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Old 07-09-2008, 12:19 PM   #1
Tropicflower24
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Blocking acrylics???
Okay, my randomness poncho was knitted with TONS of different types of acrylic, many mystery skeins. I know one of the labels said it was "auto blocking" and you just got it wet, crumpled it up and it would block. Is this true? How do you recommend blocking this, or is acrylic that important to block?

I knit with a lot of wool and cotton..... And tho I use acrylics, I don't always blocks the items, and I never have used so many yarns in one pattern before.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:31 PM   #2
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Blocking acrylic does help it a little to look more professional. I didn't think so, but tried it on a little sweater once and I was glad I did.

I would prefer to lay the poncho out flat, as nicely as you can and just spray it with water until it is damp and then let it dry. You can pin it out if you want, but you may not need to, you can't really change the shape with acrylic, it just helps to even out stitches and make it look nicer. Sometimes I use table knives (stainless steel knives like you would use at the table to butter your bread), and lay them along an edge that might need it for whatever reason.

You can wet the poncho, but when wet it will tend to sag and stretch and if you work with it dry and spay it I find it easier.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:36 PM   #3
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You can pin it out if you want, but you may not need to, you can't really change the shape with acrylic, it just helps to even out stitches and make it look nicer.
Washing in the machine and lightly drying will do this too. You can take it out of ihe dryer while still damp and lay it out flat.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:50 PM   #4
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We don't have a washer and dryer...... Well we do but we don't have water to get to them. But that is a looooonnng story.

So spraying it after I lay it flat? I'll take over our trampoline as soon as I get it finished, and if mom will let me borrow some butter knives I will use that..... I was wondering how to block it so my edges would lay flat..... Thanks for the tips! I will be using the washer and dryer one soon hopefully, as we are getting water soon, and I'll be making another poncho for my sister. (shudder. Why do I torture myself so????) LOL
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:05 PM   #5
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I steam block acrylics (and everything or I find excuses not to block), but I don't think I would do that with random types in one piece. They don't all react to the high heat the same and it would probably be impossible to do a test swatch.
If they're all machine wash/dry that is all I would do. The first time either take it out damp and lay it flat or take it out warm (don't run it through the cool down cycle) and lay it flat.

You probably should test swatch the mystery skeins, they may not take hot water or hot drying.
I didn't believe the label on a nylon blend and my disbelief turned a 2 year old sweater into a 1 year old sweater (luckily I had sweaters planned for both, but the 1yo probably won't get much use out of the now thick sweater living in SC).

If you have a single yarn acrylic piece you can change the shape with steam and it does hold. Steam also does what some term "kills" the acrylic. But IMO that makes the acrylic drape like more expensive natural fibers rather than "hard" acrylic.

The importance depends on what you desire (different blocking has different effects) and the piece (steam blocking an acrylic blanket with curled edges will calm it down a lot faster than washing and drying).
When I had my recently finished cardigan pinned together with the body blocked and the arms not blocked the unblocked arms were not something I would want to wear while the body felt good.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:31 PM   #6
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Hmm..... Well, again we don't have a washer set up..... I really don't know how to swatch in time.... Is that nessasary? I'm supposed to give it to my friend tonight, and, well.... it isn't done yet. So is swatching mandatory? I know I should have tested it in the beginning...... But I'm sorta a reckless knitter. LOL
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:45 PM   #7
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It's too late for swatching, you do that before beginning. So just wash it by hand (use soap or detergent lightly) and lay it out to dry, it'll be fine.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:57 PM   #8
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Thank you for the information everyone!!!

I know.... (((blush))) I really should have swatched..... but I am REALLY bad about doing that. I started a project where gauge really mattered, and I was like, 1/4 finished..... Uh oh..... I forgot again... (Thankfully my gauge was right!)
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Old 07-09-2008, 02:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tropicflower24
I really don't know how to swatch in time.... Is that nessasary?
Not if you're spritzing and handwashing. You can't get more gentile care than that.

But it's a good idea before putting heat to mystery yarns and could help you decide which method of blocking you want to use (but it sounds like you don't have many blocking options available).

You can swatch not only to check your gauge before starting but you can swatch to test the yarn to see how it reacts to handling and different blocking methods.
You don't want to put heat to a finished object and find out that it shrinks or grows, better to find that out with a swatch.
Or if you're anti-pill it's better to find that out with one skein and some abuse testing rather than after 10-15 skeins and a lot of work. (I don't care about pills so if a swatch survives steaming and washing once I'm good to go.)

Originally Posted by suzeeq
It's too late for swatching, you do that before beginning.
Although it's good to do before you decide on what your gauge will be after abusing the finished project you can swatch with any extra yarn after it's done to see how it will react to different blocking.

I sure wish I would've steamed a swatch of the Lazy Daisy before doing the front and back panels.
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Old 07-09-2008, 02:20 PM   #10
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Although it's good to do before you decide on what your gauge will be after abusing the finished project you can swatch with any extra yarn after it's done to see how it will react to different blocking.
Yes, that's true, helps to determine what will work.
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