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Blockheads!

ETA 5/26/2009: Congrats to Joyce, our contest winner! Thank you all for participating. The comments at now closed and we will be posting a follow-up blocking Q&A soon. 

“You blockhead!”

One of many epithets hurled at long-suffering Charlie Brown, but if you called Norah and me blockheads…we’d grin from ear to ear and say “Yup!” You can be a happy blockhead too! This week’s free KnitBits pattern is the Jubilee scarf, knit in Ultra Alpaca Fine and it provides the perfect opportunity  to show off why we are in love with blocking!

Blocking has a magical ability to transform your knitting. This power has even become an office joke. The way Norah says “a little steam….!” in a chirpy infomercial lady way (heard at the end of our Shoulder Seam video tutorial) is her version of “Make it work!!”

There are so many ways to block a garment, and trying to sort out the all the opinions and “rules” can be daunting. I’ve used practically every method imaginable and I have some tips: 

Choose the sort of blocking that is appropriate for your garment or item. If it looks pretty good and you haven’t been carrying the work around with you much you might be able to get away with a light steaming or spritzing. Fill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of a wool wash like Soak and spritz your sweater until it is damp. Pat it into shape and allow it to dry flat. I also use this to freshen up  knitting that I don’t feel like laundering, or wet blocking, a more labor intensive process which I’ve shown here (note that the iron and steamer aren’t used in wet blocking, if you’re steaming you should pin first, then apply steam by hovering the iron or steamer ABOVE the fabric, not ON the fabric): 

Clockwise from top left: 1. Jubilee lace, unblocked on left and blocked on right, 2. Trusty upright steamer!, 3. Trusty heavy iron with steam function, 4. Blocking helpers: colander, blocking wires (the wires ensure that you get a nice straight edge and they only require a few pins versus a meeellion), Soak wash, rust proof T-pins, 5. Warm water bath, 6. Soaking, 7. Gently press water out of item (sometimes I use a salad spinner for this!), 9. A towel can help squeeze out excess water. 10. Blocking board inspection, 10. Blocking board declared up to code!, 11. Thread wires through edges of knitting, 12. Stretch, pin and allow to dry! 

Blocked to perfection: 

 

Wet blocking and laundering are essentially the same in my mind and they’re absolutely crucial for lace projects like Jubilee. It offers the most dramatic transformation for your knitting; while wet, knitted fabric is a lot like clay and can be shaped to your specifications. This can come in handy when a piece didn’t come out to the exact measurements you intended it to. Even if your knitting is the right size, a wet blocking will smooth your stitches. I like to hold it at the corners and stretch it in all directions like pizza dough. I shake it a lot and then pin it. This makes my knitting look so much more even than it does fresh off the needles. 

I’m working on a project in Ultra Alpaca Fine right now and Norah’s scarf has totally inspired me to keep plugging along so I can BLOCK it an reveal it’s beauty. Besides all the benefits, blocking is just plain fun! Seeing your crumple of knitting turn into something polished and beautiful is extremely surprising and always rewarding. 

Thanks for reading! I’m excited to offer a blocking starter kit to one lucky blog reader–the blocking kit will contain a set of blocking wires and an excellent prize pack from Soak with labels for your handknits, sample sizes of all their scents and a full size bottle of my favorite scent, Celebration. Soak Washes have been in my arsenal since they debuted in 2005. It is gentle, which is perfect for fine fibers, concentrated which makes it budget friendly and the best part–it is so pretty!! The packaging is worthy of bureau display and the scents are so incredibly delicate. I sent a Soakified sweater to friend and he commented that it smelled “so good!”

soak prize

soak prize

Good luck and happy blocking, Blockheads!

Cirilia 

Contest Rules: Contest open to readers in the US and Canada only. Berroco employees not eligible. Contest closes 5/21/2009 12:00 a.m. EST. Duplicate entries will be deleted. 

961 Comments
  1. Kim O #

    Would love to try this ! This for teh tutoiral on blocking . Your
    helper is cute too !

    May 14, 2009
    • jessica #

      So does this mean everytime I was a garment I have to reblock it? I have heard that iron will “kill” a knit item and even washing it will not change it’s shape after that- is it true?

      May 15, 2009
      • Leticia #

        On commercially knitted items it generally says “dry flat” which is another way of saying “manipulate back into shape” a.k.a. blocking.

        Some yarn will have memory, but some yarn doesn’t and you usually don’t know this until you’ve made a swatch and gone through the blocking process.

        Sorry to be one of those “you must do this” knitters, but you can’t cut corners with the swatch-making.

        As for an iron- if you are concerned about the iron against the fabric (and you should be if there’s any amount of man-made fiber in it) use the steam function but put a towel in between the item and the iron. The steam will go through, but it would be significantly hampered by the towel.

        Keep in mind the towel should be colorfast, and perhaps you should try with different thicknesses.

        May 15, 2009
    • Sandra #

      Thanks for info re: [importance of] blocking. Which is the best technique for your MICA yarn.

      May 15, 2009
    • Barbara #

      I’m relatively new to blocking so I found the tutorial helpful. Now to win the blocking wires and Soak Wash!!

      May 15, 2009
  2. Ah, blocking. It takes me a lot of energy to get around to blocking things. It does do wonders, though!

    May 14, 2009
  3. Lee Louise #

    What a lovely post on blocking, something that I must shamefacedly admit, I don’t do. I have hesitated to knit lace because of the daunting prospect of blocking it at the end. I have never blocked a sweater (and it hasn’t been that much of a problem). I have considered sock blockers, but never taken the plunge. I have seen blocking wires and been tempted, because I do have a secret longing for knitted lace shawls, but not yet purchased them.

    May 14, 2009
    • Joya #

      I’ve never used blocking wires but am now interested in trying them. I always block sweaters, or they just don’t come out right. The “spritz” blocking works well for things like baby hats that just need a little work. Sometimes I dry hats on bowls or balloons (water balloons for baby hats) to improve the shape.

      May 16, 2009
  4. Julie #

    I love blocking! Thanks for the reminder of how important it is…

    May 14, 2009
  5. I love Soak!!! My favorite is Amy Butler’s fragrance, Sola. Mmmm…smells like heaven. ;-)

    May 14, 2009
  6. Grace #

    That’s a very nice prize to have. I don’t have any blokcing wires yet, so I hope I win!

    May 14, 2009
  7. Thank you for all the valuable information. I’ve never tried Soak but after reading your post, I will have to try it.

    May 14, 2009
  8. Celebration is my favorite scent!

    May 14, 2009
  9. monica #

    Thanks for the contest! I love Soak, and I’ve been wanting to try blocking wires for a while now.

    May 14, 2009
    • I have never used blocking wires, but that looks so simple – I will have to try them. As for Soak, never used that either, but I agree about the pretty bottles. I’ve been wanting to get some, but haven’t found any sold locally yet; I like the variety of scents.

      May 14, 2009
      • Hi Shelly,
        Let us know where ‘locally’ is and we’ll try to get some Soak there for you!
        Cheers and thanks. -Jacqueline, Soak Wash Inc.

        May 14, 2009
  10. How I would love to win this! I have never blocked anything “fine”. And I have some lovely lace-weight waiting to be knitted up as soon as I get the courage to do it! Have the wires to block it would really help! And I love love love soak! I happen to be running out!
    Thanks for such a great opportunity!

    May 14, 2009
  11. Great info (and prize!). Thanks!

    May 14, 2009
  12. elizabeth #

    Oooh, blocking is one of my favorite things. It just takes all the little flaws and smooths everything out so prettily. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could take anything in our lives that isn’t quite right and block it to perfection?

    May 14, 2009
  13. I think there must be an entire chapter in the “how to be the best pet you can be” handbook on inspecting everything for potential dangers/food. Anyway, count me in for the contest!

    May 14, 2009
  14. I totally needed this info on blocking! I have a sweater for my husband, ready to block, but I’m too scared to take the plunge!!

    I was even brave enough to try steeks in this sweater, but blocking still scares me!!

    Sue

    May 14, 2009
  15. I love SOAK! I sure will need those blocking wires soon too! I’m in!

    May 14, 2009
  16. Blocking wires would be so useful – I’m not really loving all the pins. Great tutorial!

    May 14, 2009
  17. pia #

    I’ve never tried Celebration, but would love to!!!!

    May 14, 2009
  18. Thanks for the info and the opportunity to win a blocking kit. What a pretty scarf!

    May 14, 2009
  19. Liz #

    I love Soak too! I have never tried blocking wires, but need to try this method. Once I discovered the salad spinner’s alternate life, my world has never been the same!

    May 14, 2009
  20. I love how finished an item looks after it’s been blocked!

    May 14, 2009
  21. I block, but have never used a wool wash. Would love to try it… and have a couple of pieces that could probably use it.

    May 14, 2009
  22. I always love seeing the “miracle” of lace blocking. It is so much fun to see the lumpy bumpy knitting become a beautiful piece of lace.

    I haven’t tried Soak yet. I have been using Eucalan. But no rinse is always good in my book.

    May 14, 2009
    • We’d be happy to send a sample of Soak for you to try! -Jacqueline.

      May 14, 2009
  23. jessmary #

    soak + blocking wires? fantastic! I love the way lace really opens up during blocking. like a completely different item!!

    May 14, 2009
  24. Ooo! Great tutorial!

    I’ve never used Soak and I use flower arranging wire for blocking… so needless to say I’m pretty amped about this prize pack! ;-) Thanks for the contest!

    May 14, 2009
  25. I’ve got a couple of lace projects that I’ll need to block shortly. I love to see lace go from its unblocked state to the full beauty of the blocked state.

    Blocking works wonders.

    May 14, 2009
  26. Tephra #

    Most of my knitting has been with fibers that don’t respond well to blocking, but I just finished a doily not long ago and, being lace, it needed to be blocked. I could not believe the difference it made! I can see why some people go nuts knitting doilies, they’re like the bonbons of lace knitting, a quick bit of knitting and a satisfying blocking and all the rush of getting that pattern opened out and gorgeous with very little time commitment.

    I’m looking forward to blocking my shawl now, rather than dreading it.

    May 14, 2009
  27. Adrienne #

    Blocking is my least favorite part of the process, but I hear those blocking wires are amazing. Even if I don’t win, I may have to get some…

    May 14, 2009
  28. Diane #

    What a great package! It’s something we perhaps all want, but may be doing without. Thanks so much!

    May 14, 2009
  29. The Jubilee Scarf is lovely!

    May 14, 2009
  30. kelley #

    Thanks for the blocking tutorial. I’m terrible at blocking, I always block lace, but nothing else. I’m always to impatient to try things on. I bet having the right tools would make it a lot easier!

    May 14, 2009
  31. I love Soak, and I’d love to try blocking wires – thanks for the contest :)

    May 14, 2009
  32. yes, I love blocking. goes with the love of knitting lace. thanks for sharing.

    May 14, 2009
  33. Jenny #

    Blocking is a miracle. Another reason why knitting is magic.

    May 14, 2009
  34. Eunice #

    Love the blocking lesson. My problem in blocking is a seamless sweater.

    May 14, 2009
  35. I used to think of blocking as such a boring chore that I tried to avoid like the plague if I could….but you make it sound like the most beautiful thing ever.

    I would love to win this to get me even more excited about blocking. I have yet to try any of the lace projects that I’ve eyed for a while because I don’t have (and can’t get right now) any blocking wires. This would be awesome to win, and I would love to try some of these washes to give my projects some “smell good” before they exchange hands.

    Thanks for you encouragement and excitement about blocking. I will look at it in an entirely new light now.

    May 14, 2009
  36. rebekka #

    blocking really does work wonders!

    May 14, 2009
  37. Liz #

    Ahh yes, lace blocking is like magic isn’t it? Turns a twisty pile of uncooked ramen into something amazing.

    May 14, 2009
  38. Please count me in!

    May 14, 2009
  39. Do we just comment to enter? I haven’t yet tried soak so I’m keen to enter :)

    May 14, 2009
  40. blocking lace is magic! I think blocking makes all the work worth it!

    May 14, 2009
  41. I love blocking lace, I just wish I had more room to do it. I have one shawl waiting to be blocked and one on the needles and there’s just not enough space. I’ve been wanting to try Soak for a long time, I hear it smells wonderful.

    May 14, 2009
    • Janine #

      If your shawl is symetrical, you can block it folded in half. This also reduces measuring and restretching to make the halves even.

      May 15, 2009
  42. I love Soak! It comes in such lovely scents. And blocking wires totally rock. Thanks for the contest offer!

    May 14, 2009
  43. Thanks so much for the contest! I’d love to try blocking wires!

    May 14, 2009
  44. Kimberly #

    I would love this!

    May 14, 2009
  45. Becky #

    I’ve been wanting to try soak for awhile. I completely agree with wet blocking, it makes everything look so nice!

    May 14, 2009
  46. Lynn #

    This contest is perfectly timed for me. I have been washing/blocking my sweaters and shawls over the last week or two. (It wouldn’t take so long, if I would remember to wash a few every morning so they have time to dry before bedtime.) I too love Soak. I would love to have a set of blockinig wires.

    Thanks for the contest.

    May 14, 2009
  47. Beth #

    Blocking is definitely essential in almost all of my knitting! I use Eucalan soap but I’ve been wanting to try Soak for awhile now!

    May 14, 2009
  48. Chris #

    Thank you for a very helpful post! I’m just beginning my first lace project, and this information should help to make it a successful one. I’d love to win the blocking kit so I have the proper tools to do the finishing up right.

    May 14, 2009
  49. Chris #

    My blocking seldom extends beyond the use of sock blockers. I’ve been thinking about Ann McCauley sweaters lately, and the directions are specific about blocking “meticulously.”

    May 14, 2009
  50. Ooh, thanks for the chance to win! I’m in the midst of knitting my very first sweater, and this will be the first time I’ve really had to block something big!

    May 14, 2009
  51. Megan Granholm #

    Ah, blocking, one of the most overlooked steps of knitting or crocheting; right up there with gauge swatching!

    May 14, 2009
  52. Connie #

    I’m a fairly recent blocking convert, and I do love the way a good block smooths everything out and makes me look even more awesome than I know I am. Thanks for the great tutorial and the chance to win an excellent prize.

    May 14, 2009
  53. Great little tutorial! Thanks! I’d love to try Soak — always used Eucalan, but then again, I’ve never tried Soak. It would be interesting to compare! Thanks for the opportunity.

    May 14, 2009
  54. Thanks for the excellent post and for the contest!

    May 14, 2009
  55. I’ve always thought a good set of blocking wires could really come in handy. Thanks for photocentric tutorial!

    May 14, 2009
  56. I had no room to pack my blocking wires when I moved to Vancouver from the UK and I r-e-a-l-l-y miss them – T pins are just not the same!

    I completely agree with your post on the way that blocking can transform or tame a piece of knitting. I am not sure whether I am supposed to but sometimes I wet block to dimensions before I seam a garment so that I don’t have to deal with unruly, curly edges while I am sewing.

    May 14, 2009
  57. Helen #

    Thanks for the excellent blog. I’m very interested in trying these products. I have a few projects coming up that will need to be blocked.

    May 14, 2009
  58. I confess, I rarely block. But I have lots of things that NEED blocking, so I hope I win! Thanks!

    May 14, 2009
  59. Kelly S #

    Very nice post! Thanks for the chance to win such a great and useful prize!

    May 14, 2009
  60. I’ve blocked things before, but it always involves a thousand pins and the smell of wet sheep. I’d love to try a nice method! :)

    May 14, 2009
  61. Erin #

    Oh i have been meaning to try Soak for the longest time! I’m still a newbie to blocking and under the delusion that it will fix all knitting evil, even when the garment is obviously too small! Still looking for that magic ingredient. Maybe Soak will be that magic?

    May 14, 2009
  62. I recently finished my first lace project, and the blocking was a revelation. What a difference! Nice article, and lovely pattern! Thanks for the tips, and yes, I would love to have the Soak set!!!

    May 14, 2009
  63. Mary Beth #

    I can really use this. I’ve just crocheted two beautiful baby blankets for my bosses daughter who is having twins. I’ve always had a problem with blocking but after reading this blog entry, it seems a little more manageable.

    May 14, 2009
  64. It took me 2 years of knitting to fully appreciate and understand the importance of a good block. I hate to think of the injustice I did to all my old projects who didn’t get the proper treatment!

    May 14, 2009
  65. Deb #

    I agree that blocking is key to a professional look to a finished hand-knit garment. I am definitely a believer, and I’d LOVE to win the SOAK kit!

    May 14, 2009
  66. Bonnie #

    Great reminder of the importance of blocking. I have always just pinned my pieces to block them – don’t own any wires – may have to try those sometime.

    May 14, 2009
  67. Love that scarf! I’m always learning more about blocking, not quite satisfied that I *know* the best ways or the right amount of stretch yet. I haven’t tried Soak yet either.

    Then there was the time I asked if one of my LYSs had blocking pins or wires. No. Ok, fine, I can see why because Joann’s is one block over so maybe it’s not worth stocking them, but when they said they couldn’t understand *why* I would block my Swallowtail Shawl….umm….let’s just say I politely said that I would prefer to block it.

    May 14, 2009
  68. Lisa #

    Oooh, that’s an awesome prize, well worth commenting for.

    And as for blocking? Blocking is Magic.

    May 14, 2009
  69. deana #

    I lost my soak in my last move and could really use some blocking wires! What a great give away! :)

    May 14, 2009
  70. Andrea #

    Blocking makes such a huge difference – which you have shown quite well!

    May 14, 2009
  71. dana #

    please enter me in your contest! would love to try soak.

    May 14, 2009
  72. what a great run-through of good wet blocking technique! That scarf is so pretty. I’d love a chance to use blocking wires- they look like they make the process so much easier! The contest is a great idea- looks like there’s lots of goodies in there! *fingers crossed for luck*

    May 14, 2009
  73. What a lovely contest. Blocking is certainly a wonder-worker.

    May 14, 2009
  74. cristalle #

    I’m dying to try Soak. My least favorite part of blocking is that wet farm animal smell!

    May 14, 2009
  75. Jen #

    Oh, I love blocking. And Celebration too–it smells divine!

    May 14, 2009
  76. I’ve a shawl that is waiting to be blocked and the wires would come in real handy!

    May 14, 2009
  77. Perfect! I love blocking wires and soak both! I haven’t done anything quite that lacey and fine, but blocking has made a difference in a lot of my other knits…

    May 14, 2009
  78. Chppie #

    I’ve never tried Soak but it sounds wonderful. I appreciated all of the photos on blocking. I don’t do a great job because i find it tedious, but I’ve also never tried wires. You do make it look at lot more interesting and transformational. I guess I need to knit some lace and give it a go!

    Thanks for the friday posts. I always look forward to them.

    May 14, 2009
  79. amy #

    I would love to try soak. I’ve only used Eucalan exclusively and I’m just about to run out…

    May 14, 2009
    • We’d be happy to send you a few samples of Soak if you don’t win! -j

      May 14, 2009
  80. lainevierge #

    Thanks for the tips. I just happen to be blocking a sweater knit with Berroco Ultra Alpaca right now!

    May 14, 2009
  81. EquinoxMoon #

    Thank you for this informative & inspirational post. I haven’t had cause to do much blocking, but now find myself looking around for projects that might benefit from a little extra effort. :)

    May 14, 2009
  82. Sarah #

    Super post. I love grids of photos and I love before and after pictures of blocking, so I’m happy on two counts!

    May 14, 2009
  83. Kali #

    Nice! I need to get one of those blocking boards.

    May 14, 2009
  84. thnaks for the information. Blocking has never been easy for me. I love the pictures of your beautiful dog helping out!

