Tag Archives: sock blockers

Blocking: Socks

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!

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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.

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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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwo 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.

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Not good

Good

Better

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.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow do you block your socks?

Sock week: Sock Block Rock

There’s been a heck of a lot of sock talk around here lately.  So, I have some more!

Once you’ve finished your second sock, you could just say “Hey!  I’ve got some socks.  Yay!”

OR, you could guild the lily and go one more step and block the suckers.  Your socks will fit just fine without blocking them, so if I’m just making socks for myself, I won’t do it.  But, if I’m making the socks as a gift, I’ll block them.  Blocking just makes the toes and heels lay nicely and fixes all those little weirdnesses that happen during knitting.

Here’s what you need:

1 pair of socks.

A clean bowl (or a clean sink) filled with bathwater-warm water.

A couple clean towels

Sock blockers (optional)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADrop your socks into the bowl of water, and let them soak for about 20 minutes. They need to be completely saturated.  Don’t scrub or squeeze them or anything, just lay them nicely in the bowl of water.  If you mess with them too much, they’ll start to felt, which is not ideal.  You can poke them a bit until they go underwater, if you feel it’s necessary.

After your socks are thoroughly saturated, take them out of the bowl and squeeze them gently to get rid of a good portion of the water.  They should still be wet, but not drippy.

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Then, lay out the towel (or towels) and arrange your socks nicely on top.  Roll the whole mess into a damp towel-and-sock burrito.  Squeeze it as much as you can, to get out most of the water.  (I know, first I tell you to get them wet, then I tell you to dry them out… I can’t make up my mind.  I’m terrible.)

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Now you have two options.  The easiest way to block socks is to use sock blockers (duh).  Sock blockers are sock-shaped forms that you put your wet socks on to dry after you’re done knitting them.  You can find them at your local knitting store, or you can buy them here.  Basically, you put the damp socks on the sock blockers, and let them hang to dry.  (My socks are a skotch too big for my blockers, so I use clothespins to keep them on the blockers.)  If you don’t own blockers, not to worry.  You can get out another clean, dry towel and lay your socks out nicely on the towel and leave them out to dry.

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Now, your beautiful socks are completely, totally and 100% DONE!  How exciting.  And, just in time for summer (because nothing says summer, like wool socks).