View Full Version : Blocking mats, what to buy?
04-17-2010, 06:06 PM
I am in the process of making my first sweater. Due in large part to the wonderful projects I see here!
I saw in ArtLady's post, she has the KnitPicks block style mats and also another mat with a grid on it.
Anyway, I would like to buy some blocking mats and would like some opinions from you all.
04-17-2010, 08:47 PM
I currently use a sewing board- big cardboard thing with lots of measurements on it. It works just ok, warps when I mist pieces and the pins tend to go through and stick to the bed spread if I am too lazy to lay it out on the table! It was an attempt to get something cheap (ya get what ya pay for) and as soon as I can I intend to get the ones from knit picks.
04-18-2010, 12:11 AM
I have the Knit Picks blocking mats and love them. They are great because they piece together and store easily.
04-18-2010, 01:15 AM
Lowe's (and probably Home Depot) carry those interlocking block mats. I bought mine (the kind with alphabet letters cut out on them!) for under $17 for 26 of them (12" x 12" each) at Lowe's about a year and a half ago. I believe they're exactly the same spongy material as the high dollar ones and they're great for pinning stuff for blocking.
They have them plain colored but in the set I bought the alphabet letters in the blocks can come out and I sometimes use them when I need to extend the blocks for longer pieces (like afghans). I can separate the "letters" to fill in blank spaces in the center and use the square parts to lengthen the pinning surface around the edges.
Also, if you go to a welding supply place and ask for stainless steel "tig" rods you can get a bunch of them, about 30 or so, each 3' long in a plastic tube for about $16. These are AWESOME for blocking things. About an inch or so of each end is flattened so it's easy to thread through the pieces you're blocking without snags.
And all so economical, the whole set-up for under $34.00
Hope this helps!
04-18-2010, 07:53 AM
I bought a yoga mat at Wal-mart for about $7. It works great for smaller projects (only unroll it partway), and for scarves. You'd need something larger for a sweater.
You can get a set of 4 of the larger foam "puzzle type" mats at places like Wal-mart for about $20. Since the ones from Knitpicks are about the same price, and allow more flexible shapes, I'd probably just go with those. (KP = 9 sq' and Walmart= 16 sq')
People also make their own with things from Home Depot. I particularly liked one idea that included gingham fabric--so you have squares printed right there to keep things straight. (No idea on cost)
04-18-2010, 10:19 AM
I bought those alpha mats at Toys R Us - very economical and they work fine. :)
04-18-2010, 10:36 AM
Like Ruthie, I use those interlock boards because they are very, very cheap at the local hardware stores. I also use them to make yard decorations for the holidays.
Jan in CA
04-18-2010, 11:45 AM
I use the Knitpicks blocking mats, too. :thumbsup:
04-19-2010, 01:41 AM
You guys have so many great suggestions! I had wondered about the interlocking pieces from the hardware stores and the kids blocks also. They do look like the ones from KnitPicks. I will check those out next time I'm in town.
I like the idea of the "tig" rods. That seems like it would be much more economical than the lace blocking stuff I've seen.
I'm working on the fronts of my sweater, so I don't need this immediately, but I want to buy them in the next couple of weeks, so I'm all ready when my sweater is done.
Thanks for all of the great ideas!
04-19-2010, 04:34 PM
I splurged and bought the Knitter's Block kit. It comes with an instruction folder, 9 12" square interlocking blocking tiles, T-pins, cotton pressing cloth, and carrying tote.
http://www.cocoknits.com This site also has a Blocking Tutorial.
04-19-2010, 10:04 PM
when i block smaller things (like socks) I take my cork board, put a white towel over it and pin the items into shape (using rust proof pins, can pick those up in the sewing section at joanns) on it then put it in my "wind tunnel" (aka: my craft room that's supposed to be a sun room... it's about 9 by 12 and has a full sized ceiling fan that when on high, becomes a wind tunnel... can also get quite warm in there in the summer so it becomes perfect for blocking or drying fabric that i don't want to throw in the dryer)
I have yet to make anything larger... however, i now have our old diningroom table in there that i can spread things out on (it's currently my cutting table)