Oct 6, 2017

Blocking

What are your favorite tools for blocking? I am getting back into knitting after a two year hiatus due to school. I plan to get into sweaters this fall/winter, so I just wanted to get an idea of what people use for blocking their items.
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I have been simply placing a couple of layers on a carpeted floor, spraying an item with warm water until quite damp, and then pinning the edges of my piece with pins with colored balls on the top (T-pins are better). Then I pin everything down, take my tape measure and pin and re-pin, pull where needed and then do a final pin when everything is straight and all measurements are correct. HOWEVER, yesterday we were at Home Depot and we saw large lavender squares of heavy styrofoam that were at least 18”x18”. They might work very well, unless the coloring is not fixed and would come off onto your knitting!
You know, we should get blocking equipment on a drop!
After a lot of research over a few weeks, I decided these were the best knit blocks around, because they are each identical and can be interchanged in any shape you need. https://www.amazon.com/KnitIQ-Blocking-Mats-Knitting-Needlework/dp/B01FVI1IGK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1548446564&sr=8-3&keywords=knit+blockers I also like using blocking wires; makes the edges so much quicker to block. I bought 1/16" inch stainless steel welding rods and knocked the tips off and hit them quickly with a sharpening stone to knock the sharpness off of them. These are basically exactly what blocking rods are, but at about half the price. That price is not very high, however, so it may not be worth the time and trouble to make these work. In any case, these are the ones I got and I am thrilled with them. https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/59801605 I've got waterproof T-pins and some good push pins that don't get stuck in the yarn like T-pins can. https://www.amazon.com/TOPtoper-Metallic-Stainless-Marking-Thumbtacks/dp/B07MRC1K5C/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1548447220&sr=1-3-spons&keywords=push+pins&psc=1

Honestly? A spare bed or carpet. A good wet block and as many heavy duty T pins and I can get my hands on for lacework (most of my blocking). I also like the Knitter's Pride blockers that are several pins in one plastic handle- those are nice for blocking garments. A good steam iron is also helpful.
Some sort of soft padding. Like the kiddie interchangeable block mats, a set of blocking wires, T-pins and U shaped pins, and towels. Lots and lots of towels.