    May 14, 2009
  85. Oh my GOSH that scarf is gorgeous! I have used several of the scents of soak and really appreciate how they are delicious without being overwhelming.

    May 14, 2009
  86. I block pretty much everything, it’s one of my favorite parts of the knitting process!

    May 14, 2009
  87. Mo #

    As a blocking newbie, I would love to win this kit! Good luck to everyone!

    May 14, 2009
  88. Dee #

    Lovely scarf and great gift. Hope I win!

    May 14, 2009
  89. Susan #

    I would love to try Soak and I can really use those blocking wires!

    May 14, 2009
  90. Bookmarked for future reference! I really only have ever blocked lace, but I can certainly see how it might be helpful for evening out stitches and cables. I’m so curious about all of the different Soak scents!

    Thanks for running such a great contest!

    May 14, 2009
  91. Sheila #

    I see blocking is important. I never realized it made that much difference… I would love to have some of my projects transformed, ah-hem… blocked using these wires.

    May 14, 2009
  92. Pretty cool set.

    May 14, 2009
  93. Kristi #

    I love blocking! I need to convince my friends to do it more often, because the project just looks so much more polished after a good blocking session.

    May 14, 2009
  94. amanda #

    I loooove Soak! Put me in for the contest!

    May 14, 2009
  95. Great tutorial! I always forget that wet blocking isn’t the only option.

    May 14, 2009
  96. I love Soak but I’m in it for the wires!

    May 14, 2009
  97. sheri #

    I have never tried blocking before but as my skills increase it should be something that I should defently try. I am saving this articule to my favorites for when I need to use it. Thanks.

    May 14, 2009
  98. Pretty, pretty scarf!

    I’m a big fan of blocking — the results are well worth the effort. :)

    May 14, 2009
  99. Kim #

    I block out on the patio table using big pieces of wallboard Styrofoam and straight pins. LOVE how lace turns out!

    May 14, 2009
  100. kelly-ann #

    What a very nice prize – I would love some blocking wires :) Great blog entry!

    May 14, 2009
  101. Love the scarf you used to show this tutorial.. let’s wait for this week newsletter!

    May 14, 2009
  102. Emily #

    I’ve only recently become addicted to knitting lace, and blocking is like MAGIC. I would love to win a set of blocking wires-trying to pin out a shawl that is 57 inches across would be much easier then!

    May 14, 2009
  103. This is the best tutorial I’ve seen so far on blocking with wires. Thank you! The pictures are great.

    May 14, 2009
  104. Maureen #

    I have some serious blocking to do this weekend and this post made me a little bit excited about it. I don’t have blocking wires though, just pins.

    May 14, 2009
  105. mariajhmom #

    Thanks for the great info!!!

    May 14, 2009
  106. Jan #

    Thanks for the contest! I’d love the blocking wires and the Soak, too! I’ve not used a specific wool wash before, so I’d like to try the Soak.

    May 14, 2009
    • Jeanie #

      I don’t block as often as I need to. My biggest problem is WHERE!

      May 14, 2009
  107. KT #

    Always glad to learn more about blocking – sign me up!

    May 14, 2009
  108. KJ #

    Oh my goodness, I never thought of using a salad spinner–what a genius idea!! This post is great, thank you.

    May 14, 2009
  109. Thanks for the tutorial and the contest. I would love have the tools to block things it would encourage me to not put it off!

    May 14, 2009
  110. Merry G #

    I’d like to try some of the “new” wool washes. I’ve been using Woolite for my knitted pieces because I can get it locally (no LYS).

    May 14, 2009
  111. seashoreknits #

    What a fun contest! I’m a big big fan of Soak – in all it’s many wonderful scents! And I would LOVE to own some blocking wires – I never can get my shawls straight enough with pinning alone. Thank you for this opporunity to win!!

    May 14, 2009
  112. I just finished my first shawl and it is crumpled in a pile and awaiting a nice soak and blocking. It will be my first attempt. Thanks for the inspiration

    May 14, 2009
  113. Dana #

    What a great idea for a contest! Thanks.

    May 14, 2009
  114. Thanks the great tutorial and contest! I would love to try Soak. :)

    May 14, 2009
  115. km #

    I’d love this prize. I’ve never blocked anything…I don’t have the supplies.

    May 14, 2009
  116. Beautiful scarf!

    May 14, 2009
  117. Thanks for offering the contest!

    May 14, 2009
  118. I’d love to try Soak and the blocking wires! I’ve heard great things about Soak but haven’t tried it yet, and I’m searching for a great set of blocking wires! Thanks for giving away a set, and I love the scarf!

    May 14, 2009
  119. Pat C. #

    It looks like you have a conscientious doggy helper. What’s his name?

    May 14, 2009
  120. Laura #

    Thanks for the blocking info! I haven’t really done lace yet because blocking seems like so much work. But I bet the wires make it much easier than lots of little pins. The kit looks great!

    May 14, 2009
  121. I love soak, but I can’t really spare the money for it, so I just use my dish soap! I love when I get samplers of Soak. I feel like I’m papering my FO’s! :)

    May 14, 2009
  122. Donna #

    Blocking lace is truly a magical enterprise. Even knowing that, I find when I’m doing a lace project I worry that it just isn’t going to be worthy of all the work. Then I take it off the needles, give it a soak, roll it in a towel, unroll it, spread it out on my queen-size bed and get to work stretching and smoothing and suddenly the ugly ducking of a rumpled mass of knitting turns into a beautiful swan.

    Great tutorial.

    May 14, 2009
  123. knittingshelley #

    I’d love a chance to win this great prize. I’ve heard great things about blocking wires and am just about to start a small lace project, so this would be perfect. Plus I hear that Soak is really nice – I haven’t had an opportunity to try it yet!

    May 14, 2009
  124. tracey #

    Ah… the mysteries of blocking.
    By the way, I LOVE Soak.

    May 14, 2009
  125. I love SOAK! It’s the only wool wash I ever use. :)

    May 14, 2009
  126. I’m in need of blocking wires!! Thank you for offering this contest! All my makeup, etc., has to *smell* good, so the Soak sounds awesome!

    May 14, 2009
  127. brella #

    An upright steamer? Oh my.

    May 14, 2009
  128. Would love to win the blocking kit. I don’t have any blocking wires!

    May 14, 2009
  129. Vicki #

    Lovely scarf! Blocking lace is so rewarding.

    May 14, 2009
  130. Annie #

    Thanks for much for the tips! I’m new to blocking (don’t ask me why I haven’t done it before now!) and am slowly learning which method is best!

    May 14, 2009
  131. Jenny #

    Great blocking info! And Jubilee is a beautiful pattern.

    May 14, 2009
  132. Jane #

    I have 3 lace shawls waiting for blocking – I’d love to try the Soak and blocking wires.

    May 14, 2009
  133. Elizabeth #

    Your blocking looks just like mine, except where is the part when the cat lies down on top of the lace and covers it with cat hair?

    May 14, 2009
  134. Deborah #

    Pretty scarf. I’ve used Eucalan and would like to compare the Soak.

    May 14, 2009
  135. Susan #

    I’ve wanted to try some lacier projects, but all the pinning for blocking has intimidated me. Wires may be the solution for me!

    May 14, 2009
  136. Jessica K. #

    I keep hearing about this Soak… It was all over the prize table at the MDSW After-Party (not literally!). I use Eucalan right now b/c I bought a big bottle at my LYS, not realizing how long a big bottle can last!

    I hope I win those wires… I have a feather & fan shawl that’s almost done!

    May 14, 2009
  137. I might be a little strange, but I love blocking and seeing my squished pattern take form :)

    May 14, 2009
  138. I’d love to hear advice on how to block different types of fibers. Cool prize pack!

    May 14, 2009
    • Tracie #

      Great Blog! I understand the importance of blocking…especially a lace project. But what if the lace project is a gift for someone. You knit the project, you carefully block the project, then gift the project. I highly doubt the person receiving the gift will want to block it like I did when they go to wash the gift. So I guess my advice upon gifting the project is to tell them to soak it, roll in towel, lay flat to dry? I’ve never used “Soak” before. Does it contain lanolin? Thank you for the info!

      May 15, 2009
    • Marianne #

      You have made using blocking wires understandable. Thank you.

      May 15, 2009
  139. I am addicted to lace knitting but I have never tried Soak.

    May 15, 2009
  140. Blocking is such an essential part of knitting. I have my rituals but would love to see how others deal with the more difficult items.

    May 15, 2009
  141. Debbie Bourque #

    This is such a helpful website for me! I do not have proper blocking material and the chance to win is beyond exciting! Thank you for this kind offer.

    May 15, 2009
  142. ha ha! love the dog on the blocking board… and i second that! blocking is essential. i’m always surprised by my knitting friends who are afraid to do it. seriously… like magic. and you can’t mess it up because you can re-magic it.

    May 15, 2009
  143. Blocking is soo essential to lace! Love the scarf. And I hope I win the giveaway, I’d love to try Soak!

    May 15, 2009
  144. cnuland #

    I love that scarf. Great job of blocking!

    May 15, 2009
  145. Megan #

    Would love to try soak! I hope it would inspire me to properly block more than just my lace knitting…

    May 15, 2009
  146. Carol #

    I’ve never used Soak but I’d love a chance to try it. With blocking wires!

    May 15, 2009
  147. Lori #

    Good article. I have the same dish towel – Target rocks!

    May 15, 2009
  148. marcy #

    blocking is the final adventure. i like it. but i would like it more with blocking wires!!! to use on my to be flow and aubrey , yarn purchased today. it’s a berroco day!!

    May 15, 2009
  149. Amy K. #

    Add me to the rank of blockheads! my mom showed me the fine art of blocking, and I made my own blocking boards, and am always amazed at the befores and afters. I’ve pretty much only done wet blocking, so am curious to try Soak. Can’t get it here (I’m at present in Central Asia), but I have a mini-sample of it… unfortunately, only one, so I’m hoarding it for the “perfect” project to try it out on… :)
    Great gift pack… would love it!:)
    Thanks for the article, and thanks for getting me very very interested in knitting the Jubilee Scarf!:)

    May 15, 2009
  150. Dawn #

    Blocking = magic!

    May 15, 2009
  151. Kim H #

    I absolutely LOVE Soak products. My favorite scent (so far) is Aquae. I am always suprised how much blocking even helps the garments you don’t think need it. Blocking really does give it that “edge” that makes the item truly pop.

    May 15, 2009
  152. Cynthia A #

    Thank you for the photo tutorial. I recently finished my first lace piece, and I was so happily surprised with the wonder of blocking out my lace! Ahhhhh – lovely!

    May 15, 2009
  153. Kira S #

    Haven’t tried Soak or blocking wires yet, but I am always amazed by the power of blocking…my LYS owner says “blocking hides a multitude of sins!”

    May 15, 2009
  154. shelley #

    blocking rocks!

    May 15, 2009
  155. marilyn #

    I’d been wondering what to do with my stash of Ultra Alpaca Fine, thanks for the pattern!

    I always add add soak, or dish washing liquid when I block, but I don’t know the reason for it. Is there one aside from cleaning?

    Thanks.

    May 15, 2009
  156. Oooh a chance to win blocking wires–they would find frequent use at my house.

    May 15, 2009
  157. My blocking lightbulb moment happened with a shawl I finished recently. The rough garment that went into the water, after a 15 minute bath, came out feeling soft as butter. It doubled in size and is now one of my favourite pieces I have ever made.

    Thank you for having this contest. I don’t have blocking wires yet, which recently went on my “to buy for knitting” list, but i’ll wait just a bit longer in case I win this awesome prize.

    May 15, 2009
  158. GinkgoKnits #

    My main wish with regards to blocking is a bigger flat space (off the floor to be away from pets) that I could use. But, some extra wool wash is always a big plus too!

    May 15, 2009
  159. Melissa #

    I love watching how blocking can transform your knitting!

    May 15, 2009
  160. Ahh blocking. :) I really want to get some blocking wires to assist in block scarves and lace. Some day!

    May 15, 2009
  161. Barb #

    I use my design wall (3×4 art board covered in batting held with double sided sticky tape) as a blocking board. Blocking is truly magic especially with lace….I love it! One can never have enough blocking wires or stainless steel pins! :)

    May 15, 2009
  162. Angela Genovese #

    I started a lace scarf before I had heard of the wonders of blocking. The scarf looked so blah to me as I knit that I just frogged it. I wonder if my knitting path would have changed had I known about blocking lace. Now I alternate between socks and chunky projects. Could it be time to try lace again? Thanks for the tutorial. It doesn’t look so hard when you do it.

    May 15, 2009
    • norahgaughan #

      Yes, it’s time to try again!

      May 15, 2009
  163. cathy #

    BLOCK AWAY!!!!

    May 15, 2009
  164. Chris #

    The greatest gift I give the people I teach is instruction on blocking. I now hear many of my friends saying “Wait until you see it blocked.” when people compliment their knitting.

    May 15, 2009
  165. Mandy #

    Love this! Looks great!

    May 15, 2009
  166. Carla #

    My cats think they are good at blocking as well- I try to lock them out of the room as not everyone wants cat hair on the finished product!

    May 15, 2009
  167. Meg Caulmare #

    Good morning! I’m with you, I love to block. When I give anything lacy, like scarves, shawls, sweaters, and even mitts, I always offer to do an annual wash and re-block. My preference is to block outdoors, maybe it’s a past-life memory or something. You give excellent advice when you say to choose the best blocking method for your garment. For anything in lace, I swear by my blocking wires. I run them through edges and then peg the wires into the ground using pointed dowels or pencils or whatever is handy. Terrific fun! For sweaters, I like to use a screen (dedicated for blocking and fleece drying only!) set on the arms of two lawn chairs. The air circulates well and the garment dries smooth and even.

    It was my handspun yarn that sold me on blocking. I steam every skein, wash it, and lay it flat to dry. While that isn’t blocking at all for yarn, it taught me that finishing procedures make a world of different. I got out my books and magazines and taught myself about blocking (that was pre-Berroco Design Studio blog – ‘way pre-!). It’s a good skill to have.

    Thanks for the tutorial and photos. Keep up the good work.

    Meg

    May 15, 2009
  168. Diane #

    Thanks for the info. I have always been intimidated by blocking. I hope to try it on my next project! Didn’t know there was a product that could help. Would love to try Soak.

    May 15, 2009
  169. Judy #

    Is it possible to *shrink* a garment at all using blocking? I made a Pinot cardigan (http://www.berroco.com/264.268/264/264_pinot_pv.html) using Peruvia and am so pleased and proud of it, BUT I think my measurements were slightly off and the finished product is a bit too big for me. Any blocking strategies for this (or other strategies)?

    Thanks for the tutorial!

    May 15, 2009
  170. Lisa H #

    I’ve only been knitting for a few months, lots to learn! I have found the whole idea of blocking pretty scary, but your article really made it understandable. Thanks for breaking it down so simply. I’ll definitely have to start trying it! I’ll have to pick up some Soak and boards as soon as I get a chance. I just finished a sweater for my daughter and I’m sure blocking would help its appearance. Thanks for the great article!

    May 15, 2009
  171. Blocking really can transform an object. I’d like to try wires someday since pins can take forever.

    May 15, 2009
  172. Karen #

    I would love to try blocking wires, it looks so much easier than pinning
    and blocking. I don’t do a lot of blocking but I would love to do this project.

    May 15, 2009
  173. dorothy l #

    great information for blocking I need to block a few things I never did it before

    May 15, 2009
  174. I’ve experienced the joy of blocking on my Woodland Shawl. But that was with the meeeeillion little pins (and my helpful daughter to hand them to me). I’ve been itching to try blocking wires … fingers crossed!

    May 15, 2009
  175. Well written explanation of blocking … if I can ever clear my dining room table of its clutter, I have two scarves waiting the blocking process. I especially like the suggestion of using a salad spinner, and will be trying that soon!

    May 15, 2009
  176. Jan W. #

    I love blocking results. It’s like watching a butterfly emerge from a cocoon! It makes all the difference. Great article, thanks. And I love the Jubilee scarf. Another great pattern from my favorite designers. Thank you for writing such clear, concise, well fitting patterns. It makes knitting a pleasure.

    May 15, 2009
  177. deidre #

    I’m so excited at the prospect of knitting lace, now that I know how to finish it! I’ve tried blocking before, with varied results, but your tutorial gives me hope. Now if only I could find some Soak and those cool wires… well, maybe I’ll win the prize package:)

    May 15, 2009
  178. Lori #

    Thanks for the tips! SOAK is the best.

    May 15, 2009
  179. Lori #

    I always dread blocking, but when it’s done and so much better, i always swear that NEXT time i’ll do it right away. Repeat. :)

    May 15, 2009
  180. Frida #

    Excellent tutorial. I was looking for this kind of tutorial for a long time. Thank you!
    Frida

    May 15, 2009
  181. Marlene #

    I didn’t realize what an amazing difference blocking makes. It is very apparent in the photo with the before and after scarf photo. Thanks for the clear directions. Are the directions basically the same for all fibers, i.e. wool, blends. bamboo, cotton…

    May 15, 2009
    • norahgaughan #

      I think we’ll need to do some more blogging to answer questions like this one. We’ll get on it.

      May 15, 2009
  182. Julie #

    Blocking seems like such a mystery to me. I would like to know more about whether blocking a swatch is essential when making a sweater or other garments.

    May 15, 2009
  183. Debbie #

    Thank you for this great article on blocking and introducing me to “Soak Washes”. I was using another product and wasn’t very pleased with it so I will definitely try this next.

    May 15, 2009
  184. Janice #

    Thank you for the lovely tutorial. I’ve just started my first lace project, so I sure could use some blocking wires.

    May 15, 2009
  185. michelle #

    Thanks! that was very helpful information!

    May 15, 2009
  186. Harlene #

    Blocking is fun (it’s the seaming up I hate). Thanks for the tip on adding a bit of Soak to the spray bottle. That was one I had never heard before. I assume it would work with Euclan as well? I haven’t used Soak yet.

    May 15, 2009
  187. LuAnn #

    Great advice on blocking! I always do. It’s a tedious chore but makes such a huge difference in the finished project. Unfortunately my cats love it when they spot a project pinned to the floor and I have to close doors to protect it. I haven’t used the wash but am anxious to try it. Good fragrances are wonderful.

    May 15, 2009
  188. Thank you for the lovely scarf pattern!

    May 15, 2009
  189. Mary Jane #

    One of the difficult decisions for me is which method to use for the garment and fiber used. I am always trying a different method to gain knowledge on what works best and when.

    May 15, 2009
  190. Joyce #

    I enjoyed especially learning about adding a touch of Soak (which I love, too) to the spritzing water. I look forward to trying that idea.

    May 15, 2009
  191. Patti #

    Wow! All this time I’ve been using my Mini-Schnauzer as the Site Inspector. What a great heads up! I’m off to the Humane Society before my next soak!

    Best,

    May 15, 2009
  192. Ellen #

    Jubilee scarf is beautiful…I’ve never blocked anything–mainly because I have lots of UFO’s laying around. But would be willing to try it with the Jubilee scarf, is there a kit available? I’d also like to be considered for the prize pack. Never tried Soak, either…

    May 15, 2009
  193. Jessica Jones #

    I love knitting lace and have tried several different wool washes to soak the lace before blocking, I think Soak is great! While laying the lace out to block is time consuming, the miracle it works on a scarf or shawl is always worth the effort!

