How to Block Acrylic Yarn Granny Squares

How to Block Acrylic Granny Squares - Lifestyle

As you may have noticed, it’s granny month here at The Neon Tea Party! 👵 Last week we released a new granny square headband pattern that’s the perfect granny square project for new and seasoned crocheters alike! We’ve also shared our tips for the easiest way to make a slip knot and magic ring! Next on the docket — how to block granny squares made with acrylic yarn.

What is Blocking?

Blocking is the process of using water and/or heat to carefully relax yarn fibers and manipulate your work to a final shape or size.

Blocking is a fantastic way to bring a professional finish to your project and really let the pattern shine! It can also be used to correct the size of multiple pieces if you’ve found your tension changed from the start to the finish of a project.

There are several different ways to block your crochet work. The method you choose is highly dependent on the type of fiber you’re working with. Choosing the wrong method could damage your hard work (aka never put direct heat on acrylic yarn or it will melt)!!

Today we’ll be focussing specifically on blocking granny squares made with acrylic yarn.

How to Block Acrylic Granny Squares - Supplies

Blocking Supplies for Acrylic Yarn

When it comes to blocking granny squares with acrylic yarn, steam is the name of the game.
You may sometimes see steam blocking also referred to as, “dry blocking,” or “heat blocking.”

The difference between steam blocking vs other methods is that you’ll be stretching your project to size, and then adding moisture (steam).

To do this, you’ll need something to create steam. We recommend a garment steamer, as it provides more control, but you can also use the steam setting of an iron (just be sure to never touch your work with the iron itself!).

How to Block Acrylic Granny Squares

You’ll also need something to stretch and shape your work. This typically comes in the form of a blocking board and pins. You can purchase a blocking board and pins made specifically for blocking crochet work OR you can DIY a blocking pegboard with wood and some metal rods.

Pro Tip: If you want to test out blocking before investing in a blocking board or DIYing one, you can also use a foam-style kids playmat or an old yoga mat plus any straight or push pins you have on hand!

Blocked Acrylic Squares

How to Block Projects Made with Acrylic Yarn

Starting in the center and moving toward the edges of your work, carefully stretch your granny square (or whatever project you’re blocking) to the desired tension and shape you’re looking for.

Place your first pins in the center of the sides, and continue to carefully stretch toward the corners, pinning as you go.

BlockingAcrylicSquares

You may find that there are pulls or dips in the edges of your work, continue to manipulate and stretch the fabric, adding pins to split the difference between your previous two pins to ensure straight edges.

You may need to adjust your pins as you continue to manipulate your work, especially when working with a larger piece.

How to Block Acrylic Granny Squares - Steam

Once your work has been stretched to your desired size and shape, steam your work until it is damp. Leave your work pinned in the desired shape until it has completely dried, usually 2-4 hours. The dry time will depend on the size of your item and how much moisture has been added.

How to Block Acrylic Granny Squares - Before and After

To block or not to block, that is the question.

Even between the most experienced crocheters, the answer to this question will vary! Some crocheters swear by blocking, while others don’t find it necessary.

Our answer? It depends on the project! There are some projects where blocking may not make sense. For example, a crochet hat or beanie will naturally stretch and form on the wearer’s head over time, so blocking isn’t needed.

When it comes to granny squares, however, especially granny square garments, blocking can be incredibly beneficial. Blocking granny squares ensures that every square will be the exact same size, so your finished piece will have a much more polished and professional look. The consistent size will also make the joining process much easier!

Not sure if your project warrants blocking, or need clarification on any of the info shared here? Leave your questions in the comments below!

Be sure to tag us @theneonteaparty in any of your granny projects! See you around the block!

Peace, love & neon,
Dorothy

21 Comments

  1. Hannah on May 1, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    Do you recommend weaving in your ends before blocking?

    • the neon tea party on May 4, 2022 at 2:24 pm

      Great question! If you weave your ends in before blocking, there IS a chance that they’ll shift and you’ll need to trim them a bit afterward. If you weave once the squares are blocked (the method you’ll find recommended most), this won’t happen and your ends will be a bit more secure.

      That being said, I’m partial to weaving in my ends as soon as I finish a square. A huge stack of ends that need to be woven sounds like NO FUN to me, so I always block after the ends have already been woven, and haven’t found it to compromise the integrity of the squares.

  2. Pamela on September 5, 2022 at 2:12 am

    Thank you. These are really clear and useful instructions for blocking acrylic squares. My inclination was not to do so as I have been diligently measuring each square as I go along. However, because I am using scrapes which can vary in thickness from brand to brand even for the same described weight, and changing hook sizes, they are not exact. Also, I am attaching the joined squares to a flannel backing and do not want too much buckling. Weaving in the ends when finishing each square is the only way for me. I would find leaving them all until after blocking overwhelming with it being easier to push back and snip off any escapees instead with small fine scissors. Thanks again for a great tutorial.

