Interweave Yarn Hacks: Blocking Mats
Blocking mats are a pretty essential tool in the knitting and crochet toolbox. You can get away without one for a little while, but that won’t last long if you enjoy making sweaters, lace projects, or basically an infinite number of other things that should be blocked in order to get the best finished object. Fortunately, there are some things you might have on hand already that can act as blocking mats if you don’t own any. I used a cardboard sewing pattern cutting board as a blocking mat for a while, which served me fairly well. I had to put towels on top of it under the project that was blocking, and eventually it did become too warped to use any longer, but it did the job while it was employed!
In this Yarn Hack, we explore some other items that can pass themselves off as blocking mats. These things you may have on hand already, or you will be able to find for cheap in a pinch. The first of these items is modular foam garage mats. You can find these through several online auto retail shops, and you only need a couple or three for a wide variety of projects. Since they’re modular, you can put them together in a few different layouts as your needs demand. Next, and very similarly, you can use foam nursery mats. These can come in the bigger mat size similar to the garage mats or smaller sizes which can be more easily manipulated into different shapes as needed. And yes, many come with numbers or animals on them, which can be either super fun or super weird, depending on who you are.
Do you have an old yoga mat you don’t use anymore? Or do you have one you use but don’t mind if it has pin holes in it? It’s a thinner material than the foam mats mentioned above, but it will work and keep the surface underneath dry. Lastly in the video, we used a sun shade, which works a little better than I thought it would. Because they fold up like an accordion, you may want to weigh down the edges or corners somehow, depending on how well the wet project is holding it down. But the pins stay in the shade really well, and this is something you can grab out of your car or get at your local drug store for probably five dollars.
There are a decent amount of household materials that can double for blocking mats in a quick pinch. What have you used as an improvised blocking mat?
The Yarn Hacks Team