If you follow my simple living blog The Really Good Life, you’ll know that I’ve been crocheting recently. I can’t stand to touch yarn in the warmer months but now it’s cold outside, the hook is pretty much glued to my hand.
I’m currently crocheting a tank top thing to wear as a woolly layer over long-sleeved t-shirts and it’s going to need blocking. For non-crafters, blocking is a finishing technique used for handmade items using natural fibres, which involves gently stretching the dampened garment into its correct shape and pinning it in place to let it dry. It’s not essential but it can improve the hang/drape of the finished item and needs to be done, to a slightly lesser extent, whenever the item is washed (which is why some items have “reshape while wet” on the label).
Purpose-bought blocking mats can be bought – usually rubber or foam mats that allow the item to dry without developing damp mould, are flexible to use (often interlinking so you can use a small piece or a large sheet, depending on your need) and easy to store. Crafters tend to plough all their hard-earned money into precious yarn though so are good at making their own or finding cheaper alternatives: I’ve heard of people using swim floats, garden-kneelers or the like from the £/$ store, of others using clean carpet tiles and others still using cardboard in a pillowcase or under a light towel.
They’re all good ideas but I wondered if the Recycle This community, which I know contains a lot of crafty people, had any other ideas.
What do you use for blocking? Have you made or repurposed anything for the task? Any ideas or advice will be gratefully received!