    May 15, 2009
  194. Carol #

    This is very helpful.
    I have two questions remaining: How does one block a roundish item, like a baby bonnet? Are there any fibers that should not be blocked with the damp or wet methods?
    Love the dog! My dog helps me, too.
    Carol

    May 15, 2009
  195. laura #

    I never know what method to use for what fibers, or what rinse to buy….blocking is the most confusing part for me so I end up never doing it or doing it and wondering if thats what I was supose to do??? I don’t have any “tools” yet, there are so many things to choose from. (I do however have a gigatic collection of needles and a yarn stash to be jealous of lol) Your blog was helpful, I just need to take the time to learn a little more, thanks for the inspiration.

    May 15, 2009
  196. Gus #

    I think about blocking like I do about making gauge swatches – drag me kicking and screaming into it, but o so worth it! I usually resist blocking because I’m so anxious to wear it, but this blog-bit really helped. And I never thought about the great side effect of the article smelling so cool too!! Another reason to block ! Yeah!!

    May 15, 2009
  197. Ulrika Reinholdsson #

    Oh, I so want this!

    May 15, 2009
  198. patty #

    The tip of using the colander is new to me. I usually squeeze or wring the wool in my hands and this is a gentler method. Thanx so much.

    May 15, 2009
  199. Kathy #

    I would like to try soak. Haven’t seen it in our local shops. Love the newsletter! Thanks much.

    May 15, 2009
  200. I’ve always wanted blocking wires! The tpins work but scallop the edges so the wires would be great!

    May 15, 2009
  201. JMB #

    Just discovered “Soak” and love it. I’ve been toying with the idea of blocking wires and think I may have to invest!

    May 15, 2009
  202. Susan J #

    Thanks for the great information! I’ve been knitting for many years – I learned the basics from my grandmother and have mainly been self-taught since then. In the last few years I’ve started taking some classes at my LYS, but have also found tutorials like yours to be invaluable. There’s been a real improvement in my finished objects!

    May 15, 2009
  203. Lynn Waters #

    You guys are the greatest. Love everything you show and do!!!!

    May 15, 2009
  204. Nina #

    Thank for the information about blocking. I have done it before but am still confused as to whether to do it to the pieces before seaming, or after putting a garment together. Also, I suppose it depends on the fiber. Right now I am finishing a cardigan knit out of bamboo – do I block or not?? I have never used a blocking wire -an interesting idea!

    May 15, 2009
  205. Linda C #

    Those blocking wires sure would make blocking a lot easier! Thanks for the info. I agree with Becky that information on blocking different fibers (as well as different types of garments) would be very helpful, especially those new fibers, like bamboo and corn-based fibers……thanks for having such a great website!

    May 15, 2009
  206. Beth P #

    Very informative blog!! I am knitting a lace scarf now and I can see that blocking it will bring out the beauty of the stitches and show all the openwork I hae worked hard to achieve.

    May 15, 2009
  207. Thanks for the blocking instructions. All very clear what to do with a flat item, but I’d love to see the next installment show how to deal with blocking a lace sweater. I had such a hard time getting the pattern to open up on the sleeves. Ended up filling each sleeve with an arm-sized plastic bag of batting. There must be a better way?

    May 15, 2009
    • norahgaughan #

      I recommend blocking the pieces of a sweater before you put it together, while all is still flat. If your sweater is knit circularly, sewing rolls or hams can help if you are using steam. I love my steamer!

      May 15, 2009
  208. Julie #

    I’m a big fan of blocking, but have never heard of Soak before. Thanks for all of the great information!

    May 15, 2009
  209. Anita #

    you know, i’ve heard about blocking before but didn’t really take it seriously. i just knitted a lightweight sweater using ultra alpaca (i really love the feel of this yarn!) didn’t come out as i expected. i will now try blocking and see if that works! i guess i just didn’t think about changing shape that way before! thank you ladies for the blog and keep me in mind for the kit!

    May 15, 2009
  210. Sheila #

    This scarf is beautiful and I think it would make a great shawl too. I recently visited Florida and used a friends cashmere shawl to cover up in a restaurant that was blasting air conditioning. I am trying to imagine how wide it should be. Any opinions or this one or any other great pattens for shawls?

    May 15, 2009
  211. Margaret #

    Thanks for the great information on blocking. Would love to try blocking wires instead of a bazillion pins.

    May 15, 2009
  212. Jannie #

    Thanks for the blocking guidelines, this was helpful

    May 15, 2009
  213. Mara #

    Wow, what a great blocking board inspector! Great inspiration to get all of those languishing things that need to be blocked done. It would help a lot if I won the prize!

    May 15, 2009
  214. I always enjoy the process of blocking. I liken it to washing a quilt after it has been quilted…it’s not really done until then! I have so enjoyed the little series of tutorials and videos. You guys are great!

    May 15, 2009
  215. paula #

    I love Soak. I have only used the sample packs so far and am waiting to find it in my LYS.

    May 15, 2009
  216. Kate #

    It wasn’t until I started knitting lace that I came to appreciate the wonders of blocking, now it is one of my favourite parts.

    May 15, 2009
  217. I have knitted lace scarves and only blocked them the best I could using mild dishsoap and towels. What a wonderful gift to be able to block the proper way with wires! If I win, I want my first project to be the Jubilee scarf in ultra Alpaca Fine. :-)

    May 15, 2009
  218. Jean #

    I am close to finishing a beautiful lace scarf in a variegated alpaca – I really need the blocking wires :-) Have been blocking other knit items for a few years and am really impressed with the difference that it makes.

    May 15, 2009
  219. Cookie #

    I’m new to knitting, so this information is great! I’m knitting myself a sweater – when it’s done (January, maybe?!??! LOL), I’ll have to try the soaking and blocking. Thanks so much!

    May 15, 2009
  220. ElizaJA (strickdoktor on ravelry) #

    Wow — this is a great contest! I LOVE blocking and have been meaning to try Soak, esp. now as it’s finally time to put woolens away for the summer!

    May 15, 2009
  221. I started knitting 3 years ago and have added lace knitting to the list of things I want to work on this year. I like the assistant and am glad he declared the board “up to code”, assistants are nice. Nice prize pack.

    May 15, 2009
  222. Jennylynn #

    The lacey scarf if beautiful. I can’t wait to try it, and the blocking kit is great! I would love to win it. Thanks for the info.

    May 15, 2009
  223. MK #

    I love the idea of the salad spinner–thanks for the tutorial!

    May 15, 2009
  224. Bethany #

    I made doilies for gifts and the blocking made all the difference.

    May 15, 2009
  225. I’d love the soak, and this pattern might just be what my Alpaca is waiting to be!

    May 15, 2009
  226. Carrie Yun #

    Thank you for the tutorial on blocking. I do not block right now, because I’m lazy and it is not so pleasant when all I have is my ironing board. What is that blocking board made of that you can pin into it? And does it fold up for storage.

    May 15, 2009
  227. Susannah Hill #

    I used to be very lazy about blocking my pieces before seaming, but knitting lace totally converted me. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing that finished product all flattened out and beautiful. Blocking is an essential step if you want to have knits that look handmade, not homemade.

    Lovely scarf, Norah!

    May 15, 2009
  228. Grace #

    Great post, love your inspector!

    May 15, 2009
  229. Tiffanie #

    I followed a blocking tutorial using heat on a wet acrylic scarf I’d made as a practice piece and it transformed into such a silky, drapey piece that I can’t belive it’s acrylic. I love blocking! I’m working on my first lace piece and would love the opportunity to try another technique using blocking wires (which I don’t have yet). Thanks for the info & the contest.

    May 15, 2009
  230. Mary Beth #

    I’ve just recently (last four months) have gotten into knitting. I don’t have the blocking supplies or the knowledge so this is VERY helpful. I can handle the wires. I’ve seen blocking kits that look so complicated that I’ve avoided the whole idea. How do you block things that don’t have a straight edge like sweaters and socks?

    May 15, 2009
  231. joanne #

    Terrific blocking info. Great prize.

    May 15, 2009
  232. Kate Wyatt #

    Oh wow, blocking looks so much easier using the wires. I’m new to knitting and hadn’t heard of blocking wires before. Very cool.

    May 15, 2009
  233. anne #

    I don’t understand people who say they never block. Its the finishing step in knitting…the icing on the cake…the step that takes it from looking like you slept in it to WOW, this looks good!!

    May 15, 2009
  234. Melody Gardiner #

    I’m scared to death of blocking and messing up what I’ve taken sooooo long to knit. I wet a sweater once to block and it felted! Your advice has given me confidence to try again. Something I need to add to my life’s skills.

    May 15, 2009
  235. Chris Aiton #

    I love the scarf and appreciate the chance to win the blocking kit.

    May 15, 2009
  236. Penni #

    I am going to be in the process of blocking my first lace project soon. You make it sound so simple, I am actually looking forward to it now.

    May 15, 2009
  237. Pat #

    Thank you for your comments on blocking and for this gift offer.

    May 15, 2009
  238. Robin #

    There is something magical about blocking. As exciting as I find finishing a project, the results after blocking always gives me the greatest satisfaction. Thank you for this entry and for demonstrating the importance of this often skipped step in knitting and crochet.

    May 15, 2009
  239. Michele #

    Thank You for the tut. I kind of view blocking as a necessary evil, hate to do it, but really needs to be done. You emphasized that it makes your knits look better and I needed to hear that, again!

    May 15, 2009
  240. Janet #

    This was a great help – especially the pictures. I had heard of blocking wires, but wasn’t sure of how they worked. SOAK is a great product for caring for our fine knitted items!

    May 15, 2009
  241. Amy #

    I am in love with lace. I love to see it transformed after blocking. It’s amazing!!!!

    May 15, 2009
  242. Carol #

    Thanks for the hot tips!

    May 15, 2009
  243. Robin #

    I’m finishing a lace project and was really hesitant to block – as I’ve never blocked my knitting- This tutorial was so helpful and friendly that now I know I can do it!! Thanks.

    May 15, 2009
  244. excellentwriters #

    I’m looking forward to trying the technique. I have a piece on the needles now that will need a good blocking.

    May 15, 2009
  245. Naoko #

    May have advice on blocking items that we knit in the round? e.g., a seamless cardigan from the neck down?

    May 15, 2009
  246. Martina Dietz #

    What about blocking those new fibres, tencel, seaweed or bamboo? How much stretching do you recommend for those?

    May 15, 2009
  247. Barb #

    Learned about blocking from my mother who was the family knitter. Everyone marveled at the perfection in her baby sweaters – couldn’t get over how even her stitches and how professional her work looked. Aside from the fact that her work was always meticulous, the transition from unblocked to blocked was remarkable.
    I’ve recently started knitting again after many years. Thanks for the reminder about blocking! Since I’m working on two pieces to give as gifts, sure could use that blocking kit!

    May 15, 2009
  248. Jane #

    While the blocking board shown looks like a nice tool, you can make your own. I used a scrap piece of drywall (about 3’x3′) and drew a grid on it with a Sharpie. If the surface of the drywall seems a little powdery, you could cover the piece with clear contact paper.

    May 15, 2009
  249. Kathryn #

    Very cool.. Blocking definitely seems to make a huge difference!

    May 15, 2009
  250. Karen L #

    This was a most interesting article to read. I am just getting into knitting (usually crochet) and am amazed at the photo of the unblocked and blocked scarf. One can really see the difference. The blocked scarf looks like a much better knitted scarf even though they are one and the same. When I get to this level of knitting, I will definitely want to be a “blockhead”. Thanks for the clear and instructive information.

    May 15, 2009
  251. Therese #

    I appreciate all the instructions that I find on your site. My concern is how to block acrylic blends. I steamed a sweater with acrylic once and it ended up four sizes too big!

    May 15, 2009
  252. Linda B. Motz #

    Thanks for the tutorial! I’m a new knitter so this was terrific for me. I especially enjoyed pictures of your “inspector”!!!!! Linda

    May 15, 2009
  253. Sandra Niggemann #

    Having done blocking with pins! The wires sound easy and magical.I am just wondering if the knitting mistakes leap out at you after blocking.

    May 15, 2009
  254. Judy #

    Love blocking, haven;’t tried the soak, so look forward to the opportunity. Blocking wires would make things soooooo much easier!

    May 15, 2009
  255. Becky #

    I have managed to avoid blocking for the 4 years I’ve been knitting! Right now, though, I’m knitting a simple lace shawl. Your advice is right on time. As I’ve researched blocking, wires are clearly the way to go.

    May 15, 2009
  256. Ina Harding #

    Beautiful scarf-maybe a Christmas gift ? I use small wires for blocking my knitted doilies Ina

    May 15, 2009
  257. Connie #

    I needed to read this because I don’t block very well. Thanks for the tips!

    May 15, 2009
  258. barbara #

    Wonderful piece on blocking and just what I needed. I am about to finish a sweater for my grand daughter and it will certainly need to be blocked.
    Thanks so much.
    Barbara Joan Grubman

    May 15, 2009
  259. It is always great to read/see great tutorials and you guys never disappoint.
    Blocking lace has always daunted me and now I know why….blocking wires!
    Thank you for all the good information

    May 15, 2009
  260. Sophy #

    My “inspectors” (all feline) usually curl up on my knitting – so wet blocking is a necessity for me ;) !

    Seriously, it is wonderful to see how a crabbed, scrawny, lumpy piece of work turns into an exquisite lace article. I love the Jubilee scarf; with the lacework accenting the cables (or is it the cables accenting the lace?); it’s a perfect way for a southern gal to wear alpaca!

    May 15, 2009
  261. natalie Fuechsel #

    I love the steam function on a professional press bed, like at the dry cleaners. I used to work at a department store that had tailoring services and they would press everything afterwards. I loved using the steam bed to make my knitting look perfect. I was anti-hardcore-blocking for a really long time, but once I started knitting lace I became a convert. The pinning is a drag, but I imagine the wires make it soooo much easier =)

    May 15, 2009
  262. Joyce #

    Blocking is not my favorite thing to do, but it makes such a difference in the final product….any advice I can get helps., thanks….also would love to try the soak in celebration….

    May 15, 2009
  263. I’ve blogged about your blog! Thanks for the tutorial, I’ve never been real good at blocking, maybe now I can figure it out!

    Thanks…..

    Terrye

    http://knitting.craftgossip.com/blocking-schlocking/2009/05/15/

    May 15, 2009
  264. Mary Alyce Heaton #

    An art teacher once told me that the frame is a gift to the picture. I like to think that blocking is a gift to the knitting. It declares “finished” and “look at me!” Thank you for the tips.

    May 15, 2009
  265. Susan #

    You’re right! You can’t appreciate lace knitting unless it’s blocked. I don’t have wires, pins or blocking board. I Just lay my project on a table cloth and either steam or wet block to size.

    May 15, 2009
  266. Sarah #

    Thanks for this…I have to admit I have yet to block anything I have knitted but when I move on to sweaters and such, I know this will come in handy. The pics help a lot.

    May 15, 2009
  267. Ellen #

    I have several hanks of Ultra Alpaca Fine wound into balls waiting for a project like this one. I, too, would like more information on blocking other types of fibers. Thanks for all the useful information.

    May 15, 2009
  268. michel #

    What a treat it would be to win this nice package! Thanks for the tutorial.

    May 15, 2009
  269. Velinda Straub #

    I’ve starting knitting lace again, and blocking is absolutely essential to making the stitch pattern “POP”. It’s kind of liberating not stressing over making each stitch perfect, knowing it’s going to be put in it’s place when stretched and blocked. Like a butterfly from the cocoon. I sure would like a set of the blocking needles to help!!

    May 15, 2009
  270. Carol #

    I used to block on the floor between 2 large damp ath sheets and a ton of pins. and a metal yardstick. I bought a blocking board,Rowneta steam iron, and a craft table and after I blocked the first sweater I thought that I had died and gone to heaven. No bending over (table was at stand up height), no inaccurate measuring(blocking board has both inch and cenimeter measurements)and the best Rowneta is an amazing iron that gives off a ton of steam. I was really able to shape my sweater to fit. The only thing that I have not ried is the soak method although I did buy Soak and will try it for the next garment.

    May 15, 2009
  271. Joy Heiens #

    I appreciate the simplicity of the blocking tutorial. It helped to explain a bunch. I’ve never heard of the Soak things. Joy

    May 15, 2009
  272. Liz Blankemeyer #

    I’ve blocked many lace shawls, with hundreds of pins. Wires sound so much quicker. I just finished two estonian lace projects and have put off blocking, so maybe I’ll wait and try it with wires.

    Elizabeth

    May 15, 2009
  273. Karen #

    I always block sweaters but just recently knitted a lace scarf and saw the wonders of blocking lace for the first time, though with a gazillion pins. The transformation is truely amazing. Thanks for the tips. And I love Soak too!

    May 15, 2009
  274. Carroll #

    Thanks for the great tutorial. If I don’t win the blocking kit may I please have the doggie? Pretty puleeeeeeeze!

    May 15, 2009
  275. Thanks for the tutorial. I have only used wet blocking (not as often as I should). Weaving in ends and blocking are my least favorite things to do as once I am done knitting, I want to be done. I hope to try this scarf. It is to die for, and try a new method of blocking.

    May 15, 2009
  276. Andrea Bailey #

    With all the work that goes into a handmade item – blocking is the difference between a so so end product and a spectacular piece. Thanks for sharing such valuable information! I have never used Soak but I will be looking to do so now. In fact, I have one piece in mind that I can’t wait to get home to work on! Thanks again!

    May 15, 2009
  277. Meg A #

    Blocking makes a HUGE difference in the look and feel of a finished object. Something about the Soak that seems to soften up the fibers and make a piece so much softer. I borrowed a pair of blocking wires recently from a friend to block a lace wrap I knit. Wow! It went from looking like scrambled eggs to gorgeous lace. Really gave me the knit lace bug! I would love to have a set of blocking wires of my own!!! KNit on y’all!

    May 15, 2009
  278. Margaret #

    Thanks for this tutorial. I’ve never blocked before. Hopefully this will walk me through it when it is time.

    May 15, 2009
  279. Susan #

    I never thought of using a colander when wet blocking, and the salad spinner sounds even better for lightweight or fine projects. Thanks for the great ideas!

    May 15, 2009
  280. Katherine #

    Yay, blocking! Yum, Soak! Labels, too? Superfun.

    May 15, 2009
  281. BeverlyT #

    Except for lace, I almost always do a light steam blocking first before I do an more intenstive block. I find that the steam block is usually all I need for most projects I do.

    May 15, 2009
  282. Joan #

    I loved this tip. I’ve never tried wet blocking, but I’m finishing an alpaca sweater and I think it needs it. I’ll get my courage up to try it.

    May 15, 2009
  283. patpat #

    I have never blocked anything and really didnt understand the reasoning behind it. This article took away the intimidation–you make it look very simple!! Thank you so much!!

    May 15, 2009
  284. Arlene Mowry #

    Thanks for this tutorial. Great reminder of how important finishing is. I like the products you mention, but could you also tell me where to get a blocking board? And can I get an inspector to go with it?

    May 15, 2009
  285. Lauren Priegel #

    I’ve never really blocked any of my knitting because I thought it was too much work. Your tutorial has helped me to see the benefits and the ease of this process. Thanks for the needed info!

    May 15, 2009
  286. bellamoden #

    This looks like a great blocking kit, and thanks for the tutorial

    May 15, 2009
  287. Rosemary Landry #

    These tutorials are a life line for me as there are few experienced knitters in my part of the world. Thanks.

    May 15, 2009
  288. Blocking is good.

    I would like to get some wires, as I am determined to knit my first, fine-lace project soon. I need to get ready!

    May 15, 2009
  289. Patricia #

    love this pattern, good info here, would love to try soak have not seen it here!

    May 15, 2009
  290. Jean #

    This is great. I have mental block with blocking and find it intimidating. Please enter me in the contest! Many thanks for the tutorial.

