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Un Minute Kvestion!

Hola, mi amigas and amigos!

So, I moved half way across the world for educational pursuits a couple months ago, and wasn't able to bring my blocking board with me. I'm in the middle of making a shawl that would need to be blocked when it's done, and was wondering if any of you knitters/crocheters/blocking crafters had any tips, tricks or ideas that I could use as an alternative to a bona fide blocking mat? Unfortunately, I'm a poor student, and I don't happen to have a spare mattress, so I was just wondering what your experiences have been re: blocking without a mat.

I just figured it might be a good idea to ask the community before I go out and buy a blocking board that's only going to get one or two uses before I have to stow/sell/pass on when the semester ends!

Thanks for all your help in advance! =D


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 7th, 2014 01:43 am (UTC)
Granted, I only blocked smaller things like doilies and the like...but I had a saran wrapped covered hunk of styrofoam that I used to block things with.

Would that work for your needs?
Feb. 7th, 2014 07:23 am (UTC)
That could work! The only problem I can foresee is that it's quite a big project, so I'd need a lot of foam and saran wrap. It's a possibility, though: thanks for suggesting it! =]
Feb. 7th, 2014 01:51 am (UTC)
I am kinda ashamed to admit, but I just put a big towel on a floor and use it to block things with pins.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 7th, 2014 03:15 am (UTC)
Feb. 7th, 2014 03:08 am (UTC)
This, if you have carpeting you can anchor the towel into the carpet and the shawl onto the towel with t-pins.
Feb. 7th, 2014 03:14 am (UTC)
Oh, yes, I would not do it with a hardwood floor.
Feb. 7th, 2014 03:56 pm (UTC)
On a hardwood floor, I would just put something heavy-ish on the corners of the towel and pin the shawl to the towel, no problem! You just want to make sure you have enough fabric underneath to absorb all the water without soaking through to your wood floors. I find a layer of old jeans under the towel works well.
Feb. 7th, 2014 07:29 am (UTC)
I might try that! That was my method all last year, and I quickly found out that the carpet here is a lie: it's just a millimetre of very-well trodden fabric that covers really hard flooring, haha. I don't think I could feel my fingers for a couple hours after I was done each time. =P
Still, it's an option! Thanks for the suggestion! =]
Feb. 7th, 2014 07:31 am (UTC)
Hey, no shame! I did that last year when I was here, and it's cheaper than actually buying a mat! If it works for you, it works for you! Thanks for the suggestion!
Feb. 7th, 2014 02:11 pm (UTC)
Feb. 7th, 2014 02:53 am (UTC)
I really like the puzzle-piece "fatigue flooring" that you can get at hardware stores/Costco. It's not very expensive, and it stores in a smaller space than many blocking mats. I got mine from Knit Picks here: Knit Picks Blocking Mats. You can get a similar product from Home Depot here: Home Depot Interlocking Foam Mats.

All of my Knit Picks blocking stuff fits in the small tub I use for soaking things, so it's pretty compact for storage purposes.

...aaaand just noticed you're not in the US. So, Knit Picks is out, but you should still be able to go to a hardware store and get the other kind of matting. Alternatively, look for the brightly-colored foam puzzle matting that is recommended for kids' rooms. Good luck!
Feb. 7th, 2014 07:27 am (UTC)
Hey, thanks for the suggestions! That's what I use at home, too, and I was thinking of looking for something similar here, but there aren't very many shops like back home that would sell them locally, if any at all. I know there's a Toys-R-Us about an hour away, so if I get desperate, that might be my solution. Thanks again!
Feb. 7th, 2014 10:34 am (UTC)
Try Amazon for whatever country you are in and look for play mats. They are cheap and come apart into squares and they get delivered right to your door.
Feb. 7th, 2014 08:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I might do that if I can't find something that isn't cheaper. We'll see how fussed I get with any alternative ideas, haha. =P
I hadn't even considered ordering online, though.
Feb. 7th, 2014 03:34 pm (UTC)
Kids play mats or the travelling ironing mat work well as substitutes. Or you could simply place a blanket or two over a table and fasten them down so that you can then pin the shawl to them and simply wash them afterward.
Feb. 7th, 2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, I hadn't even thought about an ironing mat! I think I may have one of those, even if it isn't big. As long as the majority of it's covered, I could use a towel to substitute the uncovered parts! Thanks! =D
Feb. 7th, 2014 07:07 pm (UTC)
Big cardboard box.
Feb. 7th, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
Also a good suggestion! I'll definitely consider that I do happen to have a box that would potentially be tall/wide enough if I disassembled it! And I could lay down garbage bags on top or something so it didn't soak through. Thanks for the idea! =D
Feb. 8th, 2014 12:45 pm (UTC)
I am no help - just waving hi and wishing you good luck on the blocking!!

Feb. 8th, 2014 08:21 pm (UTC)
No worries, it's all good! Hi! And thanks! Luckily, I won't need to block until at least mid March, so I've got time to find a solution. And actually finish this shawl, haha.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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