Help...can a "fried blocked" square be saved?

I finished my first square for Jason, and during blocking, I had the not so great idea of using a hot steam iron on a wet piece. I must say, blocking was fairly effective, but in the process, all of the dimension of the piece was eliminated, except in the 2 small places on the left that I lined off in yellow. Is there a way to recover the dimension and "fluffiness" of the piece? I tried washing it, which did not help at all. The fibers are not melted, just extremely flat, and the piece does not look nearly as good as it did prior to my poor blocking method.

Any and all advice is appreciated!


kylewilliam's picture

my first thought was to wash it... but you say that didn't help - I vote if you can't beat 'em, join 'em - iron the two remaining fluffy spots and don't worry about it - it still looks beautiful - as long as it's ALL flat or all fluffy it should be fine...

beautiful knitting, BTW!!



MMario's picture

I think kyle has the right of it. W/ Acrylics - if you are using an iron you only want to STEAM, not touch it....

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Nathanael's picture

Thanks guys...I'm beginning a new square and will take MMario's advice on this one, since the beauty of the pattern was the dimension of the knitting.

mysterJay's picture

Acrylics don't mix with high heat. The pieces will never regain their fluffy dimensions, and will remain floppy (I speak from experience). make sure with the new piece to keep the iron at a distance from the piece, even if only using steam. The object here would be to warm and moisten.

Jaxom's picture

The spirit of this blanket tells me that this square deserves it's place among the rest. The guys on MWK represent the full spectrum of knitters. As a beginner I made a similar mistake when I knitted an Acrylic scarf in stocking stitch and could not get it to lie flat even though I had put in a boarder of moss stitch.
There will be many squares in Jason’s blanket and some will look perfect on first inspection. However anyone who looks a little closer will see that all the squares are perfect because they have all be knitted with love.

rjcb3's picture

Taking Kyle's advise, first, iron the two spots just to even it out;

Taking Jaxom's advise, send it in anyway because its still well-knit and flat it might be, it's still rather, you changed its form a bit, it's still good and well-knit.

Taking MMario's advise, if you're going to end up making another square anyway, just don't touch it with the iron at all.

The three wise men...and it isn't even Christmas yet!

How lucky can y'get?

The square DOES look good.


Nathanael's picture

Good advice from everyone...thank you! I will flatten the original and attach an entertaining note to it before I mail it. The new square is turning out even better and this is giving me great practice with continental knitting. Its all good!

vsidart's picture

I'm not really sure we need to spend that much effort blocking the squares at all... When assembled into the afghan, all but the very edge squares will be pulled into shape by the squares around it.... Although they do look prettier in the pictures when flattened...

Tallguy's picture

Nope, sorry to tell you this, but Vanna's Choice is acrylic (plastic) so it doesn't take kindly to heat. You can't block acrylic with any success at all. And you would never steam plastic! Even with wool, you still would use a steam cloth and lightly mist the fabric, never actually touching the iron to the knitting at all.

I had a co-worker that bought one of those popular ponchos a couple years ago. It was a lovely white, cable and rib pattern, fairly loosely knit. Cost her $90, with employee discount. It said to dry clean only, so she sent it to the cleaners. It was acrylic! They pressed it.

Because of the way they are constructed, with the "grain" going in perpendicular directions to each other, they shaped one side, and pulled all the ribbing flat on the other side... and steamed the dickens out of it. Needless to say, they ruined the piece, it was flat, the ribbing was destroyed, and she cried and cried. There was no way to try and restore it for her. There was no recourse from the cleaners either -- if they spoke English -- since they can't be held liable for what you send them. So that was a very expensive lesson to learn.

She could have washed the acrylic by herself, but the label for some reason said to dry clean. But it should not have been heat pressed at all. You would think someone would have known this.

MMario's picture

People steam lock acrylic yarns successfully all the time. As aq matyter of fact you can successfuly block acrylic using hot water.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

YarnGuy716's picture

With Acrylics I just give them a gentle wash and lay out flat to dry.

To echo the comments here, the beauty of these squares is the love we all have for this young man who has touched all of our lives. That will come shining through. Personally I think Jason will enjoy the stories and trials behind the creation of this assortment of knitted squares. I can think of nothing better than picturing him wrapped in the finished blanket, laughing and giggling as he reads the cards with all of these stories.

Like in theater and performance, the audiance has no expectations. For the most part, people seeing or hearing something for the first time make their impressions without any foreknowledge of what to expect and therefore much forgiveness is found therein.
I find Shakespearean theater to be an exception.


chipsir's picture

I had the same thing happen with my first square and as it was being posted from Canada I want to make sure it got there on time so off it went flat but with a lot of love and good vibes!!!!

albert's picture

Love fluffs all squares! (even acrylic).