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Blocking acrylic afghan
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Dec 19, 2012 12:44:50   #
Lena197
 
I have just completed an afghan using Red Heart acrylic yarn. I am wondering if it should be blocked. I have read many posts which say acrylic should never be blocked and also several saying everything should be blocked, including acrylic. I am wondering whether most of you block or don't block; if you do block, do you just use steam, and if so, does it really make a difference in the appearance of the item? This is a Christmas gift, so if blocking makes a difference, I would want to do it. Thanks for your help.
 
Dec 19, 2012 12:59:47   #
taznwinston
 
HI, it's not crucial that it be blocked. It does, however, alter the look of the finished piece for the better. Yrs ago my mother crocheted a large afghan. She took it to a dry cleaners and asked them to block it, it was acrylic yarn. To this day we have it, she made it in 1972, and it is still beautiful. You can block acrylic with a hot iron and steam, just don't touch the iron to the fabric or it will melt. I personally would be comfortable doing a small piece, but something as large as an afghan I would take to the cleaners for a professional blocking. It makes it larger and more even.
Dec 19, 2012 15:09:25   #
Lena197
 
Thanks for the info. I didn't even know that dry cleaners would do blocking. Sounds like a much better and easier way to go. I appreciate it.
Dec 20, 2012 07:24:26   #
DianaA
 
I have heard that steam will "kill" the fabric and it becomes limp. Would you mind telling me how you do this without killing the fabric? I have a lot of acrylic and need to know how to block it.

Diana A
Dec 20, 2012 07:44:28   #
RebeccaVM
 
I crochet afghans from acrylic yarn all the time (12 or so a year). When finished I throw into the washer and wash, then dry in the dryer. They come out beautiful, soft and cozy.
Dec 20, 2012 08:51:00   #
EqLady (a regular here)
 
DianaA wrote:
I have heard that steam will "kill" the fabric and it becomes limp. Would you mind telling me how you do this without killing the fabric? I have a lot of acrylic and need to know how to block it.

Diana A


If the point of blocking is to make the piece keep its shape, lightly steaming will not do. Acrylic is "plastic," and plastic has memory, and that memory is imparted during the yarn manufacturing process. Steaming heavily alters that memory. I heavily steam acrylic, indeed kill the yarn. I can only speak for Caron's Simply Soft, but it has a marvelous drape and sheen after killing. I wash and pin the piece out the same way I block anything else. After it dries, I use steam.
 
Dec 20, 2012 09:20:40   #
crispie (a regular here)
 
I also block my acrylic afghans. it sometimes depends on the pattern used in the piece. I just finished a feather and fan afghan and have found in the past that if I don't block it, the afghan draws together and the pattern shows off better if it has been blocked--it opens up the designs and shows the "holes" off better. I just put a wool blanket on the bed and put the afghan on it "back side up" spread out to the size and shape I wanted, and pinned it in place. I then blocked it right on the bed. HOWEVER, before you block your piece, you might want to knit up a test piece using the yarn and pattern you have used in your large piece, and then block it. This will allow you practice to see just what works best for you--it will help take out any fear of doing this. I have spent a lot of time knitting something and then melted part of it--only slightly, but the acrylic turns shiny when melted and it will show. It isn't that hard to block acrylic, and that practice piece will allow you to decide whether you want to do it yourself and will tell you just how to have to handle you piece to effectively block it out.
Dec 20, 2012 11:33:39   #
gypsie
 
Not on an afghan. Just use it!
Dec 20, 2012 12:20:00   #
Scoot915
 
i think it would depend on the pattern and who the afghan is for.
Usually with a acrylic, if it is for myself I don't bother blocking just toss in washer and dryer and I am happy with the results.
If the pattern is a gift or like someone else mentioned has a pattern that would befit from blocking then go ahead and block it.
Dec 20, 2012 12:59:46   #
mtnchild
 
I've never blocked anything I make from acrylic ... I just wash and dry in the machines. They become so much softer, especially Red Heart Super Saver, after a wash and dry. I've never had problems with the patterns showing up.
Yvette
Dec 20, 2012 15:04:12   #
RebeccaVM
 
gypsie wrote:
Not on an afghan. Just use it!


Amen! I have better things to do with my time...like make another afghan. lol
 
Dec 20, 2012 15:05:41   #
darcor
 
I have done a few afghans and baby blankets with different types of yarn and always sent them to the cleaners to be blocked. They did a good job and looked nice and lasted a long time. My first one was back in 1970 and it still looks nice and has been in use all this time.
Dec 20, 2012 17:29:33   #
dad's funnyface
 
When blocking you have to be very careful about NOT allowing the weight of the iron to rest on the item. In other words, you have to hold the iron above the item and allow only the steam to touch the item. Blocking an afghan can be very hard on the hand and arm.
Dec 20, 2012 17:32:34   #
crjc
 
Lena197 wrote:
I have just completed an afghan using Red Heart acrylic yarn. I am wondering if it should be blocked. I have read many posts which say acrylic should never be blocked and also several saying everything should be blocked, including acrylic. I am wondering whether most of you block or don't block; if you do block, do you just use steam, and if so, does it really make a difference in the appearance of the item? This is a Christmas gift, so if blocking makes a difference, I would want to do it. Thanks for your help.
I have just completed an afghan using Red Heart ac... (show quote)



I have crocheted many afghans with acrylic yarn and I have never seen the necessity to block it. It just holds its shape, but it may be different for a knitted one. I don't know.
 
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