Blocking knit/crochet pieces-wires or pins?

I am working on a couple crochet afghans from Annie’s Crochet sampler kits and will have about 30 squares each for blocking. Each square is supposed to block to about 9.5 inches square and I have a blocking mat with markings that I just bought, but I am wondering if either of you use the blocking wires or the blocking combs (with rectangular plastic shape and multiple pins in each piece). It seems like the blocking wires would be quicker and easier to keep the edges straight and not so wavy. What are your “yays” and “nays” about these tools? Up until now, I’ve used T-pins, but it takes a ton of them for larger pieces like shawls and it’s hard to keep the edges nice and straight. Also, it seems like the wires or the blocking combs would be much more time efficient! I’d love your thoughts!

(Pics are for reference only–both the wires and the “combs” are Knitpicks brand and we are an affiliate of theirs, although it seems the combs are only available thru their affiliates, like Amazon and Paradise Fibers. The wires can be bought from the Knitpicks site or from the Woolery–both affiliates of FK)

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I’m sorry I can’t help since I’ve only used the pins. I have been eyeing the blocking combs so I’m interested in seeing any responses from those who have tried them.

I have never used the combs. but I have used pins and makeshift blocking wires (long circular knitting needles in small sizes) I’ve found the “wires” are the easiest and fastest way to block strait edges for me.

Okay, I never thought of using the knitting needles! I would have a “few” of those on hand! Even just thin long straight metal needles would probably work for those squares. I bet I could find plenty of them at the 2nd-hand store in town! Thanks for that suggestion. I love finding “hacks” like that to save $$$!

I know some people who do a lot of squares use a “jig”–like a board with pegs on the corners that fit the size of the square they want. I don’t know if anyone sells them, they probably just make them, Then you maybe gently steam on the jig and let it air dry.
I’m starting a CAL for a Summertime Afghan and will be joining in the crochet square fun as soon as I finish my Wip.

A jig wouldn’t be bad idea! Especially for so many squares.

That’s the word I was looking for, jig. I think if you get some of those interlocking foam mat blocks and use a ruler and a carpenter’s square or rafter square for the right angles to measure out a square on the foam and mark it out. Then on one side take the t pins and push them through the foam in alignment with the square you drew on the foam. Depending on how many squares, you could make up a bunch of foam squares like this in whatever size you need. Hopefully that makes sense. I’ve been trying to figure out how to describe this. I haven’t made this myself yet, but this is how I’d do it.

I got one of these at the quilting shop where the FK retreat is hosted in Danville, IL. I was thinking it would work well for blocking, but then I only have 1 of them. I do have some foam plain interlocking mats that I could use, though, if I wanted to do more than one of them at a time. It also has circles on the other side for round projects.




I’ve seen lots of people use the interlocking foam boards for blocking knitting and crochet. As long as you can easily push a pin into them and a damp project won’t damage it, I don’t see why the foam mats wouldn’t work. :woman_shrugging: