I work with Acrylic yarn a lot. And for some reason, I feel the need to justify this to you. I'll just say that Acrylic lends itself well to the type of projects I tend to make (e.g. 8-bit game crochet, miscellaneous items that need to be durable, etc.). Furthermore, I rarely ever make any sort of garment, thereby making it not economically nor practically favorable to work with cellulose or natural fibers. Lastly, there's that small part of my 12-year-old self that sort of loves the squeaky, grossly-colored variegated yarns of mismatched and puke-styled purples and greens and says I couldn't ever possibly let go of acrylic yarns.
I've almost finished a knitting project made entirely of acrylic yarn. Honestly, I make many things without finishing them properly and I normally regret not putting in that little bit of extra time to make it look more professional. This time, I'm doing it right; I'm finishing my knitted project off by blocking each individual square, and I am sharing the tutorial with you.
Everyone has a slightly different method they prefer for blocking yarn. In fact, some people will argue with you that blocking acrylic yarn should NEVER be done. But, I believe in lightly blocking acrylic. Keep in mind that your blocking will be permanent. I've tried using steam before, and I find that with the yarn I use (most often Red Heart, and Loops & Threads Impeccable), this ends up making the yarn really flat, shiny, and scratchy. Also, you can use this method for blocking other types of materials too!
Here is my method for how to Block Acrylic Yarn:
Make your own Blocking Materials:
Materials: Foam core board, ruler, craft knife, thin batting, scissors, tape.
1. Measure the foam board to the size you'd like your finished pieces to be. My squares were each to be 10"x10".
2. Cut the piece out of the foam board.
3. Lay the board atop a thin layer of batting, and cut the batting leaving a couple of inches overhanging on all sides.
4. Fold a side of the batting over the board and tape it down.
5. Fold and tape the remaining sides of batting over the board, keeping the batting taut as you go.
6. The front of the blocking board is the side completely covered in batting.
Blocking Acrylic Yarn:
Materials: Blocking square, T-pins, Spray Bottle with water, material to block.
1. Lay the material to be blocked onto the blocking board face-up.
2. Start by pinning the piece of material on all corners, stretching it out evenly. T-pins are my favorite to use for this.
3. Now pin the centers of each side.
4. Continue placing pins on all of the sides, interspersing them between the existing pins until the piece appears as desired. (I used 32 pins total.)
5. Spray the piece lightly with water until semi-damp.
6. Blot the material with a dry rag to remove some of the water. Then, wait until dry and remove the pins. Ta-da!
Before and After
Here are all of the before and after pictures so you can see beneficial the blocking was:
So, the next time you're working on a project and think that it'll be too difficult to block it, just try this method! It's fast, works well, and doesn't leave your project feeling scratchy or looking gross.
Let me know if you've tried this or you have any other favorite methods for blocking!