Building a blocking board
July 12, 2010
While this was not my intended topic for today, a recent project has brought blocking to the surface again. My Wisp is coming to the final few repeats and I will need to block it to best show my work. However, I do not have a good blocking station set up yet. I bounce from one location to another trying to find the sweet spot. My mind has turned to building my own.
Many knitters are of 2 minds on blocking. Some are willing to wait an extra day or two for the best fit and presentation, while others just want to wear the darn thing already. I am understand both but I prefer to wait and block. After all that work I really do want my project to fit as the picture depicts. However, block locations are not easy to come by. So knitters purchase boards or foam blocks. Others use what is to hand such as towel covered tables, mattresses and empty square of carpet (I am the carpet person and recommend you vaccum first). The block board is the best choice but can be expensive ($70-100-Yikes). However, with the right fabric--yes, fabric--you can make your own blocking board. It is relatively easy and cheap. Here is the low down.
Materials you will need:
Approx 3ft by 3ft, ½ in. thick OSB (a type of plywood)
Acoustic ceiling tiles to fit 3ft by 3ft
1 can of general spray adhesive
Cabinet handle** (Optional)
1 ½ yd of 1in. Gingham (color of your choice)
The OSB and ceiling tiles can be found at your local hardware store and you can find the gingham here. Now what you want to do is... Lay down your OSB and lay your ceiling tiles on top. Cut your ceiling tiles with scissors or electric knife to fit if needed. Once your tiles fit, apply the spray adhesive according to the directions to affix the tiles to the OSB. Next lay your gingham on top of the ceiling tiles. Take your whole blocking board sandwich and flip it over so the fabric is on bottom with the OSB on top. Straighten up your board on the fabric again if needed. Gently staple your fabric onto the back of the board starting in the center top, then the center bottom and center right and then center left (pulling your fabric taunt). Make sure to straighten after each staple if needed. Continue to add staples all around until the fabric is secure. Trim excess fabric. Add the cabinet handle as a carrying handle to one end if you so desire.
Your blocking board is now ready to use. The big 1 in. gingham squares serve as a ruler and straight edge to adjust your projects. Use with rust proof pins to secure your projects to the blocking board. For an excellent article on blocking, check out Eunny Lang's post here.
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