Whilst waiting for my blocking board to be made I decided to have a go at DIY blocking using a yoga mat, which I bought for £1.50 at a car boot sale. It worked pretty well so I thought I’d write up a tutorial.
You will need:
Yoga mat (or similar)
Pins which don’t rust
1) Fold your yoga mat to fit the size of item you are blocking/the work surface you will be using. I used the utility space in the conservatory so I folded the mat into quarters. Folding it more times will give you a thicker surface to pin into.
2) Cut squares of card the size that you want your finished pieces to be. I cut two, but if you damage them you can always cut more later.
3) Place the card on the mat-lining it up with the lines on the mat will help you later on. Put your crocheted square over the card.
4) Starting in one corner, pin the crocheted square to the mat, with the pin touching, but not going through, the corner of the card square. Angle the pin in towards the centre of the square-this will counteract the force of the stretched square and stop it from pulling the pin out.
5) Repeat for all four corners, then add a pin to the middle of three of the sides. At this point you then need to slide out the square from the side that is open. Now add a pin to the middle of that side, using the lines on the yoga mat to help you.
6) Continue pinning out until all of the sides are square, making sure you add the pins symmetrically so it is evenly stretched. If your sides ‘dip’ in try angling the pin so it points along the side of the square rather than into the middle. My squares were 6×6 inches and had 3 pins between each corner pin. This is your chance to line up any slightly wonky parts too-especially in lacy patterns. I also added pins to the flower petals in the yellow lacy square.
7) Once you are satisfied with the shape of your squares, spray them liberally with warm water. (I used an empty detangling spray bottle.)
8) Leave them to dry. I also patted the squares very gently with an old towel to mop up any excess water. Make sure you leave the blocked pieces somewhere they won’t be disturbed as it takes a while for them to dry completely. (I put mine outside and they dried quickly!)
9) Carefully remove all of the pins. Your squares should all now be the same size and should stay in the shape that you blocked them to.
I hope this tutorial is useful to you, if you have any useful tips to add please write them in the comments.