Why and how to block crochet and knitted projects?

Are you a “blocker”? I have joined “blockers’ club” not long ago and before that (shame on me) I didn’t block my projects. But when I tried wet blocking for the first time, I felt like entering a totally new world. The world of clean lines and perfect shapes. What is another reason to start blocking? It makes your projects look professional. No matter if it is a small granny square or a huge blanket. 
Blocking crochet projects with Scheepjes board

You may find lots of tips and tricks about how to block crochet projects and you can also use different tools for that. I usually use a small puzzle mat (a toy for little children) and simple “no-brand” sewing pins. The puzzle pieces can be joined together for a larger blocking space and pins are very cheap, so you can change them every few months. The disadvantage of this method is that it is tricky to get, for example, squares of exactly the same size. And if you want a perfect result, you need to measure again and again.
Wet blocking with pins and soft board

It is of course possible to draw lines on the mat (though a little bit tricky), or… Another option is to try a new Scheepjes blocking board.
Blocking crochet projects with Scheepjes board

Scheepjes has just released a brand new product – a wooden blocking board. And as a member of bloggers group I got one to test, and just to keep it as a gift. I was not asked to write any reviews, but after I tried it, I thought it might be good to share my opinion.

First I should mention I have never tried the same kind of the boards before, so I cannot compare and analyze. I will just give you my opinion about what I saw and what I tried.

Scheepjes blocking board is a solid wooden desk with holes, and it is accompanied by carrying bag and set of 8 metal pins wrapped in plastic. This amount of pins is enough to block all basic shapes (square, rectangle, triangle, octagon) except of circle and probably hexagon, or at least I haven’t find a way to do it. And there are more possibilities!
Different shapes to block with Scheepjes board

You can also block the projects of irregular shape! And even several projects of different shapes at once. If you need more pins (or you lose them) – there will be additional pins available for purchase.
Different shapes to block with Scheepjes board

The board has lots of holes, and looks like a snowflake :) It allows to block small to medium size projects (starting with 3 cm up to max. 31 cm), so beloved 12 inches afghans are also covered here. The sizes are quite flexible and as you can see from the picture below, some of them are introduced at the market for the first time (as Scheepjes states). It means existing similar boards from other brands don’t give the same possibilities. There are no numbers printed on the board, so you will need to measure where to screw the pins - for each project separately.
Different shapes to block with Scheepjes board
"Rechthoek" is rectangle and "Vierkant" is square

Another advantage of Scheepjes board is that it has a thicker and more solid bottom, so that pins screw extra deep (1.5cm) into the plate. Why is the depth important? Because the deeper pins are screwed in, the more chance is they will not start to lean inwards and will keep an even tension when lots of grannies are added. So far I don’ have many finished grannies to test this feature but I tried to shake the pins with my hand – and I used a little bit of pressure for that. Pins seem to be stable, but you really need to screw them inside a lot.
Scheepjes blocking board
Scheepjes pins screw extra deep into wooden board

Let’s see how it works. I’ve made two sample examples of granny squares. They are crocheted with 100% acrylic yarn Colour Crafter* by Scheepjes. I've always thought artificial fibers are not blocked very well, so I decided to give it a try with my new board. I didn’t have any size in mind, because I only needed an exact stitch count on the last round. I measured my unblocked square and it’s approx. 21 cm, so I thought it would be good to block it to 22 cm.




I screwed 8 pins into the holes in equal distance from the center (you need 1 pin in each of 4 corners and one pin in the center of each side). My square is not a classical granny one, I just made it up with no pattern. So to block it I had to place pins between the stitches (you just need to find a central one on each side). I pulled the square onto the pins, sprayed it with the water and… left it to dry out. That’s it.
Wet blocking with Scheepjes board

And here is the result. The difference between blocked and unblocked square is obvious, isn’t? Even though 22 cm is not the size stated on the board - I just pinned not the last but previous round, and it still worked very well! So you may experiment with sizes as well.
Wet blocking of crochet square: before and after
Squares are made with 100% premium acrylic yarn Colour Crafter by Scheepjes

Scheepjes blocking board is available for purchase via any local shop HERE. Retail price is € 31.50. These boards wil be soon available via Deramores* and Wool Warehouse* - both with international shipping, and on Paradise Fibers* (US).

