Take your knitting from good to outstanding thanks to these blocking tutorials
I believe most knitters have one thing in common: we’re not fans of the parts of knitting that don’t actually involve knitting needles. To wit: we’re not fans of swatching, seaming, weaving in ends, or blocking.
What is blocking? Blocking is a method by which a knitted item is dampened in some way — whether by a light misting of water, a full immersion into water, or a lot of steam — in order to make the stitches relax and bloom and give the knitted piece its proper shape.
While not every piece of knitting necessarily needs to be blocked, virtually every piece could benefit from it. A blocked piece of knitting tends to look more finished. The stitches look more even, the resulting fabric looks smoother and less wrinkled or puckered, and the edges lay flatter.
As an impatient knitter, I am frequently tempted to skip blocking. I want to start using my knitted lovelies, or I want to quickly get my project to the person for whom it is intended. But when I resist that temptation and block, it always makes a difference.
Take the photos above for a great example of this. The photo on the right are some of my Mindless Bonding Hearts and my Pocket Prayer Cloths pre-blocking. The photo on the right are those same finished projects post-blocking. The difference is pretty striking, isn’t it? They’re no longer a rumpled mess. They’re flattened out and much neater.
If you want to start blocking, or if you wonder if there are better methods for blocking, I hope you’ll read or watch the tutorials linked to below!
Blocking by the Purl Bee: This tutorial focuses on spray blocking, and it includes a handy set of instructions for making your own blocking board, if you don’t already own one.
To Block or Not to Block by Knitty: This tutorial also offers a set of instructions for making your own blocking board (check at the very end of the article). In addition, it gives instructions for blocking a variety of fibers, from wool to cotton to human-made to everything in between.
Why Block Hand Knits? Here’s Why (and How!) by TECHKnitting: Two things I love about this tutorial. One, it offers TECHKnitting’s excellently detailed and descriptive explanation of how to wet-block a piece of knitting. Two, she tells you how to do it without a blocking board. (So if you don’t want to buy or make your own blocking board, hurray! There’s hope for your blocking!) As another added bonus, you’ll find a link at the beginning of the article to her steam-blocking tutorial, too.
Blocking Acrylic by BeadKnitter Gallery and Crochet Ever After: After I was pleasantly delighted to make the discovery, thanks to these two, that you can in fact block items knitted with acrylic yarn. I have heard for years that trying to block acrylic doesn’t work. But not only does it work, it also makes a tremendous difference!
I once spent a day blocking every single thing I had knitted with acrylic yarn. I just couldn’t resist after discovering just how well it worked!
The first tutorial from BeadKnitter Gallery is an extensive explanation of how blocking helps acrylic knitting, as well as how to do it. The second is a video tutorial from Crochet Ever After that will help if you need more of a visual. (As an added bonus, if you want a steam blocking tutorial, these two taken together are excellent!
I hope you’ll use these fabulous blocking tutorials to make your knitting look better than ever!