What is blocking in knitting?
Blocking is a crucial yet often disregarded step in knitting. After the project has been removed from your needles, blocking is like using a magical wand to transform it from great to extraordinary – yarn blooms with profound softness and stitches become even and elegant while lace transforms into delicate beauty. Let's explore the two main ways to block knitting projects and offer tips for specialized knits today!
Wet blocking is the perfect technique for all wool and animal fibers, as it requires that you submerge your finished pieces in water.
To begin, fill a pristine sink or basin with water that matches the yarn label's temperature and soaking duration instructions. Usually, lukewarm water works best (hot H2O may cause felting of wool!), yet if you decide to use it, add some wool wash for even distribution after swishing.
For optimal saturation, immerse your project in the water and gently squeeze out any air bubbles ensuring it is completely saturated. Keep in mind that agitating animal fiber items under running water may cause felting of the fabric, so be sure to handle with care!
Let the item linger in its bath for a minimum of 10 minutes and up to half an hour. When it's time, carefully lift your project out of the liquid while making sure you support its weight evenly so that the material doesn't stretch or distort due to added water weight. Gently press (never twist!) any extra moisture away from it.
Subsequently, put your item horizontally on a fresh and dry towel. To make the rolling easier, either roll it into one layer or fold it thrice. Delicately and uniformly push onto the rolled fabric to eliminate excessive dampness before you unroll as well as lay your garment flat so that drying is complete.
Bring your project to life with precise measurements by blocking it on pinneable surfaces such as blocking mats. Make sure that the garment aligns perfectly with the pattern's finished measurements or schematic dimensions, and utilize T-pins if needed for extra accuracy during drying.
This spray-blocking technique is best for delicate laces, cotton fabrics, and garments that need a refresh. Unlike wet blocking which uses water to stretch fabric, this method does not cause any stretching – making it perfect for single layered lace shawls or accessories. Not only is it safe on the fabric but also much faster than other block methods!
Lay your project on the blocking mats and spray it with either a ready-made wool wash or a mixture of wool wash and water in a regular spray bottle (follow the manufacturer's instructions to dilute). Make sure that your workpiece is moist but not drenched; shape it according to the finished schematic/dimensions.
For a precise, sharp look on shawls, scarves and blankets, we suggest using lace blocking wires. Gently weave them through the selvage stitches at set intervals across edges or along "points," depending on what your pattern specifies. Blocking wires will ensure that each piece turns out perfectly!
After adding your blocking wires, evenly space pins along the inside of each wire while pulling and stretching your project to desired dimensions. If you're aiming for a larger size, inserting pins at 45° angles will help keep the fabric more secure as it dries under pressure. Once dry, all that's left is unpinning - now go out there and show off your masterpiece!
Even though some may shy away from the process, blocking your socks is a great way to even out knitting for those pictures or gifts you're making. Blocking techniques like wet-blocking and spray-blocking that are applicable for lace projects can also be used here too. But if you'd like results with precision, then we recommend using sock blockers to get them into the perfect shape!
Select the appropriate size sock blocker to accommodate your finished sock dimensions. Rather than pinning, slip on the sock as you would if it were on your foot, ensuring that heel and toe are aligned in their designated places. Afterward, leave them to dry; they can be placed flat (but remember to flip them occasionally) or hung up with a hook! Follow these directions for wet blocking--and voila!--you'll have freshly blocked socks ready in no time.