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.
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.
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!
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.
|"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 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.
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.
|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.
- 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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