From the beginning...
I taught myself to crochet over 40 years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, but it was never my first craft love and I certainly can't claim to be anything like an expert. However, while trawling on Pinterest recently, I've been greatly Pinspired by all the beautiful photographs of, and ideas for using, it. (If you're interested, just click my Pinterest button on the top right of my home page here.)
Or just click on these links to get the general idea...
Classy band of crochet on cushion
Beautiful lace and crochet hearts
My favourite - polymer clay bowl with crochet/lace embellishment
BUT now for the main purpose of this post. While refamiliarisng myself over the past few days, I was reminded how important the process of pressing is, in order to get the motifs symmetrical for finishing. When I say 'pressing', I''m not talking about normal 'ironing': crafters usually know the important difference.
Last year, I came across great articles and a video tutorial on how to make your own 'pressing board'. I was convinced. Having paid all of £2 for an offcut of wood at my local DIY store, I used a staple gun to cover it first with wadding, then with thick cotton twill. The board doesn't 'give', so you get a far more 'crisp' press. It made such an improvement when working with quilting blocks.
Here's the link to Sharon Schamber's video, courtesy of Leah Day
One important extra - I went a step further and drew a measuring grid on the edge of mine. (Waterproof marker, of course.) I use pins to place the piece I'm pressing very precisely. Perfect!