He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist. ~St. Francis of Assisi

May we each strive to do ALL that we do as an artist working as unto the Lord for His glory! Thanks for stopping in to visit! ~Cara Louise

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blocking- crochet, not football!

Just posted a picture of a doily-not-quite-done on my facebook page (Cara's Handcrafted Crocheted Ornaments) and received and EXCELLENT question- is the blocking necessary?

Here was my post with the photo:
"I've been crocheting with thread for a few decades now, so I have learned to remind myself that just because a crocheted piece is 'done' doesn't mean it's finished! The crocheting part of thread crochet items is the first step; washing, blocking and starching is the last step. This 'wedding lace' doily has taken every single one of my pins to hold the pretty delicate loops open so they can be lightly starched to perfection- that's a lot of pins on one piece! But oh it will be so worth it- just you wait to see. ♥ Pattern from Crochet Memories."

and my reply to the question:-
"oh, most definitely! I just buy a can of ordinary spray starch from the grocery store laundry aisle, then depending on how intricate your design is, you might be able to get away with just smoothing it into shape with your fingers and let to dry, or if more detailed like this one you'll want RUST-PROOF pins to hold it until dry.

You don't want to iron though- that smooshes the stitches, unless you can hold a steam iron just above but not touching.

Blocking makes thread crochet go from ordinary to wow!"

That, along with the size of course, is one the differences between yarn and thread crochet. Most yarn projects require perhaps only a light misting with water and a bit of tugging here and there to 'finish' them. But thread crochet definitely benefits tremendously by some careful attention and 'polishing' before proclaiming it complete. I have seen some photos of thread crochet work which hasn't had this attention to detail performed and I just want to reach through the computer and pour some LOVE onto the poor thing!

I very rarely take photos of my pieces before blocking, so I don't have much to show you by way of before and after shots, but here is one example:

Before blocking.
Note how the leaves are trying to curl,
and the loops are crooked.

After blocking-
leaves are nice and flat,
loops are all even and open.

So, PLEASE, take the time to properly finish your thread crochet pieces. You will not regret the extra time it took you.

Love and prayers,
Cara Louise

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  1. Perfect example of what it takes to raise the level of home-made to hand-made art. Love the way you phrased the critique - wanting to "pour some love" on it. Thanks for this well-written post! Perfect.

  2. This is a fantastic post, and I enjoy seeing how many pins you used in the doily. I used up everything I had with a shawl recently, and I ended up having to block it in sections. Which means it took three times as long. But it was worth every single minute.

    The best photo of all, of course, is the one with the adorable little lady bug!!!