OK, so if you’ve blocked before, this’ll be a refresher for you. If you haven’t tried wet blocking before, you’re in for some excitement (but maybe it’s just me that’s excited about blocking…).
I’m using a little bitty swatch for this example, but you can use this technique for just about any shape for basic blocking. This swatch is a little piece of stockinette. Stockinette is super curly when it’s unblocked, so I definitely need to block it.This is a tiny little project, so I’m just using a little cereal bowl to soak my knitting. I’ve filled it with warm (think bathwater) water, and I let the swatch hang out for a bit (about 20 minutes) or until its completely soaked through. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll squeeze the knitting gently to get all the air out and really soak the fibers.
Next, I’ll get out a clean towel and roll up my wet knitting, squeezing it to get out the extra water. You want your knitting to be damp, but not dripping. Sometimes, I’ll even step on the rolled-up knitting (like squishing grapes for wine), especially if it’s a really big project.Once most of the water is squeezed out, I’ll break out my foam blocks (or your carpet, if you have carpet) and lay a new, dry, clean towel on top.
Then, I’ll take the damp knitting and pin out the corners to the dimensions I want. I want this square to be nice and, well, square. So I’ll start here. The sides will pull in at first, but that’s OK. We’ll fix that in the next steps.
Next, I’ll grab more pins and tack down the center points of each side. And then I’ll add another pin in-between each existing pin. Since this swatch is so small, I’ll stop here. If I was blocking something larger (like a scarf), I’d keep adding pins until I had surrounded the whole item and gotten rid of the little swoopy edges.
You’ve finished the hard part! (If you can even call it hard.) Let your knitting dry completely (if you’re in a hurry, point a fan at it or put it in a sunny window), and remove the pins.
And, voilà la! A perfectly finished project! (Or at least an almost perfectly finished project.)Next time, we’ll talk about blocking something a little more complicated- sweaters!
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Thank you for the reminder, I am soaking socks right now for blocking. I have always been worried about felting so use cold water but I will try lukewarm water next time!
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