Someone on my facebook group asked me this question: “Hi, I am new to crochet and am making a never ending granny square blanket. I was wondering how I would block it to make it completely square?” So I went to find the answer for her.
You’ve been in a situation that you made a lot of granny squares for a blanket, and when you come to the point of joining them together you see that they don’t completely fit? This is the time for blocking. What is blocking? Blocking is a method of getting your squares straight and in the same size by using water or steam.
Laura from madepeachy.com specifying 3 methods:
- Spray blocking – applying a healthy dose of warm water with a spray bottle before pinning out to the desired size and shape.
- Steam blocking – using a pressing cloth and iron and allowing the heat and moisture from the steam to penetrate the fibers.
- Wash blocking – soaking the item in the warm water fully before (carefully) squeezing out the excess water and pinning into position.
All three methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and some are better for some tasks and fibers over others. You’re always going to need to be careful when using steam on woolens so that the fibers aren’t damaged by the heat and remember that soggy soaked through items will be heavy and should be handled with care to prevent them from stretching out of shape and getting damaged.
A demonstration of the spray block:
Spray blocking requires a few supplies:
- Crochet squares (obviously!)
- Tape measure
- Pins – no rusty only ones, pick out the clean rustproof kind so as not to mark any light colored yarns
- Spray bottle filled with warm water
- Blocking board – these are special boards that are used as a base for pinning out the projects, they feature a handy grid to ensure every piece is pinned out to the correct dimensions. Of course, you can simply use a flat surface – you bed with a few thick fluffy towels to work on. I use interlocking foam playmats – the kind that Littles use – these are easy enough to pin into but need to be used with a tape measure to get the sizing just right.
Place the granny square onto the blocking mat, with right side uppermost. With the spray bottle, spritz a generous amount of warm water onto the surface. You want the fibers to be damp enough to be manipulated into the correct dimensions.
Pin the corners onto the blocking board, using the tape measure adjust until each pin is the same distance apart and parallel so that the corners are positioned to the correct dimensions.
Place the tape measure along each side in turn, and add in the pins easing the material of the granny square out to the right size and shape. Spritz with more warm water as you work, to help ease out any stubborn sections.
Once all the sides are pinned out, use the tape measure to check that each side is the same length and that it is pinned perfectly square – this is what will help all the squares to come together neatly – move and adjust any pins until it is just right.
Leave somewhere safe to dry. If it’s a sunny day, moving the boards out to a shady spot in the garden works a treat! Once fully dry, remove the pins and… you’ll have perfectly square squares!