I think my favorite thing to block might be socks. This is pretty silly, since you really don’t have to block socks. (I suppose, technically, you don’t have to block anything, really. But some projects, like lace, you kind of have to block.)
Since socks are worn skin-tight, they look like they’ve been blocked while you’re wearing them. But, if you’re giving someone a pair of socks as a gift (or you’re just making them for yourself), there is nothing prettier than a nicely blocked pair of brand-new hand-knit socks.
And the process couldn’t be easier.
Just soak your finished socks in clean, warm water for 10 or 20 minutes (like usual), and slip them onto your sock blockers and let them dry. (Mine hang dry from the ugly chandelier in my kitchen.) Easy!
What’s that? You haven’t heard of sock blockers? Well, let me tell you about them, because they’re basically magical, especially if you make a lot of socks.
Sock blockers are rigid, sock-shaped frames that will produce professionally-finished and identically-shaped socks every time. They come in lots of sizes and are made with many different kinds of materials (wood, acrylic, and metal are common. Mine are made from wire). You can even make your own, though I think they’re totally worth the 15 or so bucks they cost.
You’re not convinced? OK, I get that. Why spend money on a unitasker that you’ll only use now and then? If you don’t have sock blockers, and don’t plan on buying them, you can always block with foam and pins, just like normal.
Two things are very important to keep in mind. First: make sure you are blocking both socks to the same dimensions. You wouldn’t believe the number of lopsided pairs of socks I made before I got my sock blockers.
And second: Do your best to avoid puckers and points from your pins. They’re really obvious on socks. To avoid points, I use lots and lots of pins to spread out the tension around the edge of the sock, and I stick the pins in away from the edge.
Either way you do it, blocking socks takes something that looks like a lame, wrinkly snake, and changes it into a beautiful, professional-looking accessory.How do you block your socks?
Great before & after shots of blocking!
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