How to block a knitting project

Your project is now finished being knitted? And you don’t know what to do next? No problem, we will explain to you the following steps in this new article!

We’re under the impression that this technique didn’t exist a few decades ago (maybe because, in Europe, we were using more acrylic yarn?), but it is now recommended to block your knitting once it is finished if you used a natural yarn. 

You’ve never heard of blocking? We’ll explain to you right now what it is and how to do it.

So what does it mean to block in knitting? It is a technique that allows you to shape your knitting, give it the expected dimensions, reveal your lace, your textured stitches or colorwork, or simply erase tensions imperfections in your stockinette stitches for example.

Some yarns have very irregular fabric when you knit them, but once blocked it changes completely.

How to block your project

Here are the steps to block a project:

Wash it

When your project is finished, it must be washed. To do this, fill your sink with luckywarm (hot water could felt your yarn) and put a bit of your wool shampoo.

Be aware that if your project has several very different colours like white and blue navy for example, it is better to block it with cold water to reduce the risk of the darker colour running on the lighter one.

Then, just gently dip your project into the water, without rubbing, and insert it well into the water to check that all parts are soaked. Leave it in there without touching it, for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Wring it

You can remove your knitting from the water delicately, and do not twist it! Remove some water by pressing it lightly, then, it’s time for the towels! You simply need to wrap your knitting in a large towel and roll it. Then you have to press it well : either by pressing with your hands as in the picture, or by laying it on the ground and by walking on it along the whole length with your feet (best technique and very effective!).

Block it

Finally, you can lay it flat on the floor. The best is to use a yoga mat, or foam squares for children, the blocking mats being quite expensive. Once done, you have to pin it to give it the shape and the planned measurements.

Once blocked once, your project will remember the shape you gave to it. You will not need to do this anymore and you can just wash it normally. If you are blocking socks, you can buy some ‘sock blocker’ that will do very well the job.

And here it is! You now just have to wait for it to dry and enjoy it !

Do I need to block my project every time I wash it?

No you don’t. Blocking is technically done only once, the following times you will just have to wash it and lay it flat to dry (more on this in a following tutorial). However, some knits like a shawl in lace for example could need another block after a few months/years if you see that it doesn’t look as “open” as it was originally.

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