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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently asked if anyone knew about using aluminum push-pins for blocking. DON'T!!! :thumbdown: Last night I got my box of push-pins out and tested them along with regular sewing straight pins, and upholstery T-pins. The points of the push-pins rusted overnight and made nice brown spots on the wet cloth I put them in. Apparently only the push part is aluminum. The other pins have no rust on them. It pays to check!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
chickkie said:
The T pins are what I use
Good to know. Thanks! I was pretty sure they would have to be rust-proof or they wouldn't be good for upholstery use, and as I said, leaving them for a long period in a really wet cloth didn't produce any rust.

From another chick.
 

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I am so glad you mentioned this. I read your original post (regarding the aluminum pins) and yelled to my husband "Aluminum won't rust, will it?" and went on to describe the problems some ladies were having with rust stains from the Knitpicks pins. Of course, he said that aluminum won't rust.. go figure the push part is the only rust free part!

I am glad for the "heads up". I bought some stainless steel pins last week and they were quite expensive. I used them last night to block a shawl and half of them bent. Ugh. I think I may have to look a little further.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
AmyKnits said:
I am so glad you mentioned this. I read your original post (regarding the aluminum pins) and yelled to my husband "Aluminum won't rust, will it?" and went on to describe the problems some ladies were having with rust stains from the Knitpicks pins. Of course, he said that aluminum won't rust.. go figure the push part is the only rust free part!

I am glad for the "heads up". I bought some stainless steel pins last week and they were quite expensive. I used them last night to block a shawl and half of them bent. Ugh. I think I may have to look a little further.
T-Pins!!! I used them on my extra wide ironing board. Under its padding is metal mesh so the pins go all the way through and the T part lies flat on the knitted piece. I laid the damp towel on top (maybe a thinner cloth would be better). I can only do one piece at a time, but the humidity here is almost non-existent so it drys quickly. I did this last night late and it's almost totally dry this morning! If I do more sweaters I'll contrive some other base, but for now this works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I read about a hundred blogs on another site about materials that can be used for blocking boards. There are as many suggestions as there are knitters, and some sound really good and others totally impractical. I'm going to go shopping to see what looks usable to me. I've even found the one last and only place to store them (if I make them foldable)----under my sofa! Every other square inch of storage space in my tiny apartment, including under the bed and behind doors,is taken!
 

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Norma B. said:
I read about a hundred blogs on another site about materials that can be used for blocking boards. There are as many suggestions as there are knitters, and some sound really good and others totally impractical. I'm going to go shopping to see what looks usable to me. I've even found the one last and only place to store them (if I make them foldable)----under my sofa! Every other square inch of storage space in my tiny apartment, including under the bed and behind doors,is taken!
I have the black mats purchased at Harbor Freights for around $8.00. They come apart (4 sections) and I store mine under MY sofa.

Before that, I used the quilted pad from my children's playpen on top of my table.

If I don't feel like bothering, I will block on a towel on my table. Your ironing board works.... no need to go out and buy fancy tools for blocking. I DO, however need to go out and get some stronger pins. :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
AmyKnits said:
Norma B. said:
I read about a hundred blogs on another site about materials that can be used for blocking boards. There are as many suggestions as there are knitters, and some sound really good and others totally impractical. I'm going to go shopping to see what looks usable to me. I've even found the one last and only place to store them (if I make them foldable)----under my sofa! Every other square inch of storage space in my tiny apartment, including under the bed and behind doors,is taken!
I have the black mats purchased at Harbor Freights for around $8.00. They come apart (4 sections) and I store mine under MY sofa.

Before that, I used the quilted pad from my children's playpen on top of my table.

If I don't feel like bothering, I will block on a towel on my table. Your ironing board works.... no need to go out and buy fancy tools for blocking. I DO, however need to go out and get some stronger pins. :roll:
4 Piece Anti-Fatigue Foam Mat Set Amy, is this the mat you're talking about? Do you need to cover it with something so there's no color transference from the mat?
 

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Norma B. said:
AmyKnits said:
Norma B. said:
I read about a hundred blogs on another site about materials that can be used for blocking boards. There are as many suggestions as there are knitters, and some sound really good and others totally impractical. I'm going to go shopping to see what looks usable to me. I've even found the one last and only place to store them (if I make them foldable)----under my sofa! Every other square inch of storage space in my tiny apartment, including under the bed and behind doors,is taken!
I have the black mats purchased at Harbor Freights for around $8.00. They come apart (4 sections) and I store mine under MY sofa.

Before that, I used the quilted pad from my children's playpen on top of my table.

If I don't feel like bothering, I will block on a towel on my table. Your ironing board works.... no need to go out and buy fancy tools for blocking. I DO, however need to go out and get some stronger pins. :roll:
4 Piece Anti-Fatigue Foam Mat Set Amy, is this the mat you're talking about? Do you need to cover it with something so there's no color transference from the mat?
Yes and no. Yes it is the set and no, you don't have to worry about transfer. You CAN put a sheet under your work if you are worried, but I don't and have never had a problem. Many more of us have these and the color will not transfer. Bonus... when you pull out the pins, there are no holes. They magically disappear.