    May 15, 2009
  291. Caitie #

    I’m knitting my first lace and I’m so scared to finish b/c of the blocking! Maybe that sweet soak schizzle will help…

    May 15, 2009
  292. Sue #

    Pick me! I have not tried Soak. Would love to try it. Blocking with wires is so much better than blocking without them, especially with shawls.

    May 15, 2009
  293. Some knitters seem to reserve blocking just for lace. I figure blocking is good for all hand-knits.

    Except maybe socks ;o)

    May 15, 2009
  294. Lorraine Fink #

    I have always said the most important thing in sewing was the pressing of the fabric as you constructed the garment. I sure wish I had known about the blocking wires. What a great idea to insure straight edges! I have always blocked the individual pieces before I joined them and the wires would be awesome

    May 15, 2009
  295. I have never used the wires but can understand why they would be so easy. The millons pins are not easy and I end up finding them everywhere! Would love to be the winner………..

    May 15, 2009
  296. Tina #

    I am a believer in the wonders of blocking! Thanks for stressing its importance and showing the various tools.

    May 15, 2009
  297. amessen #

    How do I know if a particular yarn needs to be blocked? Some don’t, right?

    May 15, 2009
    • norahgaughan #

      Testing your swatch is ALWAYS a good idea. If the sweater pieces aren’t the shape you expected, or it the patten stitch looks sloppy of pulls in too much, you know you’ll want to block. Be VERY CAREFUL with acrylic, heat is not always its friend.

      May 15, 2009
  298. Karel #

    Thanks so much for the lesson! Good luck to everyone.

    May 15, 2009
  299. Francis Berryhill #

    I have never used wires but think it would be must faster than all those pins, probably more accurate too.

    May 15, 2009
  300. Megan #

    Thanks for the lesson. I’m getting ready to have to block my project and have never done this before. PRAY it works! :)

    May 15, 2009
  301. BJ #

    I just blocked my first project recently – a rug. Had to do it SEVERAL times before I got it right. The wires would be great – didn’t know such things existed.

    May 15, 2009
  302. Beth #

    This sounds great. I tried to block a headband one time with quilting pins and it came out lumpy all around the edges. I think the wires would help.

    May 15, 2009
  303. Elizabeth D #

    This article couldn’t be more timely — I am theeeeesss close to binding off a lacy sock-yarn scarf.

    A question I’d love to have you address is what to do when your item (this seems to be a problem with scarves) is longer than your blocking board. . .

    P.S. I love the little patchworky things after each comment.

    May 15, 2009
  304. Annmarie Stromberg #

    Please enter me in the blocking contest. Thanks so much.

    Annmarie

    May 15, 2009
  305. Michelle #

    Great info! Kinda nice to see the process and the before photo.

    Thanks,
    Michelle

    May 15, 2009
  306. jessica #

    Thanks for the tutorial. I’m working on my first lace scarf and have been dreading blocking it (also a first!). Hopefully I’ll be able to get it done, perhaps with a little help from you guys :)

    May 15, 2009
  307. Mary #

    I really needed this. Finally, I see why so many of my projects have never been just right. Well maybe except for socks. I guess feet take care of blocking those. But, I have knitted so many sweaters that needed that final polish. I can’t wait to try this and intend to start my search immediately for some of that wonderful soak stuff. :)

    Thanks a million for the advice and tutorial. I would love to win but the advice I got here is worth more over the long term.

    May 15, 2009
  308. judy #

    a year ago i knit a beautiful beaded lace scarf that is bunched up in my closet…..i’ve never blocked anything but with your advice, i’ll make the necessary purchases, hold my breath & go for it!!! many thanks!

    May 15, 2009
  309. christine #

    This is a great tutorial for someone who has not “blocked” before. Thanks!!!

    May 15, 2009
  310. Joyce Riedel #

    Thank you, thank you for the detailed photos and tut on blocking.
    Now I know how to make my finished projects look terrific.
    Didn’t know about wires and wash product before I read this article. You make it sound so easy .

    I’ve been contemplating buying a steamer and have been peering at the photo of yours trying to see a label. Does your steamer work all the time?

    I can see how lace improves with blocking . Would a simple knit scarf require this method? I can’t wait to try it out.
    Joyce

    May 15, 2009
  311. CurliSu #

    Love that lace! I’ve blocked using pins but am eager to try wires.

    May 15, 2009
  312. Jeanne #

    Thank You… for the info and the instructions on blocking I have been knitting since the age of 4 but never blocked anything, now I think I will try it as it is so recommended not only by you my favourite knitwear designers, but also by the many responses and comments you have received. I have never seen Soak (perhaps it is not available here in Northern Canada) so is it possible to purchase it online anywhere? same goes for the blocking wires. Fact is, if it is good enough for the very cute canine inspector 12 then hey! I’ m in. Have a smiley day and happy knitting to all.

    May 15, 2009
  313. Cindie #

    Thanks so much for the great tutorial. I’ve only blocked a few items so far so this was great – I’ve never used Soak – sounds like a great product

    May 15, 2009
  314. Carol #

    I am *such* a blockhead! When I teach my lace class, I tell them that the one thing that absolutely ensures lovely lace is the final blocking. It’s the transformation that’s so thrilling.

    P.S. Especially love the blocking board inspector…

    May 15, 2009
  315. Cynthia #

    This tutorial is going into my knitting favorites folder. It will
    also be passed to a knitting friend who needs to learn to block!

    May 15, 2009
  316. Kate Smith #

    Blocking does make all the difference, but there’s nowhere around here to get blocking wires. Hint, hint.

    Thanks for a great primer on blocking!

    May 15, 2009
    • Raylene #

      It’s amazing how even a little bit of steam can transform a sweater…how do it do dat?!

      May 15, 2009
  317. Sara #

    Blocking is a magical process. I usually pin mine on the floor with hundreds of regular stick pins. It’s an arduous process. Blocking wires would make it easier!

    May 15, 2009
  318. Carol #

    Among my knitting friends, I’m known for my inevitable question: You are going to block it, aren’t you? So often knitters are told they don’t need to block but it makes a world of difference. Although I’ve been knitting for 50+ years, I always block no matter what the project or fiber. This is a great tutorial for us all. Thank you for an excellent lesson.

    May 15, 2009
  319. Lynn #

    Blocking is one of those skills that is so necessary, but so scary to me!!!!! My grandmother was a master knitter…now that I’ve decided to become a more proficient knitter, I really have to conquer my knitting fears and move on. Thanks for the tutorial. I have the perfect yarn for the scar pictured. Can’t wait to try it.

    May 15, 2009
  320. Marilyn #

    I needed those blocking wires so bad when I knitted my Shetland Triangle.

    May 15, 2009
  321. yvonne #

    wow this is a great resource – I do love SOAK for laundrying woolies never thought of using when spray blocking.
    Believe it or not there is snow in the forecast today so winning a nice goody bag would make my day!

    May 15, 2009
  322. Lenore #

    Wires should be considered an essential part of your knitting supplies. Edges are straight, points on shawl edges are sharp, and you save time in not having to use a gazillion pins. But I must admit, I have a backlog of blocking to do….that has to be my next project so I can wear all of the things I’ve made for the season. Happy blocking, all!!!

    May 15, 2009
  323. Marianne Swallie #

    I’ve been knitting since ’95 and have never taken the time to block any of my projects. Maybe because I mostly knit hats and scarves I think I can get away with it?? Whatever my excuse, I’ve decided now is the time to reform my ways! I’ve been working on a beautiful sweater for my daughter and decided all the time and effort can’t go to waste — I MUST learn to block. So….I searched for instructions, found your post, and found the contest to boot! Gotta go finish up the sleeves…

    MS

    May 15, 2009
  324. PAULA MEIER #

    I am relatively new to knitting and anything with a CHART has scared me off, but lace is so pretty and I finally found a lace pattern that was written out and am about halfway through my scarf; but I have to agree with others, right now the lace does not look “pretty” and I realize that I will have to block it. I have read about using blocking wires and that really looks like the way to go. I look forward to finishing and blocking my piece!

    May 15, 2009
  325. Helena Dias #

    Blocking is new to me. I’m amazed at what several simple steps can do to enhance a finished object. The scarf is gorgeous. Can’t wait to knit one for myself.

    May 15, 2009
  326. Bonnie Johnson #

    Thank you for a tutorial well done. I have just wet blocked my first scarf with fear and trembling and was so excited by the finished look. The wires would have made it look even better. Thank you

    May 15, 2009
  327. Oh, My, God!!! I need blocking wires, I really do! Wow, I’m one of those Women With a Hundred Thousand Pins – my blocking boards really deserve a set of wires; they’ve worked so hard and been stabbed so many times. Great article – always good to brush up on the skills. For as long as I’ve been knitting never once did the thought “use a colander” come into my head. Excellent idea, thanks. Would love to try Soak – have been a plain ‘ol woolite user for a million years. Soak sounds like it would make my knitting feel all special and pretty.

    May 15, 2009
    • Alexandra #

      Thanks for the valuable info. I will try some of your techniques with my next project!

      May 15, 2009
  328. Marion #

    Fascinating article. Thank you. I have been on-again, off-again knitter. Have enjoyed your website and am inspired again. Have always found blocking to be a struggle. Thank you for the “wires” tip. Look forward to using this technique.

    May 15, 2009
  329. Carole #

    I love this! I have been using different blocking methods for years with mixed results. This makes it so clear.

    May 15, 2009
  330. Patricia #

    It’s been years since I learned the basics to knitting. But I lost interest and never finished anything I started. Now having retired, I have become interested in trying it again and am enjoying it very much. I haven’t yet finished anything to block but am steadily working on it. Thank you for the tutorial. You make it sound and look very easy.

    May 15, 2009
  331. Aaaah – I just received my first mini packs of Soak as a present – and I’m in love! Thanks for the tutorial too (loved how you had some help in making sure the blocking board was up to standard!)

    May 15, 2009
  332. Beverly K #

    Thank you. Blocking is always a challenge for me, esp. finding space to do it and then dealing with all of those pins–I seem to knock the pin box onto the floor a lot! Your hints will be helpful when I finish my next project.

    May 15, 2009
  333. maggie #

    My next learning challenge is to try knitting lace, so the lesson about blocking is timely for me. Are there any more suggestions about where one is supposed to accomplish this pinning and drying process for something like a shawl or long scarf? I saw one comment about using a bed, but I assume it takes a little while for it to dry completely, and my husband would not appreciate temporary sofa residence. Maybe you could compile an “answers to questions” follow-up blog, since I’m sure you’re going to get a lot. Thanks for the info.

    May 15, 2009
  334. Debbie Hembree #

    My Grandmother taught me to knit. The importance of all the steps for a successful garment. Design, fiber content, color, gauge, and the all important step of blocking. I currently use pins but, the wires sound wonderful.

    May 15, 2009
  335. PKBB #

    I never would have thought to block some of my things I have knitted. WOw! Thank you for this blog and email. I can’t wait to try it out on that scarf I made my DH out of ultra alpaca that took me two basketball seasons and a baseball season to do…

    May 15, 2009
  336. Hilary #

    How timely! I am just finishing a lace shawl that I know needs to be blocked. Thanks for the complete instruction manual.

    May 15, 2009
  337. Ruth #

    I have just completed a lace baby blanket for my friends daughter.
    I have been too afraid to block it. Reading your instuctions made it sound so easy. I will get it square and beautiful this weekend! Thank you for your wonderful inspiration.
    Ruth

    May 15, 2009
  338. Thanks for the great tutorial. I am getting closer to the finish line on a lace shawl, and this is a wonderful reference.

    May 15, 2009
  339. Nancy #

    I had never heard of blocking wires before I read this article. Thanks for the info.

    May 15, 2009
  340. Micki #

    thanks so much for the helpful tutorial. As a beginning knitter, it’s invaluable!

    xoxo
    m

    May 15, 2009
  341. Susan #

    Where exactly do insert those blocking wires along the edge? Do you try to go through every stitch? Can you use the wires for something without a straight edge? If so, how would you do that? Thanks for an encouraging tutorial!

    May 15, 2009
  342. Kathy C #

    Blockhead!!! What a wonderful title and I am wondering……….”what”??? (No, I am not blond, just a goofy old gray haired lady.) I have been afraid to block but after reading your article I do believe I can do it. Right now one of my projects is a lace scarf so when it is finished it will be blocked per your instructions (even though I don’t have the blocking equipment). If I don’t win I will just have to ask Santa for them, he always delivers. I have not gone to your new site tutorial directions yet but am looking forward to testing them. Please add more information articles like this blocking one!

    May 15, 2009
  343. Edna Michael #

    Dear Norah and Cirillia;

    Thanks for the tips on blocking. I very rarely block my garrments, but I haven’t knitted too many lacy ones either. I will definitely give it a try with the next one that I knit.
    Thanks for the info, it is very helpful.
    Edna

    May 15, 2009
  344. Nancy #

    I have never blocked a thing, but look forward to trying. I think it will really make a differece in my final product.

    May 15, 2009
  345. Kathryn Morgan #

    I’m the only person I know who still knits and crochets in my area, people are amazed when I admit to it! It’s a bit like admitting to still using a mangle for the washing, or travelling by horse and cart! I love it for its relaxation effects and I get something wearable (usually!) by the end.
    I love the lace scarf and the names of the Soak wash scents seems to be drifting over the ocean – but I won’t be indulging in it, sadly, because I live in Wales, UK! Can’t we have an international competition with a prize that’s available to everyone?

    May 15, 2009
  346. Sue #

    Blocking really does make things look so much better!

    May 15, 2009
  347. Stephanie #

    I used to be afraid to block because I was convinced I’d felt my knitting, but now I’m a blockaholic!

    May 15, 2009
  348. My biggest challenge with blocking is where exactly to put the wires through my knitting. Every piece is different I know but what generally is the rule?

    Looking forward to see the follow up articles. Thanks so much! Also, thank you for the chance at the awesome prize. :o)

    B

    May 15, 2009
  349. Jo Boyd #

    I’d LOVE to own blocking wires. But here’s a few tricks I, a dedicated blocker, have learned without wires: Roll up a small, very damp (not dripping) turkish-type towel with your knitting, place in a plastic bag and tie tightly. Let sit overnight. In the morning, your project is just right for blocking, yet dry enough that the beach towel you placed on the floor (or guest bed) will not get wet. If you don’t own wires, plan to block on a surface with enough padding to support long pins!

    A variety of straight-sided mixing bowls are wonderful for cap/hat blocking! And steam allows you to stretch synthetic-yarn projects almost to infinity — permanently!!

    If you plan on steaming and are a coward — especially when working with easily melted synthetics — place a very damp, turkish-type towel over your pinned out project. Then, steam away, making sure your steam iron only touches the TOP of the towel.

    Another tool for the dedicated blocker is a PLANT MISTER. For example, place a freshly made tam-o-shanter (tam) on an appropriately sized dinner plate –unbreakable is best!!. Balance on a sturdy water tumbler and mist away. Blot any excess and let dry over night and like magic — a perfect tam! The plant mister also works great when blocking caps/hats on bowls without the use of steam!

    As you all well know, blocking often turns bombs into beauties!! Jo

    May 15, 2009
  350. Great information, and a lovely prize, too! I’m always astounded at what a difference blocking makes, especially to lace knitting. As a blocking surface, I use those “puzzle piece” foam tiles that fit together in whatever configuration you like; I was lucky enough to get a bunch at a dollar store, and they do a great job.

    May 15, 2009
  351. Judy #

    Wow! I’m feeling a sudden surge of “blocking confidence” that I haven’t felt before after reading this info… I’ve always been afraid to block something delicate for fear of mangling it…..thanx for talking a scaredy cat thru it!

    May 15, 2009
  352. Marcia #

    I have always dreaded the blocking process, but you have made it look easy with the blocking wires. I am excited to think I may win a set of these!!!

    May 15, 2009
  353. Toni Burgau #

    Very informative and helpful refresher for everyone. I am always
    amazed of the results after blocking –
    Glad to see that a kindred knitter has a love for animals also.
    Thanks for the information.

    May 15, 2009
  354. Thanks for the good ideas. I usually block garments by hanging them on my steaming board and using my upright steamer. But this can be problematic – on my last sweater I was trying to push the curved areas flat, and kept steaming my fingers! OW!!

    May 15, 2009
  355. amy #

    GREAt info…can’t wait to read the follow up post that answers the additional questions!!

    May 15, 2009
  356. Roxie #

    I’ve found absolutely every finished item — even felted goodies — benefits from a good blocking. I knit mostly with non-wooly fibers so a good wet blocking is my normal method. Patience in letting the item dry competely and space to do so are the most important investments. If you’re pressed for space for drying, invest in a mesh drying rack and place it over the tub. Make sure you live with someone as willing as you to remove and replace the rack before/after showering. I also do various kinds of felting. A light spritz on a form made from towels or plastic bags for 3-D items or on a towel and board for flat can perk up a felted item.

    May 15, 2009
  357. Kim O2 #

    Where would my knitting education be without you? I’ve learned to join seams, make “b-b-b-bobbles” or whatever those little popcorny things are, and now you’ve expanded my knowledge of blocking. With the help of the blog and the videos I really feel I can handle just about anything. Thanks so much for all your help as I move forward from beginner to intermediate.

    May 15, 2009
  358. Deirdre #

    Thanks so much for the blocking tutorial! I usually wet block, and would never have thought of adding soak to a water spritzer just to freshen up knits – learn something new all the time!

    May 15, 2009
  359. Lisa Kent #

    Very nice tutorial. My question is: is it possible to block smaller? It seems that it’s easy to block bigger, but the smaller thing is what gets me. I’d love to be able to shrink some items (without fulling of course).

    May 15, 2009
  360. First off BEAUTIFUL lace scarf. I am in progress with doing another lacy scarf for my mother. But this one~ I totally want to use for myself!

    As for blocking, this was great information… because I’ve never blocked anything before and Iam going to need to with this lacey scarf… whenever it gets finished. :D

    May 15, 2009
  361. Elizabeth Summons #

    Thank you making the process of blocking sound so straight-forward and easy.I’ve always felt daunted by the prospect and usually only give my creations a short steam ‘block’, which is not always as effective as it should be. I’ll definitely try to do it as you say.
    Elizabeth

    May 15, 2009
  362. Alison #

    I once dry-ironed a lace wrap (bulky-but seemed like worsted weight acrylic/alpaca). Is that a useless or harmful thing to do? I’ve never blacked anything before…..Does the kind of yarn – wool vs. plant – make a difference?

    May 15, 2009
  363. I could really use some blocking wires! I’m starting a laceweight shawl next week!

    May 15, 2009
  364. Sandy Fleisig #

    I’ve avoided blocking as much as possible for many years, but after attending the Stitiches East knitting convention in Baltimore last November I was determined to give my garments the “respect” they deserved. I bought about a years worth of projects, completed two sweaters so far, one each for my daughter and granddaughter, and have to say that blocking them made the difference from “homemade” to “handmade”. No more easy way out for me. Blocking is well worth the time and effort, not to mention the expense involved. Now all I need is the proper equipment to block the items I’ll create with all the beautiful yarn and patterns awaiting my needles.

    Thanks for your wonderful newsletters, patterns and tutorials. You’ve elevated my work immeasurably. Sandy Fleisig

    May 15, 2009
  365. Carol Donovan #

    Hi! This is such a coincidence that I opened up this email this morning. I just finished knitting Armay in Latitude and made a mistake and ended up undoing one of the fronts and then reknitted it. When it was finished the front I had reknitted looked all “wrinkly” because I had reused the yarn. I thought, now what do I do??? Then I remembered how my Mother used to block all her knitting – so off to the iron I went – steamed it, smoothed it, and now the sweater all looks to same. I am now making the sweater out of Vogue knitting with the Mother of Pearl Mica yarn for my daughter. She loved the sweater and wants to wear it to her high school reunion this Summer. Hope I can pull it off. I LOVE the Mica yarn!

