Friday, January 29, 2010

steam blocking acrylic

1st, here is an excellent blog post about blocking acrylic.

You can block acrylic

And here is my post.

I figured I would do a more detailed post on blocking the acrylic scarves I have been making. I did another Branching Out using Caron Simply Soft in the Autumn Red color. I really like Caron SS for these as it's a lighter weight and so soft and has good drape. Fancier lace yarns and wool are also great for lacy items but you are not limited to them. They can be quite pricey and higher maintenance. And if I am to gift something to someone i want it to be easy for them to care for. I was speaking with my cousin and she agreed that if she were to receive something that took extra care she would be afraid to use it and I don't want PPL to be afraid to wear my stuff! Now I do in tend to do some fancy fiber lace but this works great till then. And let's face it, if you are on a budget acrylics are very appealing!

So here is the scarf on my dining room table straight off the needles. I did tie in my ends but that is it. It's rather scrunched up as these type of things tend to be.
Here's a closer view of the stitch pattern. Hard to see right?

Ahh, and my new toy! It works great! Conair fabric steamer There is not a brush on the head (fine for my uses) and there is not an off switch to keep the steam from flowing freely when not in use but other than that it's great!

I am using a little portable ironing board that I keep stashed next to a shelf. It has a pull out rack on the back which supports the steamer head. I don't iron (avoid it as much as possible) so this is the board I use.

As you work, you will want to stretch the fabric out with your hands. Steam and shape, steam and shape. Do not try to hold it while you are steaming or you may likely get burned!

And here I'm steaming away! Doing small segments at a time so it's easier to handle. don't move on till you are completely satisfied with the shaping of the area you are working on. Notice i'm not using pins? Don't really need them as the stam relaxes the fibers and it's easy to shape them by hand. I'm not actually touching the fiber with the steamer, I'm hovering just above it so as not to squash the yarn.

Here is a good view of a section that has been steamed against the next which has not.

And the finished scarf laying on the same table for sizing refrence. It gew quite a bit!

Closeer view of the stitches.

And as you see the steaming has not affected the drape in any way, infarct I think it made the drape better!

You can do this with a good steam iron as well. just make sure not to touch the iron to the fabric or it will melt it (acrylic is plastic after all).

Happy crafting and don't let your budget get in the way of creating beautiful things!


bethanyg said...

I've not seen blocking done with acrylic, and it looks great! Your scarf is lovely!

Jennifer said...

Thank you for posting this - it's one of those things I'm afraid to try, but it's reassuring to see others do it!