Monday, April 22, 2013

Blocking on the Cheap

So I FINALLY got around to blocking the Hemlock Ring Blanket that I started back in 2009 (June 23rd to be precise).

Hemlock Ring Blanket 

 I finished this blanket Dec. 23rd 2012, when I brought it with me on a road trip so as to be forced to work on it, because I only had 3-4 repeats left on the blanket. But even after I finished it, I hadn't blocked it. This blanket was fairly large and I didn't have an area to block it (plus, it was relatively wet weather and I wasn't sure how long it would take to block).

Recently, I bought some mat boards from Amazon so that I could block larger knitted items (especially for my Knit Swirl Coat!) And the weather warmed up considerably. So it was the perfect time to try out my new blocking boards.

These boards were cheaper than getting dedicated blocking boards, as they are used for flooring purposes. The set I purchased was about $15.00. Each board is about 24" x 24", interlock with each other, and you get 6 boards for a total of 288 square feet of blocking room. I figured that this was an adequate enough for my general purpose. (This particular vendor sells sets with a larger number of pieces).

(As a comparison, knitting-specific blocking boards from KnitPicks are about 12" x 12" (~144 square inches), interlock with each other, and you get 9 boards for a total of 108 square feet of room. These boards cost $24.99.)

With my t-pins, these were easy to put together and worked PERFECTLY. I got the grey boards, which heated up pretty darn fast in the warm sun! I had trouble kneeling on them in the 80 deg F weather as they got warm quickly! BUT, on the flip side, it helped dry the wet blanket very quickly. Between the boards and the warm weather, this FOUR FOOT DIAMETER wool blanket dried in under 2 hours!

Four of these boards was enough to block a four-foot diameter blanket. So, I definitely give these a thumbs-up in the usefulness department

The wool blanket blocked out beautifully. It's lovely, huge, and JUST in time for the gorgeous WARM weather that we're currently experiencing. LOL.

However, there is a down-side to using these blocking boards. Because they were meant to be used for flooring, these pieces are rather LARGE. I knew the sizing when I purchased them, but was still surprised when they arrived in the mail. So anyone thinking about getting the larger foam pieces should consider storage space before purchasing them. The knitting-specific blocking boards are about half the size and store easier for anyone who has space considerations.

But, if you're not worried about space and want a cheaper alternative, these work pretty darn well.