    May 15, 2009
  366. Jan Beech #

    I must admit that I am almost always too lazy to block anything. Also, I’m never quite shure “HOW” to block a particular item correctly. Your “tips” have convinced me that I should incorporate blocking into all of my finishing. I’ve started my first laceweight project, and it looks like it will take a year to finish, but I will definately block it, as you described. Do you think I can train my dog to effectively check out the blocking board??? I’m sure this is a critical step.

    Jan

    May 15, 2009
  367. Norma #

    I would love to win this prize as I am starting to do lace knitting and I am also go to print this article for my binder as great info.

    thanks

    May 15, 2009
  368. Spinnyr #

    I’ve never used “Soak”. Wouldn’t have an idea where to find it. But, I would be willing to give it a try. My question about it is: I have re-worked a (knitted wool-blend) blanket, found at goodwill, into a cute toddler jumper… and Boyoboy~~ does it ever have the “rumpled” look going on!! Would “Soak” have added benefits than say…woolite…or a fabric softener? Thanks for the pic with the dog… I gave me a better size reference. I had thoughts in my head about the whole “wire set-up” being humongous, clumsy, and cumbersome. Now, I’d love to try (and continue) to use it! Even though I’m in Las Vegas…I do plenty of winter knitting for friends/family back east. And, Christmas is like…… tomorrow!
    Thanks again!

    May 15, 2009
  369. Charlotte #

    My blocking is rustic – straight pins on the living room rug. This prize would really help. By the way, it is Norah & ME in “if you called Norah & me blockheads…” Thanks for all the good information and free patterns.

    May 15, 2009
  370. Cortney #

    Howdy all,

    I have a knit skirt that’s in-progress now and I’m terrified to block it. I think I might mess it up but I’m very impressed by your pictures of the unblocked versus the blocked. I might actually try blocking the gauge sample first and then block my skirt. I do want the chic skirt as opposed to the schlumpy. :) I so love the Berocco website and blog and patterns. You guys inspire all of us to try new things. Thanks for being.

    May 15, 2009
  371. Carol #

    Thank you for sharing this. I am new to knitting and glad to get the info!

    May 15, 2009
  372. MariaEdZed #

    I have never used anything other than plain water for blocking in almost fifty years of knitting. This is the second article in a week that recommends adding a product to the water. What does Soak or any similar product do in the blocking process to make blocking better, easier, or? Would you still use the same product if you are blocking an item for a newborn baby?
    Maria

    May 15, 2009
  373. What a great start…I can’t wait to read more about blocking. It’s the part of knitting that I don’t really understand yet.

    May 15, 2009
  374. I too, have been knitting for eons. Never heard of blocking pins or Soak. Looking forward to trying both.

    May 15, 2009
  375. I love blocking! Thanks for the great tips. I haven’t tried blocking wires, but I really need to. I recently blocked a lace scarf with pins only, and it was so difficult keeping the edges even and not a little scalloped. I’m sure the wires would fix that.

    May 15, 2009
  376. Catherine #

    Thank you for the blocking tutorial. Recently, I’ve been reading a lot about blocking since I’m just about done my first big project. This blog post is really helpful!

    May 15, 2009
  377. Anne #

    I’ve gotten a bit better about blocking things now that I’ve discovered lace…Now to give sweaters the same treatment. Thanks for the tutorial.

    May 15, 2009
  378. Jessica #

    I never really felt that blocking was important, mainly because I was too lazy to do it! It is amazing the difference that a little blocking can make, especially since I tend to be a slightly uneven knitter. I love the blocking board inspector!!

    May 15, 2009
  379. sandy belt #

    It is always so hard to find a big enough place to block. What if a sweater is all stretched out when wet how do you get it back to shape

    May 15, 2009
  380. Sharon Keefer #

    Thanks for this great article – and inspiration. I want to make a Jubilee scarf now! I have been knitting for years and need to try new things, like lace knitting. And blocking still scares me! I remember my first fair isle sweater with the carried threads too tight – my local yarn shop told me to get it really wet, put towels under and over it and walk on it! I did that several times with less than spectacular results. Thanks for this encouraging article to keep trying to get blocking right!

    May 15, 2009
  381. Jack Lowell #

    I always hate blocking. Your article has helped give me ideas on what I have been doing wrong. Thanks for the information.

    May 15, 2009
  382. Thank YOU for sharing this piece in text and photos about such an important step in finishing our knitted creations!!!! You are giving us a whole class to use at our fingertips by the most generous price of being free. I love WOOL fibers and now I can give them love with “SOAK” Wool Wash and proper shaping and be assured that I will be able to keep these favorite treasures for many years.

    May 15, 2009
  383. Melinda #

    I love Soak! And thanks for the tutorial. I’m always at a loss as to the proper way to block. I generally always do a wet block but I don’t really know when to do some other type of block.

    Thanks
    melindaM

    May 15, 2009
  384. Ooh, I’ve been wanting to try blocking wires forever. Love the color coordinated pics!

    May 15, 2009
  385. jane #

    I’ve become a recent convert to blocking. A cardigan I knit in the winter looked simply awful – the button band puckered and the stitches looked lumpy – until I went at it with my steam iron, pins and patience. The final product is so pleasing! Thanks for this tutorial. I’m just about to cast off my first lace shawl, and I know that there will be more blocking in my future…

    May 15, 2009
  386. Jana #

    I learn something new everyday. I have just recently taught myself to knit and this is the first that I have heard of blocking. Keep the useful information comming!

    May 15, 2009
  387. emmy jay #

    Well, I’ve been using up all my little hotel-size bottles of shampoo when I wash and block my knitting; I figure, you know, wool = hair and all.

    May 15, 2009
  388. Kristin #

    Thanks for the blocking post. I’ve tried to convince my mother-in-law that it is a required final step in knitting. Not sure I’ve succeeded yet. :)

    May 15, 2009
  389. Zeila #

    Not block your knitting….I don’t understand…..you need to block your knitting just to show it who’s boss….

    May 15, 2009
  390. East Bay Knitter #

    It looks like you folded Jubilee in half to get it to fit on the blocking board. So did you run one blocking wire through both thicknesses or did you use one wire for the top layer and another wire for the bottom layer?

    May 15, 2009
  391. Good article on blocking. I learned to knit at the age of 12, but nobody had ever told me about blocking. I learned to block in my early 20’s and it makes a world of difference.

    May 15, 2009
  392. Great tips! What a lovely dog!

    May 15, 2009
  393. Barbara Miller #

    Today is the Day! — I first heard of blocking wires. I even got my husband to look at the blocking photos because of the blocking board inspector. Very clever process! It actually seems doable. Thank you very much!

    May 15, 2009
  394. Elizabeth #

    I wet block almost everything. It truly is transformational for lace and helps with many minor problems in other types of garmets too!

    May 15, 2009
  395. Linda B #

    Oh,Oh,OH!
    Thank you, so much for the great info on blocking. I’m still a novice at this and this is a godsend!

    Thank you!

    May 15, 2009
  396. Denise #

    I’d love to lose my blocking wire virginity!

    May 15, 2009
  397. Michael Butler #

    Thank you for the inspiration! Maybe now I will finally block the shawl I knit 21/2 years ago thats sitting in my studio unworn all this time! Michael

    May 15, 2009
  398. Christine #

    My blocking attempts have been mediocre at best; maybe I should look into blocking wires. The tutorial is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    May 15, 2009
  399. Cyn #

    Thanks for this!

    May 15, 2009
  400. Marta Soderberg #

    Thank you for the info. I have avoided blocking in the past, but will definately try it now! I’ve noticed that some sweaters I’ve made seem to stretch out over time- would blocking fix that? I[‘ve also actually considered trying to shrink cotton sweaters- is that a bad idea?

    May 15, 2009
  401. Joan M #

    The photo montage is really helpful for us visual learners! I consider blocking to be equivalent to the oven stage in baking bread – careful preparation is followed by patient waiting!

    May 15, 2009
  402. I have my first EZ Pi Shawl sitting in a heap waiting for this prize to give me the nerve to block it. I think it might think I abandoned it as the knitting has been done for about 6 months.

    May 15, 2009
  403. Susan G #

    This was invaluable information – this is one of the steps that I always dread – think I will invest in some blocking wires to give my scarves that nice finished edge. Thanks fr the tutorial.

    May 15, 2009
  404. Megan Curtis #

    Thanks for the tips on blocking! Have you ever used lace blocking frames? If so, are the blocking wires better? I’m just curious as I’ve heard raves about both and I wondered which you preferred and why.

    May 15, 2009
  405. Sungld #

    Have done a little blocking, but nothing serious. Working my way up the blocking tool ladder.

    May 15, 2009
  406. linda kelleher #

    Thank you so much for the great tutorial! I am new to knitting and blocking is something I never knew about until now. ~linda

    May 15, 2009
  407. Jackie flynn #

    I just love all the info., I get from you! I so love knitting because the info. is so helpful I made the Nimbus free pattern sweater, but did not block it. I will blocking my next project. I used the video to put the shoulder together on the nimbus, they look so nice and it was easy with the help of the video. THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP AND FREE PATTERNS.

    THANKS AGAIN
    jackie f.

    May 15, 2009
  408. I need to work harder on my blocking, because I feel like my results don’t always equal the effort I’ve put in. Hopefully I will have a better space to block my knitting and crochet that isn’t the bedroom soon!

    May 15, 2009
  409. Kim G #

    Yes I admit it have only blocked about 3 items in my knitting career. Even with pinning I can’t seem to get the edges straight. perhaps the wires would help.
    don’t have blocking boards, have cats-cats of course love to lay directly on anything that you don’t want them to.
    I suppose I should try blocking again.

    May 15, 2009
  410. Rebecca C #

    Thanks for the blocking demo. Also, would you have to block the piece every time you wear it? With a scarf, I would not want to have to block it every time just to keep the shape. What’s the typical amount of time that you can wear a garmet and it hold it’s blocked shape. Thanks.

    May 15, 2009
  411. Susan Valdez #

    Be careful blocking different stitch patterns, even in the same yarn. They can block differently. I learned this trying to attach stockinette sleeves to lace armholes. The lace really stretched out, the stockinette not so much and now they don’t fit. I have to go back and reknit the sleeves with larger needles.

    May 15, 2009
  412. Michelle #

    Very good to know as I start my first-ever lace stole. I’m going to need wires. :-)

    And I love the Soak Wash products! They smell fantabulous!

    May 15, 2009
  413. Many thanks for this instructional. I have never blocked and really need to learn! I think you may have nade it easy enough for me to try! Oh, BTW, I love the inspector!
    Terry

    May 15, 2009
  414. janita #

    wow i just finish isobel scarf and it needs a blocking. I have been avoiding it but now i have some more info it will have to happen! I would love to win but does the blocking board inspector come with the kit!!
    janet

    May 15, 2009
  415. Jen Orr #

    Where can I get a blocking board?! I’ve been looking everywhere. Can I make one out of some other material? I’m an apartment liver, so I’m definitely looking for something I can fold and stash away. Any suggestions would be welcome! Thanks!

    May 15, 2009
  416. Dimity #

    Thank you for the terrific information about blocking. It has inspired me to keep plugging away on my lace project.

    May 15, 2009
  417. Sabrina B #

    Great article. I used to hate blocking, but then broke down and got some blocking wires – it makes ALL the difference! I hadn’t heard of Soak though – maybe I’ll win and get to try it for free! It sounds really lovely…

    May 15, 2009
  418. Melba V #

    Thank you for the information. Since I rarely win any of these contest, where’s the best buy for the blocking wires and how many should I keep on hand?

    Thanks

    May 15, 2009
  419. I thank you for the tutorial. Very helpful.

    BTW: My cat is my blocking inspector…

    May 15, 2009
  420. For some reason, I can’t see the prize image, just a blank square. But I hope I win because I’ve been wanting blocking wires for the longest time! I love knitting lace, but blocking with a gazillion pins is a pain. Not blocking lace is not an option, however! Great idea for an article. Much appreciated.

    May 15, 2009
  421. I’ve been knitting off and on for a bazillion years, but pretty much in a vacuum from new and different aids and techniques. So, your introduction to blocking wires and Soak was both interesting and appreciated! Looks like the wires would be far more effective in achieving even edges than pinning. Do you know of any comparable aids for blocking hats, which I always knit in the round and (wet or steam) block (without an additive) over an appropriate sized inverted bowl.

    (And I LOVE the blocking inspector … we’ve got some potential trainees right in our home.)

    May 15, 2009
  422. Mary T. #

    I love the difference blocking makes to my knits. Everything looks so much better!

    May 15, 2009
  423. Karen P #

    Thanks for this tutorial. The photos are great. I’ve been knitting and blocking lace shawls for years with lots and lots of pins, but I can see blocking wires are the way to go. Can I make them work for my lace cardigan too??

    May 15, 2009
  424. susan #

    I have not tried “Soak”….I have a lacy scarf in process; and was wondering how I was going to block it. Thanks. I think I can complete it now.

    May 15, 2009
  425. Thanks, Cirilia! Lace is on my list, but I’m always afraid I’ll stretch the fabric in the wrong way. Courage is called for. I thought the wool wash tip was genius.

    May 15, 2009
  426. Dreamin Omi #

    Thank you for easy to understand, complete directions on blocking! I try to block each item as I finish it so as not to get behind!! It is very rewarding to see how beautiful they turn out once blocked.

    May 15, 2009
  427. Ann Potter #

    Wonderful tutorial, I liked your pictures and inspector/assistant. I am slowly learning basic stitches and working up to blocking in the near future, I will book mark this so I have it when I need it!

    Thanks!

    May 15, 2009
  428. Nancy G #

    This is very helpful. I cannot wait for my wires, pins, blocking board and Soak to arrive! Thanks for the great info! Keep up the good work.

    May 15, 2009
  429. Corinne #

    I second the question about whether you need to reblock your knitting every time you wash it. I would suspect that if you can dry it flat, you might not need to, but I’ve never gotten a satisfactory answer to this.

    May 15, 2009
  430. Jeannette Pirkle #

    This tutorial was concise and very helpful. I am now going to go and block my squares from the COTW group and re-post the pictures. I wondered why mine didn’t show off the lace as well as I hoped. I used 100% cotton and was afraid to do that. This article helped relieve the fright. I have been afraid of lace and have yarn sitting in waiting in my stash, now it can come out and play with me.I never heard of scents to put in the wash and have only used Eucalan Lavender, I didn’t know there were other scents or about this type wash.Thank you so much for the contest, I sure could use the kit, the wires look so much better than pinning.

    May 15, 2009
  431. Great tutorial.
    I haven’t tried soak and don’t own a set of blocking wires, so it would be doubly nice to win.

    May 15, 2009
  432. Judy Lee #

    I usually handwash my finished garments in Woolite and fabric softener, gently squeeze and then lay them down flat on a table over a towel to dry, changing towels and turning over. I guess this was my improvised version of blocking! Thanks so much for the useful information!

    May 15, 2009
  433. Dranna #

    I have never tried blocking – but it’s looking like I will have to for my latest project. Can blocking be used with all types of yarn or only wool yarns?

    May 15, 2009
  434. Janet #

    Very helpful; I’ve never tried Soak but will get some.

    May 15, 2009
  435. Laura #

    Thank you so much for the blocking tutorial! :o)

    May 15, 2009
  436. Sueneu #

    Thanks for the helpful article and pictures! I’ve never tried wet blocking, and I think I can do it now. Very cute blocking board inspector.

    May 15, 2009
  437. looks interesting. does it only work for wool knits? or will it also work for acrylics, cottons? i think i may need to do this for a bag i am knitting.

    May 15, 2009
  438. Kay D Filice #

    I have blocked some items, usually scarves, it makes all the difference in the world in the look of the finished piece. The biggest thing I’ve blocked was my husband’s sweater, after he finished it! Don’t have a blocking board or wires yet, on my list!

    May 15, 2009
  439. Sharon L Burrell #

    Thank you for simple to understand instructions on blocking. I have been knitting only a couple of years and have much to learn. I have often wondered how to make nice, straight edges to my projects. I am happy to learn of the blocking wires. Where can I purchase some?

    May 15, 2009
  440. Carol Perecman #

    Soak is the best! I use it all the time, and it would be fun to have that scent sampler to try out. Thanks for offering the prize, it looks great.

    May 15, 2009
  441. Dana #

    Blocking is an essential part of finishing. I LOVE how it transforms my less-than-stellar knitting into something of beauty!!

    Thanks for the write-up!

    May 15, 2009
  442. Anne Parsons #

    I don’t have blocking wires but have used very fine needles to do the job.

    May 15, 2009
  443. Beth #

    What pieces would you recommend blocking for on crocheted items? It sound like I’ve been missing out on how well my pieces can actually turn out. Thanks!

    May 15, 2009
  444. Rita #

    I always appreciate a good tutorial. Thank you. I never thought of using a salad spinner to get the excess water out. I’ll have to try it.

    May 15, 2009
  445. Jane #

    I make baby blankets from acrylic. I know they say it isn’t necessary to block them. However, I would like to make them look nicer and more professional. Can I use the same process?

    I hope to start on the scarf soon. Thank you

    May 15, 2009
  446. Betty Roussan #

    I have always been fearful of blocking hinging it is not necessary and after reading your tutorial it makes me realize that I have been missing out on something that will improve my work. Thanks !!

    May 15, 2009
  447. Amy Curtiss #

    I started trying lace projects a few years ago and have one cotton and one wool shawl that I have yet to block, but wear them all the time. I wonder if blocking would do anything for the cotton that has already been washed and hung dry several times, but may try it on the wool just to see if I can see the stitching better. Am anxious to finish a lace scarf because this tutorial looks like just what I need, right now about a quarter of the way through, the scarf looks a bit “bunched up.”

    May 15, 2009
  448. Kimberly Strange #

    Thanks for putting this information out there for those of us who found blocking to be a “do I really need to do this?” task and making it become a “wow, I can really do this!” event. I appreciate your time and effort! I am sure I will never fail after being armed with your information. Now I can’t wait to finish my current project so I can block it and make it look complete.

    May 15, 2009
  449. Tammi D #

    I haven’t blocked anything yet, but am looking forward to this fall!

    May 15, 2009
  450. Connie Reed #

    Thanks for the information on blocking and caring for hand knit and crocheted items. Is there any way the information (and other similar posts)could be included in the how to section? I would appreciate being able to access it over and over as I finish my projects.

    May 15, 2009
  451. Debra #

    I have just finished a crocheted afghan. It looks kind of scrunched. The yarn is acrylic. Will blocking make it look better?

    May 15, 2009
  452. Lauren #

    I recently decided that I really need to start using blocking wires. Pinning out straight edges is so time consuming!

    May 15, 2009
  453. Rita Pierini #

    Thank you for the great lesson and reminder. It takes so little to make our projects look so much better!

    May 15, 2009
  454. Barbara Ratter #

    Lovely tutorial. I definitely need to start blocking my items. Now that I have seen your instructions, I am willing to try. Thank you very much.

    Barb

    May 15, 2009
  455. Debra #

    Blocking is the thing! My husband does it for me!

    May 15, 2009
  456. I haven’t ever blocked anything. I’ve used mostly the acrylic yarns for sweaters as I needed warmth and the joy of knitting over the cost of wool. Lately I have been knitting socks but just lay them out after washing and haven’t seen any need for sock blockers yet. Maybe it’s the type of yarn – treated wool sock yarn – that I am using. I’d love to make a lace shawl but the blocking has kept me from trying it.
    Timaree

    May 15, 2009
  457. This sounds way superior to the system I used a few years ago; when I used regular straight pins and then had to deal with rust marks on a white wool scarf!!