WOW! They are only $6.99 now! Better put this on a link on the main page. I love mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
AmyKnits said:
Norma B. said:
AmyKnits said:
Norma B. said:
I read about a hundred blogs on another site about materials that can be used for blocking boards. There are as many suggestions as there are knitters, and some sound really good and others totally impractical. I'm going to go shopping to see what looks usable to me. I've even found the one last and only place to store them (if I make them foldable)----under my sofa! Every other square inch of storage space in my tiny apartment, including under the bed and behind doors,is taken!
I have the black mats purchased at Harbor Freights for around $8.00. They come apart (4 sections) and I store mine under MY sofa.

Before that, I used the quilted pad from my children's playpen on top of my table.

If I don't feel like bothering, I will block on a towel on my table. Your ironing board works.... no need to go out and buy fancy tools for blocking. I DO, however need to go out and get some stronger pins. :roll:
4 Piece Anti-Fatigue Foam Mat Set Amy, is this the mat you're talking about? Do you need to cover it with something so there's no color transference from the mat?
Yes and no. Yes it is the set and no, you don't have to worry about transfer. You CAN put a sheet under your work if you are worried, but I don't and have never had a problem. Many more of us have these and the color will not transfer. Bonus... when you pull out the pins, there are no holes. They magically disappear.

WOW! They are only $6.99 now! Better put this on a link on the main page. I love mine.
Thanks again! I am SO ordering these. I'm thinking they might be rigid enough to hang on a door or from the shower rod while drying maybe???? Or they might not hold together unless I'd tape them on the back. Just trying to think creatively here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK all. It's blocked! I had already done the sleeves the way the pattern suggested---pinning the pieces and laying damp towels over them. But I liked the way my swatch looked when I wet it with tepid water and patted it out on a towel, so that's how I did the front and back which are all stockinette with moss ribbing at the bottom. You may not believe this, but of course when I soaked the pieces they had a LOT of water in them, so I squeezed carefully, then put each piece in my salad spinner and gave it a few whirls. Voila! Damp dry. Next time maybe I'll just spray the pieces.

I have a 30" x 60" folding work table---exactly the right size for both pieces. I put two thick bath sheets on it and since I couldn't pin into the table, put my pins in at an angle. I used a lot to avoid the scallops people have mentioned (yes, I know about the wire thingees but I don't have them). I pulled out the curled edges to flatten them, measured nine ways to Sunday comparing to my friend's measurements, made sure all the rows and columns were straight, and patted, patted, patted. The raglan seams looked so perfect, no goofs and I'm very proud. (BTW, damp wool as you know smells like wet dogs.) The whole time I felt as if I had no clue what I was doing, but was having a helluva good time doing it. That was earlier today, and because it's so freaking dry here, they're almost dry now. So thanks to all of you who gave me help on this thread and an earlier one as well. Couldn'a done it without ya!
 

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The T pins are super strong and easy to handle when doing something like blocking. I don't use them for sewing.

Sewing pins are no longer made strong....in fact they're made way more soft than 20 years ago. Thr little head on a sewing pin will also end up by hurting the finger tips if there are a lot of pins to be inserted into a hardish base.
 

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I hesitated to get the blocking wires and procrastinated a long time. When I (finally) knitted a shawl, I broke down and ordered them. I'm hooked - what an incredible difference they made compared with simply pinning! Remember to wipe the wires before use to remove any grit/oil from manufacture.

Also, regarding the T-pins, if you pin aggressively, be aware that the pins will easily go through your foam blocking pads. Consider what is under the foam before proceeding. I wound up adding another layer of pads underneath before setting it out on my kids' air hockey table.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
maur1011 said:
I hesitated to get the blocking wires and procrastinated a long time. When I (finally) knitted a shawl, I broke down and ordered them. I'm hooked - what an incredible difference they made compared with simply pinning! Remember to wipe the wires before use to remove any grit/oil from manufacture.

Also, regarding the T-pins, if you pin aggressively, be aware that the pins will easily go through your foam blocking pads. Consider what is under the foam before proceeding. I wound up adding another layer of pads underneath before setting it out on my kids' air hockey table.
Thanks for the input on the wires. If I do more knitting after this crazed bout I'll look into them. (At some point I will need to get on with my other life.) I found pinning on just two thick bath towels I had to pin in horizontally since my work table isn't a good pinning surface. But it worked and my pieces are all done!
 

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Hi Norma,

AmyKnits put me onto the interlocking pads at Harbor Freight. At $8, a real bargain. I paid $26 for a set from KnitPicks which are great if I need 1foot square pieces. The Harbor Freight pieces are four 2X2 squares to a package. And because the blocks were fairly large, I was able to pick up the interlocked pieces with the shawl attached and carefully carry it to another place out of the way.

Maureen
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
maur1011 said:
Hi Norma,

AmyKnits put me onto the interlocking pads at Harbor Freight. At $8, a real bargain. I paid $26 for a set from KnitPicks which are great if I need 1foot square pieces. The Harbor Freight pieces are four 2X2 squares to a package. And because the blocks were fairly large, I was able to pick up the interlocked pieces with the shawl attached and carefully carry it to another place out of the way.

Maureen
Yes, I looked those up yesterday and am going to order them (it says in store purchase only, but I'll call and order since the nearest store is 300 or more miles away). They are now on sale for $6.99. Oh yeah! Aren't people on here fantastic!?
 
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