How to Block Crocheted Items

By Kathryn Hatter
Finish crocheted projects by blocking them for neat results.

After creating a crocheted project, your finished piece needs one final process before you can call it done. Although you may feel tempted to skip the blocking step, blocking can make a significant difference in the way a crocheted item looks. When you block crochet, you shape it so that the edges and corners become consistent and even. Take the time to block crocheted items and you can be proud of your finished work.

Check the crocheted piece for yarn tails that need weaving. Thread each tail through the eye of a yarn needle and weave the ends through the crocheting to hide them. Trim off any remaining ends with the scissors.

Spread three thick bath towels out on a firm surface -- a mattress, tabletop, counter or carpeted floor all work equally well. You need a spot where the crocheting can sit undisturbed during the entire blocking process -- several days at the most. If you use a mattress or carpeted floor, place a large trash bag beneath the towels to protect the surface from moisture.

Check the labels of the yarns you used for your crocheting. Read the care instructions for the yarn to see whether you can use water or steam safely to block the piece. Some yarns made from acrylic fibers will not tolerate steam or heat and you must block these items with minimal moisture. Most cotton and wool yarns will tolerate steam and heat for blocking.

Place the crocheted item onto the prepared surface with the backside facing up. Consult the crochet instructions to see what the finished dimensions of the piece should be. Measure the item with the tape measure and use the rustproof pins to secure the piece to the towel surface at the finished size it must be. Place the pins about every 2 inches along the edge of the piece and place pins about every 4 to 5 inches in the center.

Spray the top of the crocheted piece lightly if the yarn is a delicate acrylic. Spray only enough to make the yarn slightly damp. This is a cold block method. Saturate another bath towel, wring it out and place it over the crocheted piece if the yarn is a cotton or wool that will tolerate heat and steam. Warm the iron to a medium setting with steam and hold the hot iron about 1 inch away from the towel to apply heat and steam to the yarn. Do not touch the iron to the towel at any time. Continue steaming the crocheted piece until the yarn feels evenly moist. Remove the damp towel.

Leave the crocheted piece on the blocking surface until the yarn feels completely dry. This may take several days.

Remove the pins after the yarn dries to finish the blocking process.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.