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Did You Know?... Shaping and Blocking Crochet

Liz Field

The final step to completing your fine thread crochet piece is shaping and blocking. This gives a neat finish and a symmetrical look to your work. The equipment needed is relatively basic and readily available for the task ­ Water or stiffener, pins and a place to work.

The type of pins you use are important. They need to be rust-proof. Regular pins can leave rust stains on your work.

The working area you need should be large enough to accommodate the size of the project. If space is a premium, a portable surface that can be moved to an out-of-the-way location is ideal.

A sheet of Styrofoam or cardboard covered with plastic wrap are the easiest to work with. I've used my ironing board many times.

For shaping crochet pieces, use Styrofoam balls or cones covered with plastic wrap. Foam now comes in a variety of shapes. It can also be cut and trimmed to just what you need. Your kitchen also has a wide variety of shaping tools ­ bowls, plates, vases, bottle caps. Even the plastic wrap itself can be wadded up and tucked into the crochet piece to get the shape you want.

For a crisper finish on your doilies, a light spray starch or stiffener diluted with water using a 50-50 ratio can be applied during blocking.