it may crack.
- Let it dry completely before removing it from the board or form.
Finishing Your Crochet Project
- Using a tapestry needle, weave in all ends to hide them in the body of the crochet item.
- Block all pieces to the measurements given in the pattern.
- If multiple pieces need to be joined together, as it would for a garment, seam the pieces. You may either put the right sides together, overcast stitch the seams or join them with a slip stitch or single crochet, or hold them with the wrong sides facing each other and use the mattress stitch from the right side.
- Attach any buttons or embellishments.