Until about 10 years ago, when I first learned how to knit (shhhh; don't tell anyone), I never blocked anything. If something didn't turn out quite the way I expected, I just assumed the fault was mine. Mostly, I made afghans and baby blankets anyway, so I felt that blocking wasn't critical.
Once I learned to needlepoint and to knit, I realized that the benefits of blocking are universal. Not everything needs to be blocked. But in general - even if it doesn't seem necessary, I block. Block first, ask questions later. Recently, I've been working on designing some unique motifs of my very own.
I've already posted pictures of my first three, but I confess I wasn't very happy with the way they turned out. Why, I wondered, do the motifs in books and on other websites look so wonderful, when these look so sloppy? Am I really just not a very good crocheter after all? Have I been fooling myself? Should I send my "Master Crocheter" certificate back to the CGOA?
Then it hit me -- with various family members in and out of the hospital, building a business, out-of-town company and a host of other events, I'd forgotten (or let's be honest - I'd neglected) to block my new motifs.
So - for the benefit of you still skeptics, let me just say that blocking your work will make a huge difference in its quality and appeal. Don't believe me? Take a look at these before and after pictures.
|After Blocking - Pretty nice, huh?|
|Blocking creates nice, crisp edges and defines the shape. I deliberately pulled the corners out a little extra to give a curve to the sides.|
|Before blocking the motif is blocked, you can see the rounded corners and uneven appearance, and notice how the hexagon is slanting in one direction. Sloppy!|
The Double Shamrock Hexagon
After blocking. It needs a little work, but has pretty even sides,
and the double shamrock center is clearly visible.
|Using blocking wires, rather than pins might have resulted in an even better appearance.|
|Before blocking - uneven and lumpy. Not so good.|
The Four-Leaf Clover Square
|After blocking - nice crisp edges and flat sides. Looks like a square!|