Blocking Acrylic Yarn: You Can and You Should

I admit that I can be a bit of a yarn snob and really only like to work with wools and other natural fibers.  I just don’t like how acrylic feels under my fingers and I can usually knit a sweater with a basic wool like Knit Picks WOTA for less than the cost of lunch out for me, I don’t even bother with acrylic.

That said, I sometimes have to reach for an acrylic or a blend every now and then for specific projects like this cowl.  I found a really amazing stitch that I thought would make a pretty cool cowl or gaiter and went about figuring out how to knit it in the round.  After about 3 inches into the project, I realized that I’d have to block this sucker and it would be a bit harder than just soaking it and laying it out on a towel in the corner of the living room.

Let’s look at the before.  It’s cute but not at all what I envisioned.

I dampened the cowl slightly and pinned it to my ironing board and got my iron ready.  To merely block the cowl, turn on the steam (or use a garment steamer but mine has somehow grown legs and walked off a couple of weeks ago.  My house is not that big; there are only so many places it can hide but I can’t find it anywhere…)  You want to hover over the piece WITHOUT touching the iron to the piece.  You don’t want to melt your piece to your iron.  I don’t know what would be worse – messing up your iron or messing up the piece you just spent hours making…  Pat your piece into place.  If I have areas of texture like this guy, I like to pinch the areas that need a little more definition.

Blocking Acrylic Yarn
I’m hovering over the piece without touching the iron to it.

Now let it cool and dry overnight.  Look at how that opens up the work, evens everything out and just finishes off the piece!

If you want to KILL your piece, (that term is just so scary but the process is pretty painless), you can place a piece of fabric between your iron and gently touch the iron down on the piece.  I do not put any weight on the piece but tap and lift, tap and lift.  “Killing” the yarn removes the elasticity from it and makes it permanent (by essentially melting the yarn slightly).  You get a much softer and gentle drape to the finished piece by killing it.  Killing your finished piece gives it more of a commercial, “store bought” feel so keep that in the back of your head when you’re knitting for those tweens or older kids who are too cool to be caught dead wearing something homemade (even though the stuff we all make is WAAAAYYYYYYY cooler than anything you can get in a store…)


The Wellig Hat is here!


Do you ever have one of those projects that is just SO cool in your head and you sketch it out and start on it and it just doesn’t quite come out right?  So you start over and make changes and it STILL doesn’t come out right?  This hat has been frogged and reworked off and on for the past 5 months.  I think this was the second or third pattern I started and have had to set it aside to work on other things a few times.


The Wellig Hat








What appears to be a simple striped slouchy hat is so much more. Short rows make the stripes wider in the front, pushing the whole design down and back, emphasizing the slouch of this hat. A simple 2 color pattern can be made in a variety of different color combinations, creating a wide array of looks from the same pattern.

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Your pattern will be instantly downloadable upon checkout. You will need Adobe Reader to open and read this PDF file and 8.511 paper to print out the pattern. No paper copy will be mailed to you.

You may sell items made from this pattern in small batches. Please credit pattern to The Eli Monster. Pattern is copyrighted; do not sell or copy pattern

The Snoepje Headband

I had this yarn:

Cascade Tangier – #04 Seas

and thought it seemed just so yummy and delicious.  I was inspired by the taffy pulling machines at the fair and thought this headband twisted just enough to invoke that feeling of late summer nights watching the lights at the fair while chowing down on some salt water taffy.  Wear it over your ears for a little extra warmth on cool summer evenings or wear it farther back and keep the wispies out of your eyes while you go on a stroll through the fairgrounds.

Find the newest pattern on Ravelry, Etsy and here in our Shop.

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The Vrolijk Scarflet



It’s snowing here in South Dakota.  Again?  Still?  It’s May and it did warm up enough for me to feel comfortable with planting flowers and veggies outside so I’m going to go with “the weather can’t make up its mind.”  Now that I had to grab the children’s heavier coats again, I though this would be a cute quick project to whip up with some yarn that I felt I NEEDED but then didn’t have any idea what to do with it once I got it home.  Vrolijk is Dutch for “cheerful” and that’s exactly what this scarflet is.  The cables really pop when you use a solid or kettle dyed yarn or become part of the crazy mix when you use a wild yarn like I did!


Get your pattern on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy, or here on our site!


VrolijkScarflet-3Wear it with one button for a cute over the shoulder thingamabob that adds a pop of color.


Wear it with 2 buttons fastened a little higher on your neck.

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Deer in the headlights!


Getting cold?  Wear all 3 so it snugs your neck and comes all the way up to your ears!


New Patterns and a Giveaway!

We’ve been super busy lately drawing up some sewing and knitting patterns this year.  Between waiting at preschool and dance and swim, I get a LOT more knitting time each week.  I can’t bring the sewing machine into the observation booth at school but I can definitely bring my knitting bag.

Alskling Bow Hat


The Alskling Hat is a super cute beanie with an oversized bow.



The Graham Twist Hat and Cowl are complimentary winter wear that feature a slightly slouchy, super twisty design.  Perfect for tiny and grown up hipsters alike.


Modeled by Kit


The Party Dress and Hat pattern fits both 18″ AG dolls and 15″ Waldorf dolls.


We want to share some patterns with you too!  Enter to win 5 patterns of your choice!  Runners up will win 3 and 1 pattern.


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