How to use Scheepjes Blocking Board for knit or crochet motifs

There's a lot to be said for items made from motifs. Motifs make a project more portable, can be a great way to combine colours, and there's a sense of accomplishment every time one of the individual shapes is complete. Joining motifs together is much easier if they have been blocked but it can be frustrating and time consuming to pin out lots of small squares or triangles, (or whatever shape you're making) so that they are all the same size...until now. Scheepjes kindly sent me one of their new blocking boards (I prefer the Dutch name - "Grannyblokspanner") to try out, in return for my honest feedback. After playing around with it, here are my initial thoughts and some tips on how to use it. Affiliate links are included, images used with permission of Scheepjes.
Scheepjes Blocking Board for knit and crochet motifs reviewed on Crafts from the Cwtch
The quantity of motifs shown is for illustration purposes - see notes below
Each 30cm square wooden blocking board is a sturdy 2.54 cm thick and comes with a set of eight pins (extra sets of four can be purchased separately if you're blocking unusual shapes) which can be screwed into the board in a variety of configurations and sizes. 

THE PROs: 
Compared with using a foam blocking board and pins, this is much more reliable and easy to set up and as the steel pins have a smooth plastic coating, they won't snag your work in the way that T-pins can.

It's also possible to block multiple motifs simultaneously without needing a lot of space. The pins are incredibly strong and measure over 10cm each, so you can block multiple motifs without them bowing inwards at the top - in other words, the motifs will still be the same size when you remove them (lighter weight materials and pins that pull inwards at the top is a complaint I've heard about some other boards, and something that this brand specifically set out to address).

THE CONs: 
With a definitive number of pin slots, not all shapes can be blocked to all sizes. For a typical 'granny square' project this shouldn't be a big problem, but I'd recommend checking suitability for a specific project if the motifs aren't square.

This isn't a big deal for most projects, but if motifs are closely-worked from fine yarn, you may see a small opening in the fabric where the pin has been, after the motif is removed from the board. 

Scheepjes Grannyblokspanner blocking board reviewed on Crafts from the Cwtch blog
Photo Credit: Tatsiana 
HOW TO USE: 
STEP 1. Select the shape you wish to block your motifs, and screw the correct number of pins into the required formation (as per examples above).

STEP 2. Ensure the size is appropriate to 'open' the work out to the correct measurement / required visual effect - blocking is about opening the stitches out in a uniform way.

STEP 3. Soak a few motifs in your favourite wool wash, and gently squeeze out excess water using a towel (see my 'blocking basics' tutorial here if you haven't done this before) then place them onto the pins, leaving space between individual motifs. ** Don't put too many on the board at the same time, or they won't dry very quickly! **

STEP 4. Leave to thoroughly dry - resist the temptation to remove them any sooner!

STEP 5. When the motifs are dry, either remove them to block more, or you can store them on the pins until they are needed. If so, the dry motifs can be stacked closer together as in the first image above. 

For the right project, and especially if you make a lot of squares, this is an essential piece of kit.  If you are going to be joining in with the next Scheepjes CAL (more on that coming soon), or were tempted by the lovely Lydia blanket I shared earlier this week, this could be a perfect accompaniment. The boards (HERE) and extra pins (HERE) if you need them, are available to order now from Deramores who offer free shipping for this item within the UK and very reasonable flat rate international shipping if you're further afield. 

UPDATE: Wool Warehouse are also stocking the boards in the UK - find them here

6 comments

  1. I've found you again! Not that you were ever lost but I think I might have been. Actually I was looking at the Simplicity pattern 1080 from Dottie Angel and up came your blog! It was awhile ago that you were sewing but thought I would see how it all went? I am looking for new "retirement style/uniform" besides my sweats etc. I am very active but love color and patterns and thought with some leggings I could make myself a little cuter. Plus, I have the heart of a pioneer. How did your wardrobe come out? I am looking for more patterns as I need at least 3/4 sleeves. I will go down memory lane in our archives. I will follow you if I can but I don't do the email signups as I really don't go in my email much.....FB has taken over my life.
    I love the blocking boards from Deramores and I have an order winging or sailing it's way to me now as I ordered the yarns for Frida's Bag....a free pattern from Stylecraft. Have you seen it? So cute! Anyway, I will put your url on my list of blogs so I don't lose you again. So good to reconnect! Toodles!

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    1. Hi! It's so lovely to 'see' you again! I must confess that I am yet to make the Dottie Angel dress but only this week I was thinking about it - it's the sunshine, it's making me want pretty tunics again! Like you I want to improve my 'uniform' which mostly consists of leggings and comfy dresses. I am wearing the 'trace a t-shirt' dress I sewed last year ALL THE TIME and totally need to make more of those too. I'm not sure where my sewing desire went, but I think it was the bad weather making me want to snuggle up and knit instead and I put the machine away! Once the Easter holidays are out of the way the machine is getting set up on my desk again and it'll be much easier. Now to find some fabric!

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  2. I HAVE JUST RETURNED THIS BLOCKING BOARD I THOUGHT IT WAS POOR QUALITY AND RATHER ROUGHLY MADE

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    1. Oh no! Did you get a replacement? I wonder if you somehow got a "dud"?!?

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  3. Hi - I have just ordered and received the blocking board to block my Dance on the Beach CAL squares. They need to be blocked at 7 inches square but I simply cannot seem to get that to work ie make a 7 inch square with the pegs. I don't know if I'm being stupid but there seem to be gaps where the obvious 7 inches should be? Can you help. I feel so disappointed as I was very much looking forward to getting this sorted. By the way I ordered my board form Woolwarehouse. Thanks. SARAH

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    1. Hi. No problem. I haven't blocked mine yet but spoke to my pals and you just need to turn it to the diagonal. So the lines of holes are pointing to the corners and the crochet and pegs make a straight-on square. If that doesn't make sense, send me an email and I'll send a pic.

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