How to Block Acrylic Yarn Granny Squares
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.
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!).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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,