What is Blocking?

What is Blocking?

So what is Blocking?!!

No, blocking isn't just a karate move! 

When we talk about "blocking" a finished garment or accessory, we're making the finished piece lay flat correctly much like pressing.  However, blocking produces much better results than pressing when working with textured patterns, which can be stretched out of shape and squashed by pressing.

There are numerous blocking methods but we’ll stick to the two most popular.

Basic blocking uses moisture only (no heat or steam) and is a great option for delicate fibres.
Block your item on the surface you usually press on (we use an ironing board but a bench or table covered by a folded towel will also work well as long as the surface under it will not be damaged by water).  Lay out your piece with the right side facing you and mist lightly with water. Pin the piece to shape, gently stretching and adjusting until it looks  the shape and size you want.  Place pins every 5-10cm as needed.  Now cover your work with a damp cloth and leave until totally dry (don’t apply heat; just let it dry naturally).
Once the piece is dry remove the cloth and the pins and your item is ready to go.

Steam blocking is a great option for more robust projects. Follow the steps for basic blocking (on an ironing board this time) but hover a steam iron, on the highest setting, over the damp cloth (but not touching it) and allow the steam to penetrate and set your knitting in place.  The cloth can be removed as soon as you have finished steaming but allow the knitting to fully dry before removing the pins.