Why and How block your knits

Often, the people with whom I speak knitting, end of project and blocking do not understand this term, or what it is used for and even less how to do it. It’s a simple technique but there are a few things you should know to make your knitting look as good as the designers pictures.


Blocking


Well, as one of my Biology teacher used to say "it says what it means".

That's it ! Thanks for reading, see you in a bit 😘.


What ?? You want more ?? 🤔🤔 Ok, let's go then !


Knitting, like all manual crafts, cannot be as regular as machine work. Our hands, our mood, our tension, the composition of the threads, the stitches used have an impact on the shape and amount of wool that there is in a stitch. If a stitch is different, those that precede and follow it are also going to change accordingly. This affects the rows and therefore the entirety of the knitting. The blocking will be used to rebalance the wool on the row then on the entire piece, to correctly define the patterns of the lace or give a little flexibility to the cables and therefore to define well the shape of the garment or accessory. The blocking is effective on natural materials: cotton, linen, hemp, animal wool (merino, silk, alpaca ...). Acrylic* doesn’t block!


*If your acrylic project roll on the side, a border in garter / seed stitch might be necessary.


Another significant advantage is that the blocking will allow you to wash your knitting! Maybe you will have knitted it very quickly, but sometimes ... Some knitting are slower ... They are in the project bags or in boxes waiting for us to pick them up and finish them, or it has been a while since you have the wool at home ... In any case, there is a little dust and dirt. A little wash never hurts 😉


The blocking serves to relax all the stitch with respect to each other in a water bath so that during drying they take their final shapes and places.

Pratical example

I knitted a few mini shawls in cotton. All increases are made with yarn over that create openwork and irregularities.

4 mini blue cotton shawls, stunted because not blocked
Mini nothing like shawl

There are 2 triangular shawls, one in a semi-circular and a "heart shape". Clearly, they look like nothing. We do not see the shape of the mini shawls, nor the openwork, the edges roll ... In short ... Although they only took 30min each, the result is not optimal and nobody would like them😖😖😖


However, all our knits have these defects! The only difference is that they are larger, the number of stitches and the amount of wool erase *a little* these defects, but they are there. To go from that ☝ to that 👇, you just have to block your knitting.


4 blue cotton mini shawl whose geometric shapes can be distinguished because they are blocked
2 triangular shawls, 1 semi-circular and 1 heart-shape

The Method


Blocking involves leaving your knitted fabric soaked in water. The stitches and all the fibers will soak up water and relax. Then by extracting the most of the water and allowing to dry in the desired shape all the beauty of the knitting will come out.


It's as simple as that: wet, remove excess water and allow to dry.

But there are a few nuances to keep in mind so here are my tips.


Water and soap