To block, or not to block; that is the question. But also how, where, when… Actually, there are a lot of questions to consider when you are finished with your knitted or crocheted project. I’ll share some quick tips here, then you can visit the Horde if you want to download the file that has a little more detail.
- Some projects may not need blocking, but most projects can benefit from it. Blocking after completion helps to even out stitches and achieve the desired shape and dimensions.
- Lace patterns can open up considerably when blocked; you should pretty much always plan to block your lace projects.
- Blocking sometimes only requires laying the project out flat, arranged in the desired shape, while drying.
- Blocking lace often requires intricate pinning, wires, and/or lacing. It can be very time consuming, but your patience is rewarded when you transform a wrinkly mess into an heirloom.
- Blocking very large projects is made easier on a blocking frame. It has the added benefit of not taking up space on the floor or a bed, or leaving your project in danger of attention by your pets. There is a great tutorial for the frame I use here.
- Blocking natural fibers (wool, cotton, bamboo, etc.) can usually be done while it is still damp after a soaking or washing.
- Wet blocked articles will frequently require re-blocking after each wash. This will be especially true of larger lace projects (such as shawls.)
- Blocking synthetic fibers (acrylic, rayon, nylon, etc.) usually requires steam blocking. Take special care if using an iron instead of a steamer ~ make sure it does not come into direct contact with your yarn!
- Steam blocked synthetic articles will often retain their shape even after washing. Some steam blocked natural fibers will also retain their shape and may not need to be re-blocked.
- Mixed fiber projects (containing both natural and synthetic fibers) might require some experimentation to determine the most effective blocking method.
I hope you found these tips helpful for your next finished object! There is a pdf with more details on blocking available in the Files section at The Dragon Horde on Facebook. I’d love to see you join us there!
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Do you have any other blocking tips or suggestions you’d like to share? Comment below, in The Horde, or on Instagram! Like