If you finish a crochet project and find that the stitches are too tight, never fear. You can stretch them by blocking your work. Wet-blocking is a method of relaxing stitches by wetting them and pinning them into shape. Wet yarn is much more malleable than dry yarn, and certain fibers will stretch more than others. Synthetic fibers like acrylic will stretch only minimally, but animal and plant fibers like wool and cotton can stretch quite a bit.
Things You'll Need
- Laundry detergent or wool wash
- Rust-proof straight pins
- Bath towels
Add 1 tsp. of laundry detergent or wool wash to a sink filled with cold water and submerge your crochet. Use less detergent for smaller pieces, more for larger ones. Soak the piece for half an hour and rinse it by running cold water through it and gently squeezing out the suds.
Lay your crochet flat on a large bath towel. Roll the towel from the bottom, pressing as you go to squeeze as much water as possible out of the yarn.
Spread another dry bath towel over a surface into which you can stick pins. Examples include an ironing board, a bed or a flattened cardboard box.
Stretch your crochet to the shape and size you want it to be. Insert a straight pin every inch or two, all the way around the edge of the piece. This will hold the crochet into the stretched shape as it dries.
Allow at least 24 hours for your crochet to dry. If you live in a cold or damp climate or if the piece is especially thick, it may take longer to dry. Leave the crochet in a sunny area or near a heating vent or fan to speed up the drying process.