Blocking is a frequently recurring subject of conversation around the shop. What is blocking, and why do we do it? And perhaps more importantly: how do we do it? Many knitters are unsure about this last step, afraid they’ll somehow do it wrong and ruin their shawls or sweaters. Let us assure you: blocking is nothing to be afraid of, but simply the act of washing your finished piece and laying it out to dry. This resets the memory of the yarn, and can help to even out tension, open up lace patterns, and tweak the dimensions of your piece. Different kinds of projects require different blocking techniques. Sometimes it’s enough to smooth your knitted or crocheted fabric into shape with your hands and let it dry, and other times, you’ll want to pin it out to very specific measurements. For lace shawls and scarves, you may want a special tool to assist you: blocking wires.
We now carry Knitter’s Pride Lace Blocking Wire Kits, which feature stainless steel wires in two lengths, T-pins for holding them in place on your blocking surface, and measuring tape to check the dimensions of your piece as you block.
For more information on blocking with and without blocking wires, check out these helpful tutorials:
- “Using Blocking Wires To Block A Lace Shawl,” from Interweave’s “Knitting Daily” blog
- “Block Party,” by Sandi Rosner, from Twist Collective
Also, designer and knitwear photographer Caro Sheridan suggests using blocking wires to help install a zipper on a knitted sweater–clever! Check out the “Techniques and tutorials” board on the HYS Pinterest page for more links to knitting and crochet how-to’s.
Come by the shop to pick up a set of blocking wires, and banish your fear of blocking at last. See you there!