Sunday, July 15, 2007

How to make your own blocking boards

Aren't they pretty? I made two.

I made a few changes/deviations from the Knitty tutorial.

Firstly, I didn't use linen tape. I forgot to check at Joann's, and that seemed like something Joann's would have. I used a clear tape to coat all the edges, and I used duct tape on the sides (to stick the fabric to). After all, you're trying to save money, so why go buy different tape when you have something that will work?

Secondly, I used Soundboard rather than homasote. Soundboard is what a lot of hardware stores, including Lowes use instead of homasote. It has the same exact properties, but instead of paying $23 for a board, you pay $8. Plus, a lot of places don't even carry homasote.

I used wood glue instead of a glue stick. Again, use any sticky glue you have on hand. I didn't use much of it though, only on the smooth side of the duct tape so the corners didn't roll up.

None of the very little bit of glue I used ever touched the fabric. (I used duct tape, who needs glue? That stuff will stick to ANYTHING, including the staple gun).

Lastly, we used a manual staple gun. I don't recommend this. The sheer amount of hand pressure/strength that is required to set those staples in deep enough is pretty high. Also, you use a lot of staples, and the sheer repetition will get your hand pretty sore. I would have had to go get an automatic staple gun except that my father volunteered to staple them for me. He was a blessing, as I definitely would have had needed to buy an electric one otherwise.

- Definitely iron and starch the gingham, I'm very glad I did.
- Have someone at the hardware store cut the board. If you don't you can also cut it with a carpet cutter. (But they have the T boards to get a perfectly straight line)
- Blocking knitted garments on boards and more specifically boards with lines is so much easier than using towels.
- The staples blend in a lot better than I thought they would, mainly because they're sunk in far enough to the board. (If yours don't sink in far enough, do like I did and take a popsickle stick and a hammer and place the popsickle stich on the staple lengthwise and hammer it down a little farther. You'd be amazed at the difference this makes.)
- You use a LOT of staples
- Make sure to run your hands over the gingham once it is taped to the board and get any wrinkles/loose parts out. You want the gingham to be tightly yet comfortably stretched across the board


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