I decided to snap some pictures today while I steam-blocked some acrylic lace. Well, acrylic/wool blend; this is Encore yarn.
This is the quickest/easiest way I know of to block acrylic yarn and make it behave properly. It’s also the way to “kill” acrylic, should you hold the steam on a little longer.
With this piece of lace, I chose to block it while it was still on the needles – since I needed to graft it closed. Much easier to steam while it’s still flat! You’ll also see that I slipped the first stitch on the right side purl-wise, with the yarn in back, to create a chain along the top to sew the piece to my finished object.
Using my blocking wires (mine made by my husband, but you can pick up some at this non-affiliate link) I picked up the top of each stitch, all along the length of my lace.
This step isn’t necessary, but it made my blocking time a little more fun.
Once the cat and I got the top on the wires, I ran another wire through the bottom points.
Next it was off to my blocking surface, otherwise known as my bed. Yes, I have blocking mats. Yes, my adorable cats discovered them, before I realized they had, and now I have blocking mats that have done double-duty as the world’s most desirable scratching surface. So the bed, it was!
Using T-pins, I stretched the lace in place until it was the shape I wanted.
Note: If you are blocking a natural fiber, this is the same process…except you’ll need to wet your item thoroughly first, and you won’t need steam. Just pin and dry!
Then, I held my steam wand close but not touching the yarn, and watched as the fibers relaxed.
Once I completed steaming the piece, I removed the pins and the wires. See how nicely the lace opened? The steam will also help set it, so that it shouldn’t need to be re-blocked.
That’s really all there is to it; it’s super-simple!
Here’s my grafted lace – not my finest work, as when I did the provisional cast-on I forgot the pattern started with yarn-overs in the first row. But it’s ok, it’s at the back of the piece 😉
And here is the project I needed the lace for:
Any questions? Feel free to drop them in the comments below!