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 Blocking boards vs mats
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Joydow
New Pal

0 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2010 :  11:02:31 AM  Show Profile Send Joydow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Does anyone have an opinion on blocking board or a mat. Which one do you like better?

GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2010 :  11:21:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have the large blocking board which is sold in several places on the internet.

I use it
-for blocking my handknits in preparation for seaming
-for my storebought knits to finish drying
-for measuring the pieces of my handknits. The difference in accuracy of laying the pieces on top of the grid vs. measuring with a tape is amazing. I can finally correctly measure a curved armhole.
-as a tabletop when I am sewing the pieces of a sweater
-sometimes as a background for photographing FO's

I can't even think of all the ways I use it but I rarely put it away anymore.

Using the grid I was able to get perfect squares without bothering to measure with a ruler when I made the mitered squares blankets, granny squares blanket, and Babette blanket. That alone was worth having this board.

I would not want to be without the blocking board. It's big enough for what I make, it's portable, it requires no set-up, I never have to put my knitting on the floor or bed to block, yadda yadda yadda.



GFTC of NYC
my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry
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anderknit
Permanent Resident

USA
2600 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2010 :  4:16:06 PM  Show Profile Send anderknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have both the blocking board and a set of interlocking mats (from Toys R Us). The board is great for all the reasons GFTC mentioned. At this point, I only use the mats for blocking long scarves that don't fit on the board.

And by the way, for drying sweaters and socks (that don't need to be blocked) after they have been hand washed, I use a huge, cheap vinyl tablecloth that I picked up on sale at BB&B.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' "
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Joydow
New Pal

0 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2010 :  4:38:20 PM  Show Profile Send Joydow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you I think I will save up my money and buy the large blocking board. It sounds well worth the investment.
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1790 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2010 :  9:26:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
GFTC, what is the price on your board?

Ceil

Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2010 :  9:42:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ceil, they are usually around $80. I've read online that Joann's has coupons that you can use so you can get it for 40% off if you wait for one of their deals to come up.

I bought mine from Knitpicks years ago when they still carried it. I remember it being around $80 but the shipping was free.

GFTC of NYC
my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry
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NutmegOwl
Gabber Extraordinaire

580 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2010 :  10:25:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit NutmegOwl's Homepage Send NutmegOwl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I made my blocking board with a huge artist's canvas, cotton batting and gingham fabric printed with 1 x 1 squares. And a staple gun. Works great for everything but shawls.

-----
Nutmeg Owl
Quaecumque sunt vera
http://www.owlwaysknitting.wordpress.com
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cpknits
Chatty Knitter

USA
300 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2010 :  4:20:14 PM  Show Profile Send cpknits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have to confess. I have two large blocking boards (added a 2nd last year). I love using them for all of the reasons stated above. I bought a 2nd one so I could put them side by side to block larger projects. I've had so many hand dyed yarns where the dye has run that I was afraid to use a sheet over my carpet for blocking. Plus, I really wanted a 2nd one so I splurged. Don't regret it.

Carol, Wisconsin
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marthamarques
New Pal

6 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2010 :  04:46:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit marthamarques's Homepage Send marthamarques a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use a blocking board made out of two sheets of that 2 1/2 inch thick pink insulation board (Home Depot) cut to length and fit together. Then we duct taped the seam. Then I padded it with poly quilt batt and covered it with linen. It's light weight, 5 feet square and I can use it leaned against the wall as a design board or laid on any table or surface as a blocking board. Pins stick into it easily. And it cost about $25 for the insulation board and materials.
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daveywavey
New Pal

19 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2010 :  05:16:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit daveywavey's Homepage Send daveywavey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also use a large blocking board. Having the grid pattern is so important when adding that finishing touch to a sweater or anything else. I know everything is balanced and shaped correctly. The grid makes it easy. I also pinned a clear plastic tarp over mine to protect it.
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crc532
New Pal

USA
25 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2010 :  05:41:39 AM  Show Profile Send crc532 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have the large blocking board also. I love it for all the above stated reasons. I think my knitting is much crisper because of it. I think as cpknits has done that I want another. Whenever I make a scarf, I feel like I need another one, the board isn't long enough for a scarf. I would not want to be without it.

crc
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kjelenfy
New Pal

11 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2010 :  06:53:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit kjelenfy's Homepage Send kjelenfy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a giant piece of thick corrugated cardboard that I use!
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needler
New Pal