    May 15, 2009
  458. I will admit to wearing an unblocked sweater to work today! (#11 Forestry, by Veronik Avery, my version in Ultra Alpaca Agate Mix.) It needs blocked desperately, but even in its shlumpy state I love it enough to use it as my outer layer.

    May 15, 2009
  459. Kay Slater #

    What a great idea the Soak would be..just a new knitter and so excited to learn all new ideas. Love you free patterns and ideas and this contest is the first one I’ve entered… Thanks for your exquisite sharing . Blessings and Happy knitting to all… it sure is fun to learn all. Everything about knitting is all new to me…

    May 15, 2009
  460. Susan E #

    I’d never heard of wires. What kind are they and where do you get them?

    May 15, 2009
  461. I didn’t see it mentioned above, but keep in mind that blocking sweater pieces before sewing makes the whole experience painless. Flattening those edges makes them much easier to mattress stitch evenly.

    I’d love a chance at the prize pack, since I could certainly use some blocking wires. I’ve been doing pins only for years.

    May 15, 2009
  462. Lisa Murray #

    Very educational, I have yet to block anything I have knitted, but not yet done anything that lacy either so can’t wait to try. I will look into “Soak” sounds lovely.

    May 15, 2009
  463. Mary #

    Thank you. Blocking is my downfall. All the help I can get is much appreciated.

    May 15, 2009
  464. Thanks for the photo tutorial! I love the light, lacy scarf and just might have to try it out soon! :-)

    May 15, 2009
  465. Felicity #

    What a fabulous article. Thank you. I was terrified by the thought of blocking the first time, but it produced a fabulous transformation and was far less daunting in practice than thought. The extra tips here are just terrific.

    I’ve never heard of Soak and would love to try it, and a set of blocking wires would be pure bliss – no more improvising for me! The biggest tip I can give anyone after this wonderful article is – don’t be scared, just do it! Baby steps and attention to detail will have everyone blocking pro’s in no time. :-)

    May 15, 2009
  466. Diane Baumgartner #

    Thanks for this article – LOVE the before and after pics. Hopefully, I’ll be the winner of the blocking kit:).

    May 15, 2009
  467. nancy #

    For me, blocking is a scary process. But in the end it is also s transformation.

    May 15, 2009
  468. Kelly #

    I have a serious blocking-phobia, but am trying to make baby steps….I’ve finally cleared off a dedicated space in my house (one that the kids won’t get to easily)…..

    Some fun blocking accessories would certainly help motivate me to get going :)

    May 15, 2009
  469. Denise Twum #

    I love blocking! I only discovered it last year, and I block everything!! It just makes everything look so beautiful and flat and professional! :) Thank you for this post.

    May 15, 2009
  470. knitbee #

    I have not done much with garments, mostly afghans or hats and mittens. I am excited to see how this helps some of my upcoming projects. Thanks for the advice.

    May 15, 2009
  471. Tamara #

    I love Soak. I even travel with it….use it for small take-a-long projects and for hand laundry. Thank you for all the lovely patterns!

    May 15, 2009
  472. Dotti Cobb #

    Inspiring…thanks!! I had never known about the wires before…what a super concept!

    May 15, 2009
  473. Sherry #

    Wow! sounds easy. I have a scarf I recently made with bamboo…I think I need to try this to make it look a little better. Any special tips or suggestions? Thanks!

    May 15, 2009
  474. Carolyn L. #

    Perfect timing for information on blocking. My next project is knitted lace cafe curtains for my kitchen using lace weight superwash wool. I know they will need to be blocked and the wires look like a much simpler way to do it. Thanks

    May 15, 2009
  475. Dee #

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. Blocking is such a difficult task for me on the bigger projects like shawls. I just don’t have the space needed to do it all at once, and I don’t like the results of doing it a little section at a time. I’ve never tried the wires, and would love to win this prize package.

    Do you have any hints or suggestions about blocking larger knitted pieces?

    May 15, 2009
  476. Mary Melick #

    Thank you for the great tutorial! Dogs are always so helpful, aren’t they!!!
    I love blocked items, especially lace patterns.

    May 15, 2009
  477. Kimberly S #

    I hate blocking but I do it anyway. It makes all the difference in the finished product. Thanks for the tutorial.

    May 15, 2009
  478. Kris #

    I have blocked just using water and really like the idea of a scented Soak. I’ve been intrigued by the wires and seems like it would make blocking even vests and sweaters easier. Thanks for the new products info.
    Kris

    May 15, 2009
  479. CC from AZ #

    Still learning tons with my knitting – I just started a lace stole so this tutorial was perfect! Thank you for this and all the help you have given me.

    May 15, 2009
  480. Krista #

    I admit, I’ve always been lazy about blocking, largely because I have trouble finding a good place to do it–but this article and the previous comments have me thinking I may need to get myself a blocking board (I had no idea that the results were so transformative!)

    Of course, then I may have to convince my DH that we need a blocking board inspector, too…. :)

    May 15, 2009
  481. Lauren #

    I spent hours pinning out a semi-circle shawl with points to make sure it was perfect about a month ago – then I saw something about the blocking wires – wish I had seen that before I did it the hard way. I look forward to using the wires on my next one!

    May 15, 2009
  482. I love soak! I also discovered that my kids’ old blocks–the flat connector type work great for blocking boards (at least if you don’t mind the sesame street characters showing through your lace)

    May 15, 2009
  483. ELAINE HILL #

    As always your instructions are so clear and helpfull and make me want to ‘have a go’ – motivation is just what I needed to finish my project properly.

    May 15, 2009
  484. Elena #

    I’m a blocking bozo–I’d love to try this kit and do it right for once! ;) Thanks for the contest!

    May 15, 2009
  485. Lisa #

    I’m a bit shy of blocking still. What about sending it out?

    May 15, 2009
  486. Carol #

    After spending a large amount of money and time and knitting a beautiful sweater in Jaspar, I mistakenly felted it, instead of blocked it. As it is now 3 sizes too small, it went into the Goodwill bag. I will pay attention to the tutorial and not be so impatient next time!

    May 15, 2009
  487. Lisa #

    I love the Jubilee pattern and appreciate the blocking tips – I have yet to try it, but I have a few projects in the works now that are going to require it. Thanks for the chance to win the tools :)

    May 15, 2009
  488. I would love to see a quick video on blocking. Can you use those blocking wires on anything other than scarfs? I use a million t-pins for my sweaters and would love something easier. Thanks for the info.

    May 15, 2009
  489. I love the way blocking takes my work from frumpy to fabulous. Well, at least as fabulous as I can knit. It’s improving though. I finished a Zimmerman “Baby Surprise Sweater” this week, and blocked it on the ironing board, using the “wet towel” method. The difference in the garment is pretty amazing. The wool settles down and the shape begins it’s own, more permanent life. I’ll be so proud to give it to the new “mama-to-be.” This baby will be stylin’ !

    Bette

    May 15, 2009
  490. Susan D Smith #

    Since I joined a knitting group – there are 21 of us who meet on Wednesday nights and a sub-group of about 10 who meet early on Saturday mornings, I’ve branched out in my knitting, inspired by one of my new friends who is an exquisite lace knitter. I’ve just begun my first lace project – and have 4 others in the wings – including one with beading! This blocking “workshop” is so helpful and very timely for me. The scented soak is a terrific idea. I wonder – for lace projects that including beading – are there “do’s and don’ts” about how to block or what soaks to use so that beads are not damaged? After threading 1,000 teeny beads on a shawl or scarf, I wouldn’t want to see their lustre clouded or their surfaces marred. Thanks for your help! SUE

    May 15, 2009
  491. Linda McDonald #

    I could use some blocking wires too. I love that scarf reat pattern. linda

    May 15, 2009
  492. Geneva #

    Oh your article was soooo helpful! I’m new to knitting and have been trying to figure out if this step was necessary or not :)

    Thank you for the give away chance too!
    Geneva

    May 15, 2009
  493. Ricki #

    Love this! Thanks for the valuable ideas. I am self-taught, so I have never had anybody explain things like the different methods of blocking. So helpful. The inspector is pretty cute, too.

    May 15, 2009
  494. Sandy #

    I have started a lace stole and am very excited about it. But I have the question of will the stole have to be re-blocked every time it is washed? If that is the case, it may not be worth finishing.

    May 15, 2009
  495. I knew I needed blocking wires when I knit up a lace headband (just a little headband!). I used up every T pin I owned and still had scalloped edges! Rather than sucking it up and buying the blocking wires, I’ve been knitting socks instead. :)

    May 15, 2009
  496. Marti Hobson #

    Great reminders of the importance of blocking. I especially loved the pics with the “Inspector.” I too have an inspector…my cat. If I forget to shut the door, she always lays on whatever I’m blocking! The blocking board rocks! Measuring is the part of blocking I dislike, and that would make it much easier. I need to add that to my “Wish List.” My favorite flavor of Soak is Flora.

    May 15, 2009
  497. Cheryl #

    Blocking takes it from “yarn barf” to beautiful!

    May 15, 2009
  498. Thanks for the info on various blocking methods. It’s not something you really hear that much about, certainly not in knitting patterns. I plan to see what a difference it makes in my knitting, especially any lacy patterns.

    May 15, 2009
  499. Debby #

    I am knitting a lace scarf right now and am looking forward to how it will change with blocking. I don’t have any blocking wires and yet and would love to win some. Thank you for the tutorial and the chance to win.

    May 15, 2009
  500. Kyril #

    Thanks for the article. I usually block by pinning to the carpet but seeing the blocking board I realize I have one of those in my closet given to me with a lot of miscellaneous sewing notions by my mother, cleaning out her closet. I have never tried blocking wire but it looks like an easy method to achieve straight lines. I definitely wish I had tried them before — it would have made blocking so much easier.

    May 15, 2009
  501. anne #

    I agree blocking can change the fabric completely.

    May 15, 2009
  502. Paige #

    I come to knitting after years of tailoring where pressing skills are so important and really complete the final look. i can see where blocking in knitting is equally important. I thought the blocking article was excellent!! and will be getting a blocking board and wires very soon. Thank you.

    May 15, 2009
  503. Alice #

    The “before and after” photo convinces me – I need to get off my duff and start blocking!! Have never heard of Soak, blocking wires or blocking boards – clearly I have a LOT to learn :). Gotta go do some research, thanks for the tips!

    May 15, 2009
  504. Jo #

    I also love the scents offered by Soak. Those little sample packs would be really handy, not to mention, cute! I am used to the bajillion pins method of blocking but the blocking wires look so much more fun (as in more likely to get used). Thanks for the tutorial. It was great!

    May 15, 2009
  505. Courtenay #

    I recently blocked a piece of lace with blocking wires, but the way that I threaded it through left strange loopy holes on my edge. What is the proper way to thread them through so that the edge isn’t all wonky?

    May 15, 2009
  506. Kymmie #

    Wow great article!

    May 15, 2009
  507. sjanova #

    I block almost everything (except toys that are assembled as they are knit up). However, those nickel-plated T-pins that are “non-rust” actually do rust. I had to re-knit something because of rust spots. Luckily it was just a washcloth and not something valuable. But where can I find truly nonrusting T-pins??

    I have picked up some weed-whacker “wire” but I’ll be getting blocking wires at some point. I’ve promised myself to finish Jeanie, from Knitty, and that will need nice straight edges.

    May 15, 2009
  508. The hardest part about blocking for me is finding somewhere to put the blocked object where the cats won’t helpfully lay on it. My bed is large enough for most of the biggest projects, but it’s also plenty large enough for three cats!

    May 15, 2009
  509. Jeanne #

    When I starting knitting years ago, we almost never blocked. But have found through the years that blocking can take a misshapen garment and turn it into perfection. I would love to invest in some real tools for blocking. Thanks for the great tutorial!

    May 15, 2009
  510. Marta #

    When I first started knitting for my daughter, I bought her a bottle of Soak and instructed her to ‘use no other’ to wash the pieces I made. I have knit her a number of lace or lacy items, and blocking was crucial. I agree that any item can be ‘enhanced’ by soaking and blocking. It is amazing how your stitches line up like marching soldiers when you give them that final touch… Then the knit goods become presentations. I love the look of them after a nice finishing…

    May 15, 2009
  511. spv #

    i want to enter this giveaway. as i have always knit with acrylics which don’t need blocking, than you for this lesson!

    May 15, 2009
  512. Waw more then 500 comments in here, this contest will be hard to win :)

    Great instructions for the blocking, lovely pattern!

    May 15, 2009
  513. Jean Ashley #

    My stash is approximately 50% lace-weight yarn (including LOTS of Ultra Alpaca Fine) and I can’t wait to try the scarf pattern! Blocking is something I know I need to learn how to do (so far, I’ve handed off my lace projects to someone else who had blocking wires and paid them to block it for me). Thanks for the pictorial how-to!

    May 15, 2009
  514. rebelyarnmuse #

    I have knit up a lot of lace mohair blend scarves. This tutorial using blocking wires has inspired me to actually block them :) I previously thought no way will I pin forever. The wires will be a real time and pin saver.

    May 15, 2009
  515. Diana Chisholm #

    Thank you for the information. It is inspiring me to get back into knitting.

    May 15, 2009
  516. BeckyS #

    I can’t wait to see your follow-up posts on blocking. I’ve heard of a method that uses sock yarn in place of blocking wires, but haven’t been able to find out any info about it. Do you know how to do this? How long does the average shawl take to block? The only space I have that would be large enough to block a shawl is my bed… and I don’t think my dh would be happy to spend the night on the couch to let a shawl dry. (This is why I’ve never started a shawl..)

    May 15, 2009
  517. I have been educated because I never knew of soak nor the blocking wires. I make afghans and wondered if they are supposed to be blocked?

    Diane

    May 15, 2009
  518. Suzanne Albanese #

    Blocking makes or breaks the garment. Can’t imagine lace without blocking. Thanks for the tutorial.

    May 15, 2009
  519. Joan Sorensen #

    I love those “helpers” that help put the icing on the cake….especially after putting so much time and effort into a project!

    May 15, 2009
  520. Teresa Ann Alexander #

    I am making a lace cowl. Pattern Ice Queen. It certainly will need blocking. How do you block in the round? Fold it in half and pin? Since it is a beaded project does that pose a problem. Should be finished in 3-4 days and then it will be blocking time. Pattern barely shows but when I stretch it out it is beautiful. Plan to use lace wires for the blocking.

    May 15, 2009
  521. I block EVERY project! It’s the icing on the cake, so to speak. BUT, your tutorials have given me new ideas, thank you! A salad spinner wouldn’t have occurred to me … I think I will have to get another for just this purpose! I am quite sure the use of blocking wires (rather than my method) results in a more “crisp” line. You have given me knitty “food for thought” and for that, I give you THANKS!

    May 15, 2009
  522. Deanna #

    Where can I find Soak products – they sound heavenly! And when blocking squares for an afghan, would you recommend blocking the individuals squares AND blocking again as a whole afghan? Or is just once (before) enough? Thanks!

    May 15, 2009
  523. I am just a beginner and so far haven’t made anything very big. If your yarn is something other than wool I wonder if there is a dry method of blocking?

    May 15, 2009
  524. I have never tried Soak, but I am a huge advocate of blocking. Especially swatches.

    May 15, 2009
  525. Great tutorial!

    I soak my garments in the washing machine (not agitating) using Soak, then I turn the dial to spin and let the water drain out. I’ve never had a problem with wool felting because the spin cycle uses centrifugal force to drain the water.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    May 15, 2009
  526. Milly #

    Blocking is the bane of my existence… I just never can get it right! I think I’m going to have to invest in wires, it looks like that might be the help I need :o)

    May 15, 2009
  527. Sanya #

    Question about steam blocking:

    For how long should you apply steam?

    May 15, 2009
  528. Rebber #

    I did my first blocking recently on a complicated intarsia sock – and it came out great! (Large sock blockers from KnitPicks)

    May 15, 2009
  529. Rebecca #

    I have never tried the blocking method but it certainly looks like it does the trick for the finished garment!

    May 15, 2009
  530. Thanks for the tutorial! Your dog is so cute :) I have several things to block and I just keep putting it off. Maybe this weekend I’ll finally try blocking my clapotis :)

    May 15, 2009
  531. Angeles Garcia #

    I love seeing the work before and after. I’ve been knitting a long time but now thanks to your website its great to actually see the techniques properly done. I want to try blocking with the wires it looks easier than the pins. I like the inspector my dogs are usually in everything I do!
    Thanks for all the great tips and new tools.

    May 15, 2009
  532. Linda K #

    I feel that blocking is a very important part of the knitting experience too. I just never tried the wires before…but I will. Thank you!

    May 15, 2009
  533. Jean Poole #

    Storage space is always an issue w/ me. Is there any storage system for keeping blocking boards, pins/ wires etc all together in a small space- maybe tucked up between the washing machine & dryer or similar handy place? I am finally convinced blocking is worth the effort, but need to find a way to add the supplies to my ever expanding knitting collection and keep them handy enough to use! Thanks.

    May 15, 2009
  534. I have blocked but I’ve used the millions of pins and find that I’m not the greatest at pinning evenly. The whole idea of the wires scared me, until I saw this tutorial – it made it look easy.

    How imperative is the Soak(ing) solution? I usually just let it soak in lukewarm water for a long time and then do it. Of course, I have a number of lace and stockinette projects that continue to roll on me. Will Soak help that? Thanks.

    May 15, 2009
  535. MartaD #

    You have convinced me I need a set of blocking wires! Thanks for the helpful tutorial.

    Marta D

    May 15, 2009
  536. Mary L #

    Thanks so much for the excellent article on blocking. I have knit for more years than I care to think about and find this to be the best info I have ever heard on blocking. It just proves that an “old dog” can learn new tricks and I am so eager to try this. Thanks for all your help. Mary L

    May 15, 2009
  537. Rilla Irvine #

    Again I have learned something new. Blocking wires are something I have not seen but will have to search for. Keep up the good work.

    May 15, 2009
  538. ikkinlala #

    Thanks for this tutorial!

    May 15, 2009
  539. Rena P. Jones #

    Thanks for sharing this info and for the opportunity to win the blocking prize. I have been considering purchasing the blocking wires for a while, but haven’t been able to justify it to my other half.

    May 15, 2009
  540. Lesley Watters #

    This is timely information for me – I have just finished knitting a jacket and want to line it. The advice I was given was to block all the pieces first and then use them as a template for the lining material. I have never blocked before (I once steam ironed a garment and ruined it so I have been wary ever since). Your blog has given me the confidence to try again! Thanks! : )

    May 15, 2009
  541. Stephanie #

    Oo these prizes look fabulous! I’d love to have some blocking wires so that everything of mine doesn’t have that “winged puckered look”.

    May 15, 2009
  542. I know I need to be much better about blocking. I’ve seen the transformation it can make, and actually, with the right tools and space, I do enjoy the process. Blocking wires have been on my wish list for quite some time now! Thanks for the great information here.

    May 15, 2009
  543. Judi #

    I really enjoyed the blog on blocking. I am always hesitant about how to block certain yarns. I am at present working on the pattern Can-Can using Seduce yarn. It is a lace pattern so I know I need to block. Which method is best used on your Seduce yarn? Thanks so much for the helpful hints on blocking.
    Judi

    May 15, 2009
  544. Kathy #

    Good info and I especially appreciate the feedback on the types of products available for purchase to aid with the process and make it easier!!

    Must…..win……blocking wires……….!!

    May 15, 2009
  545. Toby #

    Thanks for the great blocking tutorial.

    Who makes the blocking wires and board in your pictures, and where can they be purchased (in Canada)?

