I am a slatternly crocheter. In the ten years I’ve been crocheting I have never blocked my work. Not once. I’ll wash it when I’m finished, but I have never pinned it out and I’ve never seen it as a problem. Until I started crocheting snowflakes.
I’ve taken inspiration from the iMake.gg Snowflake Crochet Along and have been making lovely delicate snowflakes in spare moments in front of the telly. I bought the book (100 Snowflakes to Crochet by Caitlin Saino) but I’ve deviated from the Crochet Along a bit because I fancied a bit of a challenge. Anyway, I’ve made nine so far of varying difficulty using a 1.5mm hook and some crochet thread I had left over from a previous project. They’re quite sweet and I like the intricacy, but they turn out a really crinkly. I want to use them for something at Christmas (yes, I do realise it’s not even Easter yet) – perhaps on cards or to hang on the tree, but they need finishing properly before they can be presentable.
So I decided to finally have a go at blocking. I followed the instructions in the book and washed my snowflakes first. Not wanting to put them through the washing machine and lose them to the place where the odd socks go to die, I put them in a tupperware box with a bit of liquid detergent and water, and shook it every time I went through the kitchen. Then I rinsed them several times in some cold water and squeezed out the excess.
In the meantime I made my blocking board. I took some of Amazon’s finest corrugated cardboard and sellotaped down the blocking templates I’d traced out of the book (you’ll see from the photo that early on my tracing was akin to that of a small, inept child). Then I wrapped it in several layers of cling film to make it waterproof and it was all ready for pinning out the snowflakes.
Now perhaps I should have tested it out first for potential rusting, but I used thumb tacks rather than dressmakers’ pins because I didn’t want to blunt them by sticking them in carboard. I lined up the points of each snowflake with the template, and tried to pin them out at about the same point on each spoke. It seemed to work out ok and my snowflakes remained snowy white, even though they were damp when I pinned them down. After they’d been left to dry overnight I sprayed them with starch, left them to dry a bit more and then took the pins out. The result – crisp, snowy white snowflakes, ready for hanging on the tree. In December. Nine months from now. Oh well.