Blocking Knits – 3 Ways To Reshape Your Knitting

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In this post, you will see blocking knits – 3 ways to reshape your knitting.

Blocking your finished knitted projects is of course always a good idea to make sure the finished piece looks how it should.

Any garment especially should be blocked before you seam it together.

blocking knits with T pins to reshape

What Is Blocking?

Blocking is a process that you do once you have finished knitting your project.

This means that you stretch and shape your finished piece so that it has the correct measurements your pattern has given you.

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It can also help to make your stitches look more even and to help your pieces fit better together for seaming.

Some pieces using thinner yarn weights like lace will almost always need to be blocked.

Blocking knitting on blocking mats

How Do I Block My Knitting?

There are three main ways that you can block your kitting:

  • Wet Blocking.
  • Steam Blocking.
  • Spray Blocking.

Wet Blocking

To wet block your pieces you need to make sure they are damp – but not dripping with water.

Lay it out on your blocking mats and stretch into shape, using your blocking pins to pin into place.

As the piece dries it will stay in the shape that you want, so that when you remove the blocking pins, it will retain that shape.

Just be careful with the type of fibres you use for wet blocking, as some fibres in the yarn may not cope well when wet.

For example, man-made fibres will work fine with wet blocking but some natural fibres may not.

Be sure to check your yarn labels for any care instructions before you start.

Blocking mats for knitting

Steam Blocking

Steam blocking can be done in a similar way to wet blocking.

Stretch out and pin your finished piece onto your blocking mats, place a damp cloth over the piece and then using a hot iron press very lightly on the cloth.

Don’t press it like you are ironing, just let the steam go through the cloth and into the knitting.

You can also use steam without the cloth, just steam over the knitting without touching it at all and let the steam do it’s work, leaving the piece to dry into shape afterwards.

This is not suitable for all types of fibres as some fibres do not fare well with heat.

Any man-made fibres will not benefit from this method of blocking, but any fibres that can’t get wet will be ok.

Again check your yarn label for all care instructions before blocking.

iron for steam blocking knitting

Spray Blocking

Spray blocking is the method I like to use the most.

It is really gentle on your knits and easy to do once you have the right tools!

This is also a great method when you are not sure about the fibres and how they will react to being really damp or with the steam blocking method.

Stretch and pin out your piece onto your blocking mats and with a spray bottle containing water, lightly spray the knitted piece.

Once it is sufficiently damp, but not really wet, allow it to dry and then you can remove the pins.

See the coaster knitting pattern used in the image below here.

blocking the coasters

Tools That Can Help You To Block

There are some tools that really help you to block your knitting, like blocking mats, pins, and a spray bottle.

The blocking mats you can buy are normally made from thick foam so that the pins can easily go in without coming through to the other side.

You could substitute with a cheaper alternative like children’s interlocking play mats, just be careful when pushing the pins through as they are not as thick as the knitters specific mats.

Blocking pins and T Pins are used to keep your knitting in place.

Blocking knits is a great way to finish your project, making sure that the pieces are the correct shape before seaming.

I would definitely recommend doing this with any garments that you are making to ensure a better finish.

How to block knitting

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2 Comments

  1. Hi. I really enjoyed your explanations on blocking. I have a question. Is it o to bring my garment outside to block under the sun and expeditate the drying?
    Thanks,
    Isa

    1. Hello Isa,
      I think that depends on how strong the sun is where you are, because it could possibly fade your yarn, the hand-dyed yarns especially could have some color fade.
      If you live in a place with extreme heat, I would place it in the shade for an hour to see how that goes.
      If you live in an place that is not so hot, you could place it in the sun for an hour or so and keep an eye on it to see how it’s going.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise