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myemerald

How do I block this baby blanket?

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I'm working on the Bernat Wavy Ripple Blanket, using Bernat Baby Coordinates (acrylic).

http://com.yarnspirations.pattern-pdfs.s3.amazonaws.com/Bernat_BabyCoordinatesweb4_cr_blanket.en_US.pdf

It looks ok, but the edges are definitely not straight, and the wavy ripples don't really lay flat.  When finished, I think I should block the blanket.  I have a general idea of how to do this, but could use some direction.  Is blocking even something that can be done on this type of yarn?

Thank you very much!!

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The answer is yes and no.  Let me explain.  :)

Most big brand name acrylic yarn, like the Bernat baby yarn that you used, is machine washable and dryer safe.  The more you wash and dry them, the softer and more flexible they become.  They lay flatter when they become more flexible.  When I'm doing a gift, I wash and dry it at least once.  Sometimes a couple of times.  This usually fixes the laying flat issues. 

Nothing fixes straight corners or edges.  It's the nature of crochet.  Crochet stitches are slanted.  Edges appear straight because we turn it over each row.  The slant from a row is canceled by slanting the opposite direction on the next row.  However, this makes it impossible to match up corners exactly.  Wavy ripples compound the issue.  When it's in use, you can't see it.  When you fold it, just match the edges and let the corners be slightly off.  You can add a round of sc edging to make the edges and corners appear straighter.  However with your striped pattern, I wouldn't do it, unless you did 2 rounds of edging ... one in each color.

You can block acrylic yarn, but it only holds until the next time it's washed and dried.  I did this for a long time when gifting, until I realized that washing and drying multiple times worked better.  Here's one way to block a large item, like an afghan of any size...

  1. Make a sandwich on any hard floor or very low-pile carpet.
    • Towels
    • Project (damp, but not soaked wet ... straight from the washer's spin cycle is good)
    • Towels
    • Steam 2nd layer with an iron or steamer.  If you touch the towels with an iron, use short, quick strokes.  Don't let the iron rest on the towels.  The idea is to add a little heat to the dampness to get it to relax.
    • Cardboard or books
    • Weights of any kind
  2. Let it sit for 5-7 days.
  3. Remove from the sandwich

You can also try pinning it to a giant blocking board, while it's damp,  and letting it air dry.  This is a royal PITA when it's as big as a baby blanket. (I did this until, I switched to the sandwich method.)

Whatever you do, do NOT touch an iron directly to the acrylic yarn or let a hot iron sit on a towel over the yarn.  Acrylic will melt.  This is called "killing" the yarn.  It produces a very stiff, flat, fused together project.  It's not quite as stiff as cardboard, but close.  I've done this to create flat, crocheted letters for applique.  I didn't like the results and threw them away.

ETA: I forgot the most important thing...  Your blanket is gorgeous!!  I love the colors you picked.  :D

Edited by redrosesdz
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Thank you!!!  This is a great explanation, I really appreciate it!  I'm not going to block it after all now :-)

1 hour ago, redrosesdz said:

The answer is yes and no.  Let me explain.  :)

Most big brand name acrylic yarn, like the Bernat baby yarn that you used, is machine washable and dryer safe.  The more you wash and dry them, the softer and more flexible they become.  They lay flatter when they become more flexible.  When I'm doing a gift, I wash and dry it at least once.  Sometimes a couple of times.  This usually fixes the laying flat issues. 

Nothing fixes straight corners or edges.  It's the nature of crochet.  Crochet stitches are slanted.  Edges appear straight because we turn it over each row.  The slant from a row is canceled by slanting the opposite direction on the next row.  However, this makes it impossible to match up corners exactly.  Wavy ripples compound the issue.  When it's in use, you can't see it.  When you fold it, just match the edges and let the corners be slightly off.  You can add a round of sc edging to make the edges and corners appear straighter.  However with your striped pattern, I wouldn't do it, unless you did 2 rounds of edging ... one in each color.

You can block acrylic yarn, but it only holds until the next time it's washed and dried.  I did this for a long time when gifting, until I realized that washing and drying multiple times worked better. 

 

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The blocking method I use is quite simple:

I always wash a blanket. First in cold water with baby detergent or Woolite and a fabric softener for baby. Then, put in dryer on low until it's just the slightest bit damp. Lay it flat on first a plastic tablecloth, then a bedsheet or large towel on a bed, pin down to shape with quilters non-rusting straight pins and let dry completely. It usually only takes a few hours to dry. That's it, turns out perfect every time and is soft and clean.

Edited by ReniC
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31 minutes ago, ReniC said:

The blocking method I use is quite simple:

I always wash a blanket. First in cold water with baby detergent or Woolite and a fabric softener for baby. Then, put in dryer on low until it's just the slightest bit damp. Lay it flat on first a plastic tablecloth, then a bedsheet or large towel on a bed, pin down to shape with quilters non-rusting straight pins and let dry completely. It usually only takes a few hours to dry. That's it, turns out perfect every time and is soft and clean.

Thank you!!!

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