This Pad Is 15 Years Old…And Still Going Strong!
(You only have to buy it once; All pics enlarge).
I know there's information about blocking already. But I've decided to put my two needles in, and come up with a feel good tutorial for beginners with small spaces, budgets, amounts of time––and big fears. Now let's get busy.
Why You Need To Block
Because, it enables you to mold perfection into your piece. By the simple act of dampening and shaping your work, then letting it dry, (setting the stitches in place), you can add or subtract that little extra you need, to transform your work into the picture on your pattern, and to a perfect fit (all other things such as gauge, being equal).
What You Need To Block
If you're flush with cash: a large work table, a gridded blocking board, fork pins (you can iron over them), and a Rowenta® Professional Iron. If you're broke: A cleaned section of your carpet, or a blanket over your bed or floor. Regular pins are cool, or even a bunch of small rocks, as weights. The iron? Well, any that doesn't leak too bad, and will give you a decent amount of steam (the simple act I described in the previous paragraph is called wet blocking. It doesn't require an iron, simply a damp sponge, but it takes longer. Steam has its conveniences). Regardless of either one: a tape measure. Totally optional: blocking wires. To me, they're overkill. If you gotta have them, go to a craft shop, buy a spool, then cut the lengths you need.
Finally, and most important––you need the measurements. A good pattern will have them, along with a clear drawing, to boot. But alas, some do not; don't stress. Get your calculator, and determine the measurements from your pattern's instructions––as in x number of rows and stitches, gives you x amount of length and width. Take your time in calculating––this is not a step you want to mess up on. Write the numbers next to their corresponding parts on your diagram. Once this is done, take a deep breath, and relax. See, it wasn't that bad. Now, you're ready for part two.