    By the way, I love your four-legged assistant.

    May 15, 2009
  546. Debbie #

    What a great column. Thanks for offering the chance to win such a generous prize!

    Debbie

    May 15, 2009
  547. Sarah #

    I am a big fan of Ultra Alpace, andI can’t wait to try Ultra Alpaca fine. Thanks for the blocking lesson.

    May 15, 2009
  548. Outi #

    On my last visit to my newest and closest LYS I discovered that they had started to carry Berroco yarns( much to my pleasure). Ultra Alpaca Fine was among the selection. I will want to make your scarf. You are right, wet blocking is essential for lace but it works on problems such as curling edges much better than steaming. Thank you for making your newsletter and blog so informative.

    May 15, 2009
  549. Leslie C #

    I well remember the first time I blocked a scarf. It went
    from just OK to excellent. Amazing! Definitely worth the
    trouble. Thanks for the great tips.

    May 15, 2009
  550. lynne #

    Blocking wires look like a lot of fun and quite a time-saver too- would love to try them!

    May 15, 2009
  551. kathy foerster #

    I’ve been wet blocking almost everything. Will try some steam now. Thanks!

    May 15, 2009
  552. Cindy Smith #

    I have never used wires for blocking, but I have a finished shawl that could benefit from some work. Can’t wait to try it.

    May 15, 2009
  553. I would love to try the wires. Thanks for the give away.

    May 15, 2009
  554. I’ve always known the need to block and how blocking can really help a garment, but I’ve never heard of “blocking wires” and would love to try them. On most long or large items I’ve steam pressed or laid things out on my fabric cutting board. Thanks for the tips. I have a project waiting to be blocked now

    May 15, 2009
  555. Acadia #

    I love to visit my handknits while they are drying. Would love a fancy shmancy blocking kit!

    May 15, 2009
  556. Helen #

    I just finished my first lace scarf and am so happy to find out that I don’t need to spend hours pinning….blocking wires would be a godsend. I have lots of fine yarn in the stash and am looking forward to knitting more lace–maybe a shawl is next. I love these tutorials and have lots of other ones bookmarked (my favorites: how to shoulder seams and how to for mattress stitch). However did we manage before the internet?!

    May 15, 2009
  557. Brenda Castiel #

    I have done some blocking, but I never know if I’m doing it right!

    Hope I win the kit!

    May 15, 2009
  558. I look forward to your e-mail;because our berroco store in Monroe, Louisiana is no longer in business. So, your are my only way to obtain products. I would love to try Soak and the wires. I am new at knitting, but Love ot very much.

    May 15, 2009
  559. Mary #

    Thank you for illustrating the use of blocking wires — mine have been sitting around for a while!

    I would love some suggestions on how to block a sweater knit of non-washable yarn. I made it many moons ago and then panicked when I realized the yarn was dry-clean only. It is a beautiful lace and cables cardigan, which looks like a rag in its unblocked condition — any suggestions??

    May 15, 2009
  560. Elizabeth J. Speicher #

    I’m not like you as I hate blocking. When wet I spread the item out on the floor on a towel, pat and pull it into place and pray a lot till it dries. Or I steam it with a steam iron, hovering over the item. Seams are especially tricky. I’ll keep this wonderful page to refer to and learn to like blocking.

    May 15, 2009
  561. Marilyn p-k #

    Yes, blocking can make or break an item. Thank you for your wise words. Have yet to try blocking wires but I think the next time I go to my yarn store I will ask them about them.

    May 15, 2009
  562. Pica K. #

    I have a sideways knit sweater that I love but it wants to be short and wide…you have inspired me. I think some blocking might tame its’ natural inclinations. Will definately give it a go.

    May 15, 2009
  563. Leslie #

    As with almost all of my knitting projects, i always feel there is some magic trick out there that I don’t know about that will make everything turn out better. Blocking I know about, but still think I could learn more about the finer points and little tricks of the trade. This blog entry certainly helped but please write MORE. Thanks!

    May 15, 2009
  564. Dorothy Orr #

    I’ve used blocking wires for years. They are wonderful. My problem now is I am knitting some of these berets. They are knitted spirals and “droop” so they hang low on the head. How to you block these lacy hats? I am using mostly merino wools. I do charity knitting for the Wellness Community which is a support and education group for cancer victims, survivors and their families. Do you have any hints for blocking hats?
    Thanks, Dorothy

    May 15, 2009
    • Dorothy – I’ve seen examples where you can block a beret on a large bowl (think salad bowl). I used that suggestion for a slouchy/lacy beret I made for my daughter, and it turned out beautifully. The bowl allowed for the stretching of the lace stitches while not pulling the ribbing out too badly.

      I’ve also heard using a balloon or ball can work, but I’ve not tried that.

      May 15, 2009
  565. Perhaps blocking will help me with a tank I am just finishing. So far I am unhappy with it, not long enough and I don’t like how the shoulders came out. Thanks for the information on blocking.
    Happy Knitting

    May 15, 2009
  566. Julie #

    Thank you again for such valuable information! Your site, especially the shoulder seaming, always seems to save me at just the right time!

    May 15, 2009
  567. doreen #

    I avoid blocking… I’m a pretty experienced knitter but just hate to do it! I’m hoping this article will inspire me to just DO it.
    Thanks
    Doreen

    May 15, 2009
  568. Julz #

    This is great. I always wanted to know what blocking was, but was afraid to ask. I can see that this will help out some of my already completed projects. Can things be blocked after they’ve been worn and washed? Thanks again! :)

    May 15, 2009
  569. SusanC #

    I have always shyed away from blocking. But your post may give me the courage to give it a try. Of course winning here would be a big boost toward that end. Thanks.

    May 15, 2009
  570. Jenny #

    I hadn’t heard about Soak Washes before — usually I just use Woolite, but I might have to check out Celebration! Thanks for the recommendation!

    May 15, 2009
  571. I’ve always been afraid to try lace because I didn’t really know how to block. I am so excited to have a tutorial!

    May 15, 2009
  572. Vicki Morgan-Bogart #

    Love the scarf. Loved the tutorial. I have never blocked anything I’ve knitted or crocheted. I see what a difference it makes. I will start doing it. Sure would be easier if I won the prize. I will keep my fingers crossed. Just love your newsletters. Have gotten so many pretty patterns & learned soooooo much. I am kind of a self-taught knitter that has taken a few classes. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE YA’LL. Yep, I’m from Texas.

    May 15, 2009
  573. joan #

    I have a knitted scarf that needs blocking and this kit is just the help I need to do the job. A great kit and a this aticle is fantastic.

    May 15, 2009
  574. Sybil L. S. #

    Lovely, informative article – – You make it sound like FUN!! I am a fiber caresser, so blocking and finishing have always been the WORK, which I put off. The wires are so very simple, but oh so helpful – – – I want them for my very own!!

    May 15, 2009
  575. I haven’t tried much blocking, just getting a knitted item wet and smoothing/stretching with my hands. I definitely will try some of the tools you mentioned!

    May 15, 2009
  576. Karyl #

    Good tutorial, though I DO block my knitting because it always looks so much better after it’s blocked! Thanks.

    May 15, 2009
  577. Thanks for the terrific article – one quick question -when you steam – do you ever place another piece of fabric in-between? And if so, what type/thickness to make sure the steam goes through – do you have any favorites? Thanks again for offering such great knitting support!!

    May 15, 2009
  578. Joy #

    ick – blocking. I’ve never wanted nor needed to do it. Might be nice to try if I knitted lace. Actually, if I had the tools, I probably would knit something that needed blocking…

    I enjoyed the article, it was not preachy or overly technical. WEll Done!

    May 15, 2009
  579. Virginia #

    Oh its a pooch!

    It would be a big help if i got this blocking board, plus this site will teach me how to block for the first time.

    May 15, 2009
  580. Tina #

    Thanks for the tips! Always enjoy reading (or watching) about the latest and greatest in knitting. I’m working on a scarf now and I can’t wait to apply these blocking techniques. I’m really going to look forward to my finished product looking just like the picture in the magazine from where I took the pattern!

    May 15, 2009
  581. Fay Watson #

    This looked really neat. I have never even heard of the soak and have been trying to save up for the blocking wires so it would really neat to win this. Love the dog. first time I have ever seen a block table either. Can you stick pins in it? I taught myself to knit from a learn how to book. later I found a lady who showed me the correct way to cast on that saved me hours and hours of work. so now have really been doing a lot of knitting.

    May 15, 2009
  582. Casi Z #

    What a lovely scarf!

    Admittedly, I love wet blocking — I love the feel of the wet fibers running through my fingers.

    May 15, 2009
  583. Sara Jane Apple #

    I just went out recently and bought more pins (with pretty plastic flower heads) as I can never have enough when I am wet blocking. After I knit and then felt/full in the washing machine I rely on the blocking to get the shape I want. Thanks for the great information. I love looking in my inbox every Friday for a new free pattern.

    May 15, 2009
  584. Patsy #

    Have never tried Soak. Don’t know where to purchase it. Blocking is a necessary evil for me! I am making the scarf

    May 15, 2009
  585. Harriet #

    I have knit for over 40 years now and made a wide assortment of pieces. I have never heard about using wires. I confess that if I had done more blocking my pieces would have looked better. I definitley will look it the next time I make something.

    May 15, 2009
  586. Jennifer #

    I’m excited to try blocking. I already have a project finished and waiting for blocking tender mercies. It’s the Hemlock doily/lap robe, the circular piece enlarged from a 1940 lace doily pattern to a big grown-up piece.

    Do blocking wires work in a circular piece? Am I stuck with pins?

    I’ll have to see if the whole thing fits in a colander, too!

    May 15, 2009
  587. Lynne #

    I have been looking for a blocking mat everywhere and can’t seem to find one. Can you tell me where I can get? Are they special material? Right now I use a piece of foam core poster board wrapped in plastic wrap.

    May 15, 2009
  588. Sylvia Tulkoff #

    I have gone back to knitting after being away from it for years. A new grandson and the desire to knit some of the gorgeous scarves in your booklets have inspired me. I have never seen blocking wires and am not familiar with Soak.
    Do knit shops carry it or must I order it over the internet?

    Sylvia

    May 15, 2009
  589. I have been knitting for at least 60 years. I will try to find the wires for sure and I am well aware that blocking or not blocking makes it worthwhile.

    May 15, 2009
  590. Susan #

    Love the Jubilee scarf! Great article on blocking! Hope I win the blocking wires!

    May 15, 2009
  591. Kim #

    I never knew the dramatic difference between a blocked and unblocked item!

    May 15, 2009
  592. Kathi #

    Good info. Blocking is one of those really intimidating things if you’ve not done it before, especially since there is so much conflicting info out there on what is the “best” way. I maintain that, while certain methods might work better than other in any given situation, the best method is the one you are willing to actually use!

    May 15, 2009
  593. Erica #

    Exactly what I needed to know. Thanks so much for sharing and for the contest.

    May 15, 2009
  594. Karen #

    Thanks for the blocking lesson. I have never heard of blocking wires. Hopefully I can throw out the mountains of pins now! Can’t wait to try your process.

    May 15, 2009
  595. marina #

    I recently learned to block lace, and then I had to go back and reblock a bunch of my older lace scarves, because I realized they would look so much better if they were properly blocked.

    May 15, 2009
  596. Audrie Wiesenfelder #

    Until this last Fall, I NEVER blocked anything, too daunting. But I made a lace shawl and knew it had to be blocked. So I blocked out some time (pun intended) and set out my Superboard on the dining room table, and started pinning. I used so many pins, but when it was done, it was gorgeous. Now that I’ve seen the difference it makes, I’m a big fan of blocking. I had never seen how blocking wires work until this tutorial and I’m impressed. Having the kit would make the process so much easier.

    May 15, 2009
  597. Arlyce Anderson #

    Oh My! I now see the importance of blocking! What a defined difference it makes. I can’t wait to finish the socks I’m knitting right now to see what they do when blocked! I am excited to try it, and I’m sure I’ll be doing it to all of my knitting projects that require it from now on! Thanks for the inspiring information! Arlyce

    May 15, 2009
  598. Joyce #

    This is a great tut, absolutely love the ‘inspector’, lol.
    Can anyone tell me the difference between Soak and Woolite? I have always used Woolite, and only see in the comments here the fragrance, so would really appreciate knowing if there are other factors. Thanks in advance!

    May 15, 2009
  599. Theresa #

    I am a novice knitter, and I had no idea what a big difference proper blocking can make to a finished garment. I wonder if blocking is different depending on the yarn used? I’m sure it is – I will continue to use your site for important tips and great patterns. LOVE your yarn!

    May 15, 2009
  600. Michelle #

    I knit mostly socks and haven’t blocked any yet, but I think it’s a good idea going forward–especially when I gift them! I am thankful for the wonderful blocking advice.

    May 15, 2009
  601. Judy A. Heilman #

    WOW!!! This is the encouragement needed to finish my stalled shawl project. Then I can start a new one using the Jubilee pattern and my alpaca fine. Thank you so much for the inspiration.
    Judy

    May 15, 2009
  602. Lynn #

    Thanks for the info on blocking…my mom is a master knitter and she has been blocking my f.o. s for me, however, I’m almost done with a lace wrap that I am thinking of biting the bullet and trying on my own! Your tutorial will defiitely help.

    May 15, 2009
  603. Sandra H. Smith #

    I’m convinced …… I now plan to be a “blockhead”!

    May 15, 2009
  604. Ann Marie #

    Working on my very first lace project, a branch lace scarf in Berocco Sox!!! It’s coming out great after about a dozen starts and now I’m so happy to get the hang of it and see the pattern emerge. i know that blocking will make it even better! At the same time I’m just getting ready to block a crocheted cardigan for the first time before assembling the pieces. Since I crochet a little on the tight side, this is the only way it will go to size! Thanks for the tutorial–I really enjoy my weekly email from Berocco!

    May 15, 2009
  605. Fernanda #

    Blocking always transforms knitting into a work of art!

    May 15, 2009
  606. Thanks for great information! I have been knitting and blocking for many

    years – sometimes pleased with the blocking job and sometimes not. I

    will certainly try blocking wires.

    Joanne

    May 15, 2009
  607. Karen #

    Thanks for a terrific blog and tips. I am a one year new knitter thanks to a fabulous loving sister who lives way to far away. Since I am unable to get out and take classes I don’t have social contact with other knitters and consequently don’t hear of some of the wonderful products available. These sound great and I would love to add them to my knitting accessories.

    May 15, 2009
  608. R. Beaulieu #

    Blocking wires! How cool is that?! I did not know they existed – thanks for the great entry. I hope I have something in my stash to make the scarf pattern with!

    May 15, 2009
  609. The dog totally cracks me up. Whenever I wash my knitted items and lay them out on a towel on the floor, my German Shepherd can’t stay away from them. I come back and find the item a little rumpled because he’s walked the length of the scarf! I think it’s the Eucalan he likes, or maybe the wool smells like a wet sheep? It’s so remarkable to me that he does this because he’s a dog who never touches any of my belongings and behaves perfectly except for this one little quirk!

    May 15, 2009
  610. Shelby #

    Thanks for the great pattern and the info on blocking wires. I thought they were just for lacy shawls but can see their practical use on smaller items.

    May 15, 2009
  611. Joanna Allison #

    Great information on blocking. I’m going to print this out.

    May 15, 2009
  612. Beth #

    Thanks for the article! It makes blocking look far less torturous than I imagined.

    May 15, 2009
  613. Michelle #

    Fabulous Post! Thanks so much for all the great information!

    May 15, 2009
  614. I am not a big lace knitter, but this scarf pattern is enticing me. I think I will put it in my Ravelry queue! And, since I don’t have blocking wires, I’m hoping to win the contest…. :)

    May 15, 2009
  615. Nancy #

    I am 1/2 done with my first lacy cardigan. It will most assuredly need blocked so I read your blog today with eagerness. A win would be lovely.

    May 15, 2009
  616. Rachel #

    As a relatively inexperienced knitter, I really appreciate all this info. Thanks!

    May 15, 2009
  617. Rebecca HC #

    Great blocking tips. I’m making my first sweater, and am in desperate need to get up to speed on blocking garments to make this a wearable project. I hope to find those much sought after blocking wires for this and future projects.

    Keep up the good work!

    May 15, 2009
  618. Noel #

    Solid info here, but a salad spinner to squeeze water out of knitted articles? Wouldn’t that encourage wool fibers to felt?

    May 15, 2009
  619. Phaedra #

    I’ve been searching for a lace project; this is perfect! It’s always magical what blocking will do, whether the lace is a scarf, shawl or socks. Everything seems to blossom.

    May 15, 2009
  620. Beth De Long #

    Thank you so much for “finishing “tutorials, which I feel is somewhat hard to find. The blocking techniques you showed will help me have better results. I made A sweater for my granddaughter that I was not happy with until I blocked it .I was surprised what A beautiful difference blocking made!

    May 15, 2009
  621. I usually use my trusty iron and pins, thanks for the info and pix!!!

    May 15, 2009
  622. paula #

    Thanks for all the good information!

    May 15, 2009
  623. Kim #

    After reading the article on blocking, I must try this “smells good” product :) I haven’t ventured into sweater or lace knitting . . . yet, but when I do, I’ll dig up this email. I LOVE your dog, what a great helper he/she is :D Thx!

    May 15, 2009
  624. Anne Keddy-Hector #

    Thank you for reminding me that if you go to all the trouble to knit something- why not finish it properly! And you are right- somethings look pretty good already and only need a light touch up.

    May 15, 2009
  625. Deanna #

    I have recently been on a swatch binge! I love a quick little knit, then swish and pin and my swatch is so soft and ready to help me dream of the big garment I will make next.

    May 15, 2009
  626. Linda #

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE TUTORIAL. HAVE BEEN KNITTING FOR YEARS BUT HAVEN’T WANTED TO MAKE ANYTHING THAT NEEDED TO BE BLOCKED AS MY FIRST EXPERIENCE AT IT (YEARS AGO) WAS NOT A PLEASANT ONE. HAD NO IDEA WHAT BLOCKING WIRES WERE (AND WISHED I HAD HAD THEM IN THE PAST!!) AND WILL CERTAINTLY TRY AND THEM AND BLOCKING NOW!!!!!

    May 15, 2009
  627. Sue #

    I love blocking — it’s like the reward for finishing the project!

    May 15, 2009
  628. Andrea Southworth #

    Thank you for this! I knew it was important but never had a good technique, just tried to shape things wet. I can’t tell you how much I have learned from your blog and others’ questions/answers posted! Thanks!

    May 15, 2009
  629. Barbara #

    I have about a dozen projects that have become orphans because I just couldn’t face blocking them. I need a blocking board but all of the ones I have seen are so expensive. Any leads to something cheaper?

    May 15, 2009
  630. Love your green theme! :) I am in love with this scarf! Beautiful work (as always). Thanks for blogging!

    May 15, 2009
  631. Mary #

    I love all your helpful hints, tutorials ,patterns and yarns.
    I also love to knit and crochet and always have a WIP. that will need blocking
    It would be great to try the blocking wires instead of the meeellion pin method that I now use and I will also get out the salad spinner..Who knew…

    Thanks

    May 15, 2009
  632. Donna #

    I have just started to learn to knit and I can’t tell you just how much I use and appreciate this web site! Newbie question: I was told in the past that “you can’t block synthetic yarn items” or that “synthetics don’t need to be blocked”.
    My synthetic made projects curl just as much as natural fiber-made ones.
    If you can block them, what is the best blocking method to use?

    By the way, great tutorial!

    May 15, 2009
  633. Shellee #

    Thanks for all the helpful information on blocking. I didn’t use to block but after a few disapointments, I blocked my next project and found out why it is so important.
    Thanks also for the email updates – I really enjoy getting them.