  3. Jacqueline Lee Rosser on September 27, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    Can I block with styrofoam?

    • the neon tea party on September 28, 2022 at 12:04 pm

      Absolutely! Any surface that you can push pins into that will hold the squares taut will work just fine. We’ve seen granny squares blocked with styrofoam, yoga mats, event the foam knee boards used for gardening!

    • Cindy Nouri on June 26, 2023 at 9:46 am

      Wow I was just trying to figure out how I could block a loarger project and your styrofoam question and answer came up. Thanks! Lifesaver!

      • the neon tea party on July 31, 2023 at 1:12 pm

        Of course! Blocking is so tricky, especially for larger pieces.

  4. Rosemary Regan on September 19, 2023 at 6:11 am

    Can you stack and steam multiple squares at the same time? Or only one at a time?

    • the neon tea party on March 28, 2024 at 11:22 am

      Hi Rosemary! Yes you can stack them, just make sure you leave a little bit of space between each one. This is done simply so that you don’t have to use a lot of space to block each individual square, and to save time on pinning each square. Be sure to get your steam to enter the sides of the stacks so that all of the squares receive the steam. Hope that helps! -Marisa

  5. Maria on September 23, 2023 at 8:18 am

    Hi! I’ve seen granny squares in stacks on the blocking boards. Is this done before or after steam blocking? Can you explain why they’re stacked? Thanks!

    • the neon tea party on March 28, 2024 at 11:22 am

      Hi Maria! Yes you can stack them, just make sure you leave a little bit of space between each one. This is done simply so that you don’t have to use a lot of space to block each individual square, and to save time on pinning each square. Be sure to get your steam to enter the sides of the stacks so that all of the squares receive the steam. Hope that helps! -Marisa

  6. Beth on December 16, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    Should you wash your squares before blocking or after the whole project is blocked and assembled? When you wash a blanket will the squares maintain their shape or do you need to block the entire afghan again after each washing? I am new to all of this and need some guidance. Thank you!!

    • the neon tea party on March 28, 2024 at 11:20 am

      Hi Beth! You should block your squares before you stitch them together. Essentially you’re turning them from rounded squares into true squares that will stitch together like a checker board. The squares will maintain their shape as they stitch together. You will not need to block the blanket once it’s complete. Hope that helps! -Marisa

  7. Ursula Yamada on December 31, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    Does the steam not warp or harm the wooden blocker board?

    • the neon tea party on March 28, 2024 at 11:19 am

      Hi Ursula! You’ll be keeping the steam slightly distanced from the board, so it won’t have close or long enough contact to harm or warp the board. Hope that helps! -Marisa

  8. Yellie on February 24, 2024 at 2:01 am

    Is there a way I can do it without a steamer?

    • the neon tea party on March 28, 2024 at 11:18 am

      Hi Yellie! You can dampen the squares before blocking them. They will take longer to dry but the water helps the fibers relax. You can also block them dry but they won’t straighten out nearly as much.

      Hope that helps! -Marisa

  9. Lizzy on March 27, 2024 at 12:43 pm

    Hey, so I’m working on a daisy granny square blanket, and some of the squares are turning out a bit wavy, and I think than Im gonna block them, but I don’t have any of the supplies you have shown, will it work with something like a cardboard box and nails?

    • the neon tea party on March 28, 2024 at 11:17 am

      Hi Lizzy! Thanks for your question! I definitely recommend that you block your squares. You’ll be so happy that you did! Keep in mind that you will need to use steam to help the fibers relax, so cardboard isn’t a great material for this, as it will get soggy. Two other popular options besides a wooden blocking board are: a blocking kit, which includes foam squares and pins; or a yoga mat and sturdy straight pins. You can find a blocking kit on Amazon. Here’s the one that I use and enjoy — Blocking Boards: https://amzn.to/3U5pizf and Pins: https://amzn.to/3vu3x2s

      Be sure to refer back to this article for tips on how to steam the squares to protect them and yourself!

      I hope that helps!
      -Marisa

  10. maurice on April 14, 2024 at 10:22 pm

    i am making a star out of crochet, but should i also put pins in the inside parts? or just in the points?

    • the neon tea party on April 15, 2024 at 10:15 am

      Hi Maurice! You should be fine just pinning the corners, as the point of blocking is to get all of the squares to line up neatly. That said, if the interior design looks wonky, you can certainly pin within the design as well to get your star as straight as you want. Hope that helps! -Marisa

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