The Art of Blocking Knitting: Elevating Your Handmade Masterpieces

The Art of Blocking Knitting: Elevating Your Handmade Masterpieces

Knitting is not just a craft; it's an art form that allows us to express our creativity.  Whether you're a seasoned knitter or just starting out, one aspect of the process that can truly transform your finished piece is blocking. It's the final step that gives your project that polished, professional look, enhancing stitch definition and drape while ensuring your hard work shines. In this blog post, we'll delve into the world of blocking knitting, exploring what it is, why it's important, and how to do it effectively.

What is Blocking?

Blocking is the process of shaping and setting your knitted fabric to its final dimensions. It involves gently stretching and pinning your piece into shape, then allowing it to dry in that form. This step smooths out any unevenness in tension, opens up lace patterns, and evens out stitches, resulting in a more polished and professional-looking finished product.

Why is Blocking Important?

Blocking serves several essential purposes in knitting:

1. Evenness: Blocking helps to even out any irregularities in tension across your fabric. This is especially important for garments where consistency in stitch size is crucial for proper fit and appearance.

2. Shape: Blocking allows you to shape your project to its intended dimensions. Whether you're knitting a shawl, sweater, or blanket, blocking ensures that it lays flat and drapes beautifully.

3. Stitch Definition: Blocking opens up lacework and cables, showcasing intricate stitch patterns to their fullest potential. It accentuates the details of your knitting, making your hard work truly stand out.

4. Finishing Touch: Just like framing a painting, blocking provides the finishing touch to your knitted masterpiece. It gives your project a professional, polished appearance that sets it apart.

How to Block

Now that we understand the importance of blocking let's explore how to do it effectively:

1. Wet Blocking:

- Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a small amount of wool wash. We recommend Eucalan Eucalyptus Soap because it is a natural moth and flea repellant  
Delicate wool wash

- Immerse your knitted alpaca wool piece in the water, gently pressing down to saturate it completely, or until you have removed the air bubbles

- Let the fabric soak for about 30 minutes or more to allow the fibres to absorb the water fully.

- Carefully remove the item  from the water and gently squeeze out excess water, being careful not to wring or twist.

- Lay the piece flat on a clean towel and roll it up to absorb more water.

 - Lay the damp piece on a blocking mat (we recommend the KnitPro blocking mats which come with 50 T-pins included) or towel, gently stretching it to the desired dimensions and pinning it into place. Refer to you the pattern schematic for exact sizes.

Knitpro blocking mats

- If you regularly create long items (like shawls) you may want to invest in some KnitPro blocking wires to avoid having to use hundreds of pins
- Allow the piece to dry completely before unpinning.

Knitpro blocking wires

2. Steam Blocking:
- Set up an iron and ironing board or a handheld garment steamer.
- Hold the iron or steamer a few inches away from the fabric and apply steam evenly across the surface.
- Once the fabric is damp from the steam, gently stretch and shape it to the desired dimensions.
- Pin the piece into place on a blocking mat or towel.
- Allow the fabric to dry completely before unpinning.

With a little patience and attention to detail, you'll be amazed at the difference blocking can make in the appearance and quality of your knitting. So next time you bind off that final stitch, remember that blocking is the secret to truly showcasing your knitting skills.

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