    May 15, 2009
  634. Bernard #

    Congratulations on becoming the company with the most size-friendly and fashionable patterns available

    May 15, 2009
  635. Laura #

    Thanks for the tutorial, now I would like to try blocking wires.

    May 15, 2009
  636. Barb #

    Thanks for the valuable info on blocking. I have a few samples of Soak that I have not tried it yet but do look forward to using it.

    May 15, 2009
  637. Andrea #

    Thank you so much for this blog post. Much needed!

    May 15, 2009
  638. Ruby #

    I didn’t block for many years but now that I do, I like the results it brings to an item. Even acrylic items get a much better look after blocking and steaming. I found that especially sweaters keep the look I want much longer after the blocking process. For steaming I use a WET towel and the steam function on the iron and keep wetting the towel as I move along. This leaves the item slightly damp which I then leave to dry completely. I’ve had great results with this. For those who are skittish about trying blocking, make a larger swatch to use as a dishcloth or spa scrubber and practice the block on it. You can always use extra scrubbers and friends and family seem to like them, too.

    May 15, 2009
  639. Ann-Louise #

    this rainy spring day would be the PERFECT time to block…if only i had the awesome kit (hint, hint)!

    May 15, 2009
  640. carol ward #

    This set of photos and comments will be helpful to me. I am a 2 time knitter. Picked it up again in Jan. ’08 after 30 years of no knitting. I am enthralled. I was never a “blockhead” ’cause I really didn’t know how, but will now try your suggestions and “Soak”. Thank you so much.

    May 15, 2009
  641. Phyllis #

    I’m terrible about blocking. I know it needs to be done, but haven’t been real successful. Thanks for the guidelines. I’m finishing a couple of projects and really need it.

    May 15, 2009
  642. Jane Howe #

    Thanks for the excellent information on blocking. I too love the scarf pattern and will enjoy creating this beauty from local, Northern Ontario alpaca. Hope I win the blocking kit! Jane

    May 15, 2009
  643. Doreen Cripps #

    Thanks for the tips on blocking. I just have a couple of questions. I am presuming that if you are steam blocking a piece it should not be wetted first. I have been told that you can block a garment after it has been assembled. Is it better to block the pieces prior to assembly or after? How does one block a skirt knit in the round?

    May 15, 2009
  644. Susan S. #

    My blocking so far has not made me happy–hopefully these tips will help (and the kit if I win it!).

    May 15, 2009
  645. Kay #

    Wonderful article on blocking! And I appreciate the free pattern for the beautiful scarf, too.

    May 15, 2009
  646. Nancy MacIntosh #

    Blocking has saved me many a time including correcting the ad hoc blocking of items by the weight and warmth of a warm pussy cat or cats. A fantastic prize and good concise directions. I am glad I am not the only one aided by a friendly 4 legged critter.

    May 15, 2009
  647. Judy #

    Just found this website and I’m very glad I did. I can always use more information and this is so helpful. Thanks for the clear explainations.

    May 15, 2009
  648. julia #

    What an inspiration! I have knitted numerous lace scarves and have never blocked them…and now I find out I haven’t gone the final step! I love all your tutorials and have saved them all. You make me want to be better! Thanks!!

    May 15, 2009
  649. Gloria Schryver #

    Gee, guess I’ll have to try Soak – I have a lace shawl I made that could use the wires to block it. Great tips-I usually just pin on my board and hope for the best!

    May 15, 2009
  650. Ugh. Blocking to me is like gauge swatches, piecing together, and weaving in ends. . . That having been said, the way I “cheat” block lacy scarves (only done it 3 times now) is to streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch it vertically along the backrest of my couch, and let the weight of the garment do the horizontal stretching. One day (I hope!), I will have the space/equipment/inclination to do it more properly.

    May 15, 2009
  651. Vanessa #

    Must block… I hate blocking unless I absolutely must…you’ve converted me!

    May 15, 2009
  652. Khat #

    Blocking being one of those things many people don’t know how to do, your blocking tutorial is a wonderful idea. I can block and have done so on a few shawls, but it takes so long to block with just pins that I would love to be entered in your drawing. I am sure the wires speed up blocking a ton. As for the soak, well so far I am washing my knits in baby shampoo so soak would be a wonderful addition to my knitting. Thanks for offering the contest.

    May 15, 2009
  653. Jennifer #

    Caution: I’m a real beginner!
    I recently made a knitted baby sweater in garter stitch. It called for moving the left front and back sections onto stitch holders and continuing on with the right front section. After I went back to move the stitches off of the stitch holder onto my needles and knit the rest of the garment, the row that was originally on the stitch holders is spaced in height much more than the other rows. Can blocking correct this? Thanks!

    May 15, 2009
    • Hi Jennifer: you can stretch the other side to match the height of the other one, but I’d probably recommend ripping out a few rows or knitting a few on the other so they’re even =)

      May 15, 2009
      • Jennifer #

        Thanks. Luckily it’s a baby sweater so not much needs to be ripped… I just didnt’ want to have to do it. It was my first knit sweater and other than this interesting row…it looked pretty good!
        Jen

        May 15, 2009
    • sjanova #

      This is why I stopped using stitch holders and, instead, use waste yarn as stitch holders. Using the metal “safety pin” looking things and even using extra needles seem to stretch out the stitches. In the future, you could thread through the stitches a bit of yarn that’s about the same or thinner than the yarn you’re using. When you’re ready to knit them, you just put them back on a needle and take the waste yarn out. That has worked much better on, say, baby sweater sleeves or one side or the other if I have to knit them separately.

      May 15, 2009
  654. Maureen #

    Love the scarf pattern

    May 15, 2009
  655. Wandalea Walker #

    Wow…Thanks! I’ve read a zillion ideas about blocking (including that it’s not necessary) & this is the best. I recently began knitting again after a 25 year dry spell, & I have never blocked anything. Now I’m making a cotton tank top with a lace hem & I can’t wait to block it! I love your ideas about using the colander & salad spinner–also, I’m getting some Soak. Aloha, Wandalea

    May 15, 2009
  656. Charyl #

    Well I guess it’s confession time…….once upon a time in a knitting kingdom a sweater was being knit for that very special person but the knitter didn’t take the time to swatch lst and no matter how much blocking was done with towel, spritz and iron, the sweater never did fit properly and a very valuable lesson was learned ……. always swatch and block before tackling the prince’s royal sweater!
    BTW – it takes more than one toad to find that knight in shining armor. I have found mine and he does put up/encourages my swatching and blocking efforts – even made me a special board!
    Thank you for the wonderful article!!!!

    May 15, 2009
  657. Jackie #

    I usually block any garment I make at least once, lightly, even if it’s not lacy, but like a lot of people, I lack the space to do it in well. I have this plastic grid thing that I think was originally made as a kind of shade for fluorescent lights that I hang things on, but it’s really not long or wide enough. I still persevere though! I know I see a lot of people saying how little they like their finished products when you can tell they didn’t block the item at all. I guess I think if something took me a couple weeks to knit, it can take a couple extra days to be blocked. This scarf pattern is great — time to put it on the to-do list.

    May 15, 2009
  658. Cheryl #

    I’m on the band wagon!! You are right, blocking is “magical”!

    May 15, 2009
  659. Thanks for the article – blocking is really something I need to start doing! It does seem a little daunting but after reading your post it does seem possible!

    May 15, 2009
  660. Carolyn #

    I am curious about the differences between using pins and blocking wires.
    Thank you for the tutorial.
    -Carolyn

    May 15, 2009
  661. Thanks for this. I love the idea of using a little wool wash in the spritzer bottle to freshen up the knitting between washes.

    May 15, 2009
  662. Kathy #

    This scarf is lovely.

    I always block, but I’ve never tried the Soak washes. Next on my list?? Maybe I’ll get lucky and win the pack!

    May 15, 2009
  663. Donna #

    The scarf is gorgeous.

    May 15, 2009
  664. Karen W. Marquardt #

    Love the lace scarf. Been wanting to knit lace for quite a while. Have even purchased several recent lace knitting books. The only thing holding me back is the whole blocking process, which has me quite intimidated. I hope your words of advice can help me break through this last barrier.

    May 15, 2009
  665. Love that inspector of the blocking board! Thanks for the scarf pattern — Xmas gifties are in the works here and this will come in handy.

    Kathy

    May 15, 2009
  666. jill swanson #

    Great tutorial. Hope I win. Thanks Jill S

    May 15, 2009
  667. Ellen Bacon #

    Where do you purchase blocking wires? Do they come in a variety of lengths? Does Soak get rinsed out, or do you spray in on nd leave it in the object you are blocking?

    May 15, 2009
  668. Grace #

    Thanks for the pic tutorial! Sign me up!

    May 15, 2009
  669. Rachel Horner Brackett #

    Any tips on blocking silk blends? I do fine with wool, but “re-stretching” those silk fibers after washing terrifies me.

    May 15, 2009
  670. Ann Kutz #

    Hi I just wanted to say that blocking does help. Did you know that you could block ribbing, if you know how. It really makes a difference.
    I started out knitting by hand than I became a machine knitter and I also crochet.
    At one of our seminars for machine knitting we were showed how to block some of the yarns that we use. Some of the demonstrators at the seminar steam ironed the article like you would iron a piece of material, which made it drapable. Anyother held the iron above the garmet and steamed the garment. It all depends on what kind of feel that you want.
    As far as lace, you want to open up the lace to make it look nicer and lays flat. Using blocking wires, pins and the steam iron help to open up the lace and help it lay flat.

    May 15, 2009
  671. cecelia jaffe #

    your blocking discussions have really convinced me to go out and spread the word with knitting friends. so often i hear disappointment in fellow knitters’ comments when all they had to do was wet finish and block.
    as a spinner who weaves and knits with her own handspun the “magic” of blocking is very special for my work.
    thanks for sharing………..keep the hints coming

    May 15, 2009
  672. patricia #

    Hooray for blocking- I am a big fan after finishing and blocking a lace scarf.
    It turned out wonderful! The Jubilee scarf is beautiful too!

    May 15, 2009
  673. Thank you for the blocking tutorial. I’m scared to death of blocking. Because for one, I don’t know if I’m even doing it right. I’ve not made that many wearables that required it actually. If its not a doily, I don’t block well.

    May 15, 2009
  674. Ellen Cotter #

    The lacy things really do seem to need blocking if they’re not going to end up a blobby mess. Any tips on blocking things that aren’t flat, like hats? A nice smelling soak all seems like a good idea to cover up other smells (like the coolaid + wet sheep smell I got when I last dyed something).

    May 15, 2009
  675. Cindy #

    Blocking wires were on my wish list for mother’s day. But, alas, didn’t appear. I have arthritis in my fingers and wrists. Wires would be so much easier on my hands. I will NOT stop knitting because of arthritis, but making the finishing easier would be OK. I’d love to win the wires and SOAK. Have not tried it yet; my LYS was out when I was there last, but I’d love to try it. Off to LYS to pick up the Ultra Alpaca Fine for the scarf now. Jubilee Scarf is a lovely pattern.

    May 15, 2009
  676. Maureen #

    Thank you for the Blocking Tutorial and you do have the cutest blocking model! I have never seen the wires and would totally love to get a set, also the Soak product. Could you tell me where I would be able to find these products in BC Canada? I am anxious to the scarf!

    May 15, 2009
  677. Carol #

    I was excited about the scarf pattern and then I saw you are giving away just what I need! Yay!

    May 15, 2009
  678. Patti Parker #

    I have had mixed success with blocking. I have not tried blocking wires, but I think I will invest. I appreciate all of your recent advice regarding fininshing a garment. I have spent many hours knitting garments, only to lose interest it it whatn it was sewn unevenly at the shoulders or when it lost body in the blocking process. I also want to say that I love Nora’s designs.

    Regards
    Patti P

    May 15, 2009
  679. Tammi #

    I’ve never used Soak. I tend to put off blocking, but I think I might look forward to it more if I had a product like Soak that made my project smell lovely!

    May 15, 2009
  680. Margret #

    Thank you for the tutorial. I had an idea about what blocking was, but I didn’t realize it’s importance.

    May 15, 2009
  681. Jeanne Schimmel #

    I always learn something new on your Website. I never heard about blocking wires and I hve been knitting for about 70 years. I usually use a pklywood board, covered witha large terry towel ing that I have saved for blocking sweaters, socksscarves, hats etc and they always come out better for blocking.
    Jeanne

    May 15, 2009
  682. Pam #

    Thanks for the info. I’m currently knitting my first lace-weight scarf. I guess I should invest in some blocking wires – if I don’t win them.

    May 15, 2009
  683. Lyn #

    I have been a knitter for over fifty years, and it’s only in the last decade that I’d even heard of blocking. Now I find it’s an essential for any lace work that I do, although I’m still at the stage of using many, many pins. I usually do the full soak method, but thank you for the info on the steaming and light wetting ways. They will certainly become a part of my retinue of methods!

    May 15, 2009
  684. Molly #

    Can’t say that I love blocking but it does make a difference. Thanks so much for covering this topic.

    May 15, 2009
  685. Sharon #

    I’m just beginning a couple of lace shawls, so this was a timely reminder about blocking wires. I’ve knit and blocked lace scarves before and cursed the number of pins I needed. I’ve never tried Soak, indeed never heard of it before. I can’t comment on the packaging because that picture wouldn’t open on my computer. What brand or type of salad spinner do you use? I used our pull-cord one for some socks and scarves – all small items – and it broke. I’d like to find one that will last next time. Thank you for the lovely pattern and informative tutorial. Loved your helper! But I don’t think I’ll let any of my Shepherds help me quite that much. :-)

    May 15, 2009
  686. qrious #

    Thanks for the great tutorial which helped to dispel some of my fear of blocking (a real impediment to finishing knitted projects)! Although I’ve never actually watched the movie Hellraiser, for some reason the “pinhead” character often pops into mind when I think about the blocking process. Reducing the number of pins by using wires will hopefully make blocking a more enjoyable experience overall. Thanks also for running the contest!

    May 15, 2009
  687. Yay! A contest, sign me up. Seriously, I never blocked until I did my first lace project. WOW, the magical transformative powers of blocking are just awesome.

    Thanks for the great blog.

    May 15, 2009
  688. Heather Bradshaw #

    Thanks for the great tutorial- just in the process of blocking a shawl myself and this reinforced my limited experience. I love SOAK products.

    May 15, 2009
  689. Finngirl #

    Can we have another tutorial, this time about steam blocking? My work area is so limited in space that I can’t spread out all the pieces of a sweater at once. And I would have to block a 60″ scarf in two sessions, or fold it double. It would be a lot easier if I could steam things in sections on my ironing board — if that works.

    Are there times when “killing” a fabric with heat or steam is a good idea? I was glancing at Lily Chin’s book on Couture Crochet and she seemed to be recommending it for some items.

    What a good thing your dog inspected the blocking board before the scarf was blocked, instead of after it was all pinned and drying!

    May 15, 2009
  690. Miriam Quinn #

    Great! Thanks for sharing, very helpful.

    May 15, 2009
  691. Laurilee Jordan #

    thanks for the tips, it helps take the fear out of blocking for me

    May 15, 2009
  692. Becky A. Winfrey #

    Hi, I’ve never used blocking wires, they would certainly come in handy. I just finished my first lace project;a radiation shawl for my mother to use when she goes to her appointments at the cancer center. Should I soak it first?It’s pretty big, and I don’t have a blocking board. Will stretching out on a table or bed work?

    May 15, 2009
  693. Such good information! I like the salad spinner idea for small items. It’s scary but I use the spin cycle of my washing machine to get the water out of larger projects likes sweaters. And I just started my first lace-weight shawl so I have that magical blocking process to look forward to.
    Thanks for a great post!

    May 15, 2009
  694. Picklepat #

    I’ve used steam or a wet towel layed over a knit piece pinned to a board. I made the “swallow tail” scarf and stretched it using string and pins. It was beautiful but I wish I’d had wires. It took a lot of pins.

    May 15, 2009
  695. Blocking is a marvelous process. Not only does it even out any little irregularities, but also makes every hand knit look more professional, and less “loving hands at home.” I don’t consider anything knitted done until it’s been blocked. Thanks for the tutorial — there’s always more to learn!

    May 15, 2009
  696. I have a lace scarf that’s been finished for a few years now and still haven’t blocked it. I always plan to some day…those wires would be nice to have someday.

    May 15, 2009
  697. Adrienne #

    I’ve done some basic blocking, a couple of lace scarves and a child’s cardigan with a lacy edge. The cardigan was the most difficult and I was rather unhappy with it in the end, mostly due to beginner’s inexperience – the cardigan was knitted bottom up, with the lace edge first, my CO row was most likely too tight, and working with cotton/acrylic makes for easy washing but not so easy blocking. Least I learned some lessons. :)
    I’m wagering the blocking wires would make scarf blocking easier, eh?

    Jubilee is lovely Cirilia!

    Good luck everyone, crossing my fingers!

    May 15, 2009
  698. Tricia #

    Thank you for your tutorial on blocking. I have never seen it written out and I usually skip this step in my knitting project. Thanks again

    May 15, 2009
  699. Barbara Morgan #

    Oh wow! Your explanation has convinced me that I have been holding myself back over a silly fear. I have never tried any lace work because the task of blocking seemed so daunting. Your cheerful step-by-step instructions [especially the inspection] put me in a different frame of mind. And I really loved the shawl! Thanks.

    May 15, 2009
  700. Mary #

    I’m a firm believer in blocking. The transformation in lace is remarkable. I’d love to win the prize, blocking wires are something I sorely lack. Thanks for offering the tips, too. I hadn’t thought of using a colander in the process. I’ll use that next time. Thanks!

    May 15, 2009
  701. Catherine #

    Wires look soooooo much more convenient. I have always used a Billion pins!!

    May 15, 2009
  702. Nancy #

    I love soak! And can’t wait to try the new scarf pattern!

    May 15, 2009
  703. Karen #

    Thank you for the information. I have yet to block an item though remember my mother blocking many items as a child.

    May 15, 2009
  704. Shelley Blackler #

    I knit; therefore I block!

    May 15, 2009
  705. Geneva #

    I throughly enjoyed reading your detailed blog on blocking. I am in the process of knitting a cotton sweater for my new granddaughter expected to be born in July or August. Since the pattern is knitted in pieces, should each piece be blocked individually and then put together or should the sweater be blocked after total completion? Any help would be appreciated. Love your newsletter!!

    May 15, 2009
  706. Annette #

    Thank you for the information, I was given a sample of Soak and really liked it. Most of my blocking has been done dry with an iron or steamer, I either use pins or go to one of the local knitting stores that offer assistance with blocking. It is amazing what a difference it makes. One of these days I will have to get a set of the wires.

    May 16, 2009
  707. Ruth Velasco-Schmitz #

    Love the scarf – so airy and pretty! Great for springtime or even during colder summer nights here in the PNW.
    Soak sounds like a lovely product. I’ll have to see if I can find it here – I only know Eucalan.

    May 16, 2009
  708. Karen #

    I never block…maybe that is why my stuff always looks handmade and dorky! LOL

    May 16, 2009
  709. sally #

    I have been thinking about buying the blocking materials, but haven’t yet.
    You have convinced me of the importance of it. Now, if I can just find the
    room for laying it out …….

    May 16, 2009
  710. Tina Van Hoecke #

    I use soak and I love it. It is so nice not to have to rinse. I appreciate all the great blocking info you have provided.
    Thanks.

    May 16, 2009
  711. Terry #

    I was amazed at what a difference blocking made to my entrelac project. I would love to try the blocking wires.

    May 16, 2009
  712. Cara #

    How exