9.30.2015

Stiffening Your Adornaments!

I promised you all a blog post with details about how to block and stiffening your Adornament Stars; Stello, Stellita and Astellar.  All three of these patterns are knit with mercerized perle cotton and need to be blocked and stiffened so they hang beautifully. Since a photo is worth a thousand words just look at the difference blocking makes:
 Basically, lace looks like crap until you block it!

I’ve played with many options for stiffening your ornament so it hangs beautifully! I discovered these while reading about how to stiffen crochet ornaments. I found the sugar wasn’t great for longevity (ants and pets love it!), and the cornstarch technique got a little "goopy" with the beads.

The best technique I found was to pour a bit of stiffening agent like Aleene’s Stiffen Quick or Fabric Stiffener into a container and soak your ornament.
Then squeeze it out a bit and stretch it out with pins on a pin-able surface covered with a piece of plastic wrap.
You’ll be able to find many stiffeners in your local craft store in the fabric glue aisle.  Make sure you purchase one that dries clear. The Fabric Stiffener creates a much stiffer fabric than the Stiffen Quick BUT your beads and yarn color will be dulled a bit.
Some of the products I saw suggest microwaving to dry them faster… DO NOT do this is if you used beads as many beads have metal in them!

Another technique that worked is to wet and block your ornament on a pin-able surface and then, once it is dry, repin it out on a piece of plastic wrap  and spray it with a stiffening agent. This technique sometimes requires a second spray to achieve the stiffness you’ll want.

A word of caution: The pattern states that you should weave in ends but DO NOT trim until after blocking... this is why:
WHOOPS! I trimmed my end before blocking and it "wormed" it's way out when I stretched it!
I was able to fix it... but it was scary! Just wait until you are done blocking to trim them!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for all of your cool hints!!

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  2. Pen and paper and hash marks.....an "accident while knitting waiting to happen ;)
    drdiehl@aol.com

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