Surface for Blocking

PhilNmtl's picture

Hi. I don't want to reinvent the wheel that I suspect some of you have refined a dozen times over. I have never blocked - anything! I am about to venture into a bit of lace and will probably tackle the Angel Lace Shawl before long. I'm sure that I can purchase a blocking surface, but can I make one? Suggestions? Are there other specific supplies that I need to get ?


ps. I am really jealous of those who attended the retreat. I'll be watching more closely for the next one.

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog A shawl may be block on a flat surface. Since blocking sometimes includes getting the item wet or steamed, the surface materials have to be taken into consideration.

Thor's picture

I have kind of gone "over the top" with my blocking surface. I set up my three folding banquet tables (6' x 3') side by side and cover it with a dense foam flooring normally used to cover gymnasium floors under the free weights, however I have also seen similar product in children's toy stores as a playroom floor covering. The pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. With this configuration, I can have a blocking area 6' x 8'... which has been great for some of the really large lace blankets and shawls that I and my knitting buddies have created. The surface is great because I can pin and re-pin and it is up off the floor... and larger than any bed I have in the house. I set up a fan and two dehumidifiers in the room. Usually, I hand wash the article to be blocked in very cold water and a light soap then rinse well. I then place it in the washing machine on the spin cycle only for about 30-45 seconds to extract the water. Then I pin, pin, pin...!

TomH's picture

I use four sheets of rigid insulation. You can get it at any of the big box home fix-it stores. Each sheet measures 2' x 8' which gives me an 8' x 8' square. (The large format is important to me since I only block shawls.) It works great but a bear to find the space to set up. I have a large dining room table so I'm able to set the four sheets on my table. Walking around the room however, proves to be a challenge. Now that I think about it, maybe I should invest in two 4' x 8' sheets of 3/4" plywood and two saw horses. That would make setting up the insulation sheets a lot easier. But then, again, where to store the plywood sheets and sawhorses since I don't have a garage ...

crmartin's picture

I have read of using the rigid foam insulation for a blocking surface.
You can buy a 4' x 8' x 1" sheet of it at home depot for $17.00.



Asplund's picture

I block shawls on a carpet (always thinking I'm allowed to buy expensive yarn if I don't get a blocking board this time either!) and I think it has worked well.

Towels under and above the shawls, lots of pins, measuring-tape, weights (books and magazines) and a lot of patience. Not to mention coffee before and wine afterwards.

Good luck!

Kerry's picture

I'm go with Asplund's method.

PhilNmtl's picture

Many thanks for this great direction. Now I have no reason not to get at the lace. Thanks again.