I am almost embarassed to admit my ignorance in this matter. However, I have little to almost no experience with Blocking Mats even with all my years of crocheting. For example, I just always blocked my items on anything I had handy, using things like a sheet over my rug and rust proof T pins. In January I determined that this year was going to be the year I would focus on obtaining all the crocheting tools I have been lacking and I always wanted in my tool chest- and the interlocking Blocking Mats were high on my list.
The problem was; which ones to buy? I did not want to buy something that would not meet my needs or that was not durable. So I did what I always do when I lack the experience or knowledge on something I want, I started reading other people’s reviews.
There are many mats out and even if you do like these mats, I have complied a list to help you look for the ones that best suit your needs if you are also shopping around;
- Grids that line up
- Interlocking tightly
- They withstand steam and water for blocking needs
- Thick enough to hold projects securely in place
- They do not retain orders
- They come with a carrying case
I would like to take a minute and thank every one who wrote a review on any and all blocking mats on Amazon. If it wasn’t for you all taking the time to write about your opinions and experiences in this area, I would have been investing in the wrong ones.
I personally read over 200 reviews while making a check list on the pro’s and con’s of several different Blocking mats and I believe this is what helped me to make a wise buy.
Through these reviews I learned to look for ones that had grids. Grid lines allow for you to align the sides of your project and block squarely for an more accurate and professional finish to your project. On the reviews I read over and over how the grid lines always match up on this brand. One one side of the blocks you will fine perfectly spaced 1 inch grids and on the others side a slightly texture light brown without grids. These give me the best of both worlds.
I also wanted some that were more on the thick size verses thin. The more research I did, the more determined I was to look for thicker mats, because with thin ones- the pins would popped out the back side. This would result in snagging the carpet or scratching a table top, depending on the placement of the mats. Also, I do need to be able to stick the T pin in far enough to securely hold the item in place. These mats are .75 inches thick.
And lastly is the one thing I would never have thought to look for, but a carrying case! The more I read about the difficultly in storing the mats without being damaged the more I saw the importance for a storage solution. The Blocking Mats came with a vinyl zippered reusable bag that easily stories the 9 block set.
Other concerns with some brands I looked into were that they were prone to fading after time and use. They also needed to be water proof as I read how some brands would start to smell from water and natural fiber yarns. Living in a small house, or with country wells for water, this was something I did not want to have to deal with.
So yes, these blocking mats from Knit IQ are more expensive then most of the other ones, but in the long run I believe they will withstand the test of time and therefore be cheaper with each passing year. The nine 12x 12 blocks inter lock tightly together and in addition to the reusable bag, the set comes with a box of 100 nickel plated T pins. If you are wanting to block larger projects such as afghans you might have invest in three packs of these blocks. I presently have two sets and am considering a third.
I would also like to thank the people at Knit IQ, when I had a small problem with one of my mats, they went above and beyond to fix the problem quickly. In this day of bad customer service and cheaply made projects, it was refreshingly nice to deal with this company who value the customers.
What have been your experiences with blocking mats, good or bad please share. Who knows you might help someone to make an informed decision and a wise investment.
Until next time, keep those hooks flying.