If you’ve been around other crocheters or knitters for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard of blocking. And if you’ve heard about blocking, you’ve probably heard some rumors that may or may not be completely true. Have you heard this one? “Don’t ever try blocking your projects made out of acrylic yarn—you’ll kill it!” Even if you look up articles on the internet, you may find statements like that.
Let me just tell you right now: that is NOT true. It IS possible to block acrylic! It requires a bit of a different method than natural fibers, but it turns out every bit as good. And actually, its pretty fun to do.
Trust me. I have done this personally, and it works. Curious? Read on to find out how.
You can block your acrylic projects using an AMAZING technique called Steam Blocking. This method uses steam to “iron” out your stitches and force them to lay flat, without actually touching the yarn.
It is actually pretty fun to watch this in action!
In fact, if you want to see me explain the steps in 30 seconds, watch my new video tutorial below! Or, keep scrolling to learn the 4 easy steps to blocking acrylic yarn.
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Back to the topic at hand – the reason people can be wary of this method is because if you touch the iron to your project, you can actually melt the yarn. This is often called “killing” your project, and it is essentially because acrylic yarn is made out of plastic. I know it sounds scary—but trust me, it is very easily avoidable. I have done this many times with regular household supplies, and I’ve never had any problem.
Softening Acrylic Yarn
In addition to blocking NOT being a bad thing…on the flip side it is actually a very GOOD thing!
Here are the benefits to blocking your projects like I’m about to show you:
1. You’ll be able to soften the acrylic yarn. The steam causes the yarn to relax and it usually ends up MUCH softer. (Yes, red heart super saver included!!)
2. Your project will open up and be so beautiful. In the case of the shawl in the video above, the lacy section in the middle looked SO much better after it was blocked.
Steam Blocking Acrylic Projects
- Pins (optional)
- Iron with a steam setting
Lay your project out on a towel or blocking boards. If it needs to be stretched drastically (like lace), you will definitely want to pin it down. However, with some projects pinning isn’t necessary. If your project isn’t lace, you shouldn’t need to pin it down. If it is made out of a heavier weight yarn, like worsted weight, you also probably don’t need to pin.
Prepare your iron. Fill it with water, set it to the “steam” setting, and let it heat up.
Hover the iron over your project. Do not EVER touch the iron to the crocheting. Like I said before, the yarn will melt if it touches the iron. However, you still have to hover the iron at least an inch above your project. As long as the iron never physically touches the yarn, you’ll be fine. You can get as close to your project as you want, but be careful.
Don’t be shy with the steam, but let it keep going until your project is damp. After this, remove the pins. (If you didn’t pin your project down, you’re all done!)
And that is all there is to blocking acrylic! Once you try this method, you will never go back! It it so fun to watch the steam envelope the stitches…and then pull your project up and find it perfectly blocked!