Crochet Pixel Square Blocking (Docking) Station

I’ve been working on a pixel square blanket for the past month. If you didn’t catch my first two posts about it you can see it HERE and HERE. It is going to be a cute cupcake design…eventually :) With well over 500 squares to make, I think I underestimated the time this blanket will take. But as my piles of squares continue to stack up, I noticed that my cute little pixels were starting to curl and look rounded and sometimes uneven. So I created a blocking station for them to sit on! Although I had to use the word blocking because I did not block these squares in the traditional way you would block an afghan square. Typically you would wet the squares and pin them down, one by one. Moogly has a great tutorial for this HERE. In my case, I just wanted to stretch the yarn a bit and let the squares take shape. I was inspired by THIS fabulous blocking station by LookAtWhatIMade.  Her version is a true blocking station while mine is more of a docking station :)

Here’s my sad little stacks of pixels BEFORE my docking station was created.

I used a large piece of styrofoam board (purchased at Michaels Craft Store). It measures 2x12x28 inches and I ended up cutting it in half since I wanted two different stations (one for upstairs and one for downstairs). I used bamboo skewers from the grocery store to pin the blocks down but sometimes the wood on the skewers would split and the yarn would catch. Remember that game Pick Up Sticks? Those would have worked better in my mind.

Poke the skewers into the foam in 2.5 inch squares around. Leave a one inch gap between each square.

I place the pixel squares on the skewers in stack of 10. You really don’t want to go much higher than that because the skewers start to lose support and bend inwards towards the top.
Here is the difference between a pixel square that has been docked overnight versus one that hasn’t.

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Comments

  1. says

    You are a GENIUS!!!! Perfect timing, too! I am making squares with the MyPicot stitch and wanted to do something like this but can't ask hubby to cut pegboard and wood and things like that because is working major hours right now. I was going to Walmart tomorrow anyway and will pick up styrofoam and skewers and be thanking you as I do it!!!!!

  2. says

    I think this is brilliant – isn't it nice when everbody contributes to the concept. 2B honest this will encourage me to make larger projects of squares – mine always scatter to the four winds! Thank you.
    Best

  3. says

    Just had a lightbulb moment, you can only stack them about 10 high because the skewers start to bend inwards, how about if you made some little cardboard spacers about the size of your squares, putting holes in the corners for the skewers, and then slip one of those in between every 10 or so? Then your skewers would stay straight, and you could stack higher and save space :) And if you didn't have any cardboard kicking around, maybe some thin plastic (like the lid of an ice cream container?) or something similar. Just something to reinforce the position of the skewers :)

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  11. Linda Treadway-Dillmon says

    Instead of skewers for the docking station, I plan to use lollipop sticks. They are nice and smooth. Thanks for sharing your projects. I crochet 9 afghans a year; and donate them to our Senior Center for raffles at their holiday luncheons, to raise money for the Center. I think they will get a kick out of the cupcake afghan. Thanks again for the inspiration.

  12. says

    What about using peg board instead. The holes are already even so no drilling and they are very cheap at the hardware store. And you could resize the squares by just moving the doweling rods when needed.

  13. says

    Thank you for sharing this great tip! It’s been ages since my last granny square and I remember the grannies were rather crooked. I’ll take your advice the next time I’ll Crochet something that includes squares.

  14. Zella says

    You may still be able to find Pick Up Sticks at a dollar store like The Dollar Tree. Sometimes I find old games there like jacks, pick up sticks, old maid and such.
    This is a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Shirley says

    Awesome idea!!! I thought a first that you had found a place to purchase the item for blocking, then, after going to your site and finding YOU MADE IT, it blew my mind! Great idea! Since I’m a crafter/hoarder , I have plenty of the supplies in my work area!!! I’m doing a circle in a granny square blanket and this is just the ticket to block the blocks!! Thanks for sharing!
    Shirley

  16. says

    have you tried using a cardboard box as the base for the docking station with bamboo sticks
    like you if I just want to keep a peace in shape for a short time I use the same idea as you but I try to reuse a heavy cardboard box
    it’s easy to make a small hole just a little too small (use a metal knitting needle) I place the worked peace on the box then use the knitting needle to make the holes, after that the sticks the next worked peace goes on top of the first peace
    a cheap and simple way to keep worked peace’s in shape until they can be worked into the afghan or what they are needed for

  17. Hailey says

    Did you leave the squares on the docking station until you were ready to join them or did you just leave them on over night and that was enough?

  18. Janine Franco says

    Love this idea. For your docking station how long do you leave the granny squares on there? And after you take them off do they hold their shape?

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