The pins for Scheepjes board are quite thick (0.5cm in diameter) so I am not sure they will work equally well for items made with delicate, very thin yarn. You can probably use them for very open designs with lots of spaces. But for dense fabric made with fine yarns this board will probably not work and you will need to use other means. But anyway Scheepjes board is ideal for blocking the majority of small to medium projects. So it will become a very useful instrument in your pocket.

Conclusion


  • Though there is a wide variety of available sizes and shapes for blocking, you cannot use this board to block a perfect circle or some intricate shapes. And the size of the board allows blocking only projects up to 31 cm large.
  • The deeper bottom of the board guarantees that pins will not lean inwards when many projects are added.
  • Scheepjes blocking board will save you lots of time, as you can block many projects at once with no need to measure and pin anything. And with extra pins, you can also block projects of different shapes and sizes at once! And when you need to finish, for example, a blanket in a very short time – every minute of making is precious and counts.
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    13 comments

    1. It's amazing how blocking makes such a difference! I usually pin out my larger work on the carpet in our living-room, but now we removed the carpets to replace with tiles. I use a piece of corrugated board for pinning smaller pieces. Maybe it's time to upgrade! Thank you for the detailed review!

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      1. It doesn't really matter which tools you use. If you block - your projects look grea, right? :) I like this particular board because you don't need to measure and to pin. you just screw the pins into board and you are ready for blocking!

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    2. I think you could use this to block smaller pieces made with fingering yarns or lace. Use the pins for bases and blocking wires to outline the shape. Of course, that would require shorter wires than are currently on the market. But that would be something that Sheepjes could get working on for us.

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    3. Looks good and easy to use if you mKe a lot of square type projects , however I wondered if can use for shawl if one layers the shawl in squares and sprayed each layer as you went? Just an idea....

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    4. Ive just received mine - Wool Warehouse had them : ) - I have a WIP sampler afghan with 8 inch squares - this is perfect. I will let you know how it turns out when I use it. In your picture you show a pile of squares Im wondering if that is possible - Would they take a long time to dry out? I have a ton to block - and they are cotton.

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      1. Hi! the picture with multiple squares is not mine. It is Scheepjes promo shot. I haven't tried to block many squares at once. But I believe if you leave some space between them - they should dry.

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    5. Having just made a blanket for me (still in individual squares) I'll try blocking the next one I'm making for my daughter every evening when I finish the squares and leave them to dry for 24 hours, then it's just making them up. A Fauxchet tool is great for this.

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    6. I'm not a blocker - only because I wonder .... won't it just be as it is after the first wash? I do see a huge difference - just wonder if it will all be done in vain?

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      1. No, definitely not! Blocking has changed my work completely and it looks a million times better once it's been blocked.

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    7. just returned my blocking board to the supplier as the pins did not fit into the holes properly. shame as I thought it was a good idea really sturdy and looked well

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      1. Oh really! I am so sorry to hear that. The pins didn't go inside the board, or where the problem was?

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    8. I have also returned one of these boards. The pins didn't fit properly and the overall quality was just awful! I ended up getting, for the same price, a board from a company called Daisy Boo Creations. The difference between the Daisy Boo one and this is like chalk and cheese. The Daisy boo one is so much better quality and I've had zero problems with it. I wish I'd come across it before I wasted so much time on the one from wool warehouse :/

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      1. I wonder why the pins didn't fit properly... Sometimes there can be defects. In every product. Maybe you got the one. My pins do fit just fine. And I use this board very often.

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