Quickest way to block?

[FONT=“Trebuchet MS”]Okay, so I’ve sacrificed critical packing time and stayed up WAY too late the night before a transatlantic flight in order to finish my yummy merino/silk scarf… but it’s done! :woohoo:

I am going to take it along whether it’s blocked or not, but I would love to block it. As you can see from the start of the pattern below, it would definitely look sooo much more lovely if it were blocked. I’ll have about 6 hours to do it tomorrow before I have to leave for the airport.

Any suggestions for a quick block? And can I re-block it when I get back if I’m not completely happy with the way it turns out? This will be the first project I’ve blocked, so any pointers are appreciated. I’m so excited it’s done and will post some pics of the FO during its visit to Austria. :woot:

Thanks so much! Now I’m going to bed so I don’t look like this :zombie: all day tomorrow.[/FONT]

Very pretty!! You could prolly take a spray bottle and just get it wet enough to pull and pin…then put fans on it…when you get back you could then get it really wet and re-block it and let it dry on it’s own…

I usually use a water squirt bottle and the items don’t take to long to dry…I usually do give them over night as I get them pretty wet :thumbsup:

Thanks for the help. I ended up steaming and pinning at the same time, then put a damp pillowcase over it and steamed again. It should dry pretty quick and it’s looking much better!! :inlove:

After a lot of searching I found that steam was the quickest because it doesn’t need the drying time.
After a little trial and ERROR I found that steam isn’t for everything.
I’m glad it worked for you, but it’s a good idea to try it on your swatch before heading to the project.

I bought a steamer just for blocking and by the time the piece has cooled it’s dry.

One thing I don’t understand from my searching is there are claims that steam “kills” acrylic and makes it lifeless. I can’t figure out how that is a bad thing, seems to go against the claims against acrylic being stiff.
Also the designer I saw on Knit and Crochet Today said it works best on acrylics. She said it sort of melts them into shape.
Seems to be a lot of contradictory opinions on steam.
I guess you just have to try it and decide for yourself if it’s the results you want.

What I ended up reading was that steaming works well for more delicate natural fibers. I just used my iron’s steam burst button and held it a couple inches above the work. By the time I got it stretched and pinned, I sometimes had to steam it again because it was dry.

One thing I don’t understand from my searching is there are claims that steam “kills” acrylic and makes it lifeless.

Maybe [COLOR=“Red”][B]this[/B][/COLOR]was the link you found? It talks about “killing acrylic” in not such a good way. However, after reading a few other pages, like [COLOR=“Red”][B]this[/B][/COLOR]one, “killing” acrylic can apparently be a good thing, like you said… making it nice and drapey.

Thanks for helping! I’m off to the airport soon with my lovely scarf to help keep me warm! :yay:

This is who was on Knit and Crochet today.
She seems experienced enough.

She was saying steaming works best on everything and that is what the industry uses but out of everything it works best on acrylic.
I have only tried it on a single strand of wool (I don’t want to risk my double knit hat :slight_smile: ). It did relax the strand. In the next few days I should have a pair of wool socks done to try, they’re not a great fit so there’s no loss if it doesn’t work.

Good links.
I was going more by blog replies and forums.
I noticed in your second link the “Edited to add” a reply to a reader. I think I came across either that person’s reply or someone who read and believed it.

After seeing what steam did with Lion Jiffy I realized why after a few washings my crochet afghans “calm” down. My water heater isn’t set anywhere near as high as steam so it takes a while to “kill” the acrylic.

The piece I had that it shrunk was an acrylic/nylon blend. Of course that was what taught me to try a swatch and not the finished parts. It’s not a total loss, but it will be a thick baby sweater instead of a draping 2 year old sweater and I’ll probably have to crochet some edging around it to get some extra length.

If you like steaming Conair has a nice little steamer for cheaper than a steam iron (about $30 here), my 1950s iron doesn’t have steam. Walmart has them, I don’t know who else carries them.

After seeing what steam did with Lion Jiffy I realized why after a few washings my crochet afghans “calm” down. My water heater isn’t set anywhere near as high as steam so it takes a while to “kill” the acrylic.
It wouldn’t be your water temperature that affects it, but the dryer. Hot dryer + wet afghan = steam.

I don’t think the dryer is as hot as the steamer either.
I made the mistake of touching my hand with the steam from the steamer once. You’d have to let a tea kettle go for a while to get that hot.

I haven’t pulled apart any of my finished afghans, but I have had to repair a old scarf that has seen many wash/dry cycles in all kinds of machines and that acrylic wasn’t set anything like the Jiffy was after steaming.

I’ve had other acrylic set from stitching too tight straighten after being in a ball, I think I’m going to have to steam that ball of Jiffy straight to get it to go straight again.

I think Lily Chin is right that the steam permanently sets the acrylic by melting it into position.

No not nearly as hot, however I was only pointing out that it’s probably the heat from the dryer that softens it, not the water.

Ahh,
Yes and I think the tumbling also helps.

I think I tumbled one in the middle of working on it (safety pinned the loose end) that was pretty stiff with no heat and made it much better to work with.