27 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2010 :  07:25:16 AM  Show Profile Send needler a Private Message  Reply with Quote
GFTC said it all! I have the same large board and couldn't be without it. I can't crawl around on the floor anymore, so I need something at table level. I first made the padded model as previously described many years prior and that worked well too. The large board, though is lighter weight, folds in half, and has a handle for easy transport. It is well worth the $$. I see that WEBS carries them--but if Joann's has them, the coupon would be the way to go!
needler
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Luann
Permanent Resident

USA
2670 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2010 :  08:44:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit Luann's Homepage Send Luann a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We have an old futon couch in the basement, which is my blocking board of choice. Best of all it is right underneath the intake vent for the dehumidification system, so things dry extra fast! Before this setup became available, I dreamed of a blocking board, and in a perfect world I'd have on of those myself, with the preprinted grid on it. Maybe I should find a fitted sheet with a 1-inch grid pattern...

Luann

Knit and let knit!
http://www.luannocracy.blogspot.com
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2010 :  09:47:37 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use a cutting board designed for sewing. It is made of very heavy cardboard and folds for storage. I've used one for over 20 years so they are durable enough. There are two sizes and the small one is large enough for most things. It is not waterproof but that has turned out to be an advantage. I cover it with plastic, usually a white garbage bag split along the side. The grid will show through these white bags and I can make marks on the bags wheneveer I need them. I think they sell for about $20, but I got mint on sale at JoAnn's for $8. That's right, not $80, $8. Another favorite blocking tool is heavy weight fishing line. By placing it along an inside edge, you can use a few pins instead of a lot and avoid "pin marks". I especially like it when trying to pin out round objects. I will also use the cables of my round needles to pin out a smaller curve, like a collar etc.

fran

http://martianmischief.blogspot.com/
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LoplollyBlue
New Pal

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2010 :  11:34:14 AM  Show Profile Send LoplollyBlue a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting info from all. You've almost got me convinced to get the big board. However, I'm wondering if anyone has tried Knitpicks new 1 foot package of interlocking boards. Specifically, do they have any markings on them (inches, etc.). I can't tell from their picture. I was thinking about getting them even though I did get some other interlocking boards from Costco which were much larger and eventually made it to our sleeping porch floor. The Knitpick's foot-long just seemed more convenient but I do think having the lines and marks is very important!! And, by the way, I use ye old ironing board for long scarves (5 feet or so).
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
540 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2010 :  2:49:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have the KnitPicks interlocking boards and wires and have been pleased ... it's my first readymade "board" product and probably a good buy even if I decide I need the other type board later. Mine does NOT have a grid marked on the pieces, but there is a texture on one side. Since I use mine primarily for scarves, measuring is very easy with the wires down each long edge. It also worked well for the segments of a large-sized vest I knit for my husband. I do think a printed grid would be a nice addition. Maybe KnitPicks will add that in the future. I certainly would not use an iron on it, though!



Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time.
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dms-r1951
New Pal

USA
20 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2010 :  3:32:13 PM  Show Profile Send dms-r1951 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I made one from insulation board that I got from a building supply place, terry fabric underneath, and white muslin that I marked in a 1" grid. It works well unless the sweater is large. I got the KP interlocking blocks fairly recently, which I have used and like, though I need at least one more set; I also wish they had a grid! The blocking makes a big difference!

donnaknitter
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KrazyKim
Chatty Knitter

USA
240 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2010 :  3:59:31 PM  Show Profile Send KrazyKim a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a gridded canvas ironing board cover (really meant for sewing). I bought it at JoAnn's with my 40% coupon. I just put it on over my old flannel cover that the cat clawed one day. The extra padding gives me more to pin to.

Now I keep it facing the wall, so this one is safe from the cat! I like that is is long, has a one inch grid on it. It's great for scarves or afghan blocks, and can still function as an ironing board.

I block large shawls on our king size mattress, but I think I might be ordering some mounting blocks from KnitPicks soon. I like their flexibility.

Kim, Playa del Rey, CA
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KnittingKittens
Chatty Knitter

USA
173 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2010 :  6:07:24 PM  Show Profile Send KnittingKittens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use a fabric cutting table from Joanne's and a thirsty big beach towel. I pin with bright green and pink plastic T-pins if needed and believe it or not, the pins do go through the towel. I must say after reading about the beauty of blocking boards, I am tempted, very tempted!
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mimi80442
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2010 :  08:01:35 AM  Show Profile Send mimi80442 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I used the sewing cardboard mat for years and just recently purchased the Knit Picks blocking mats. They work great even with no grid marks, I just keep a tape measure or yard stick handy to measure garment. Much easier to pin knitted piece to blocking mats than cardboard! But one set of blocking boards is not enough..need two to block large items.
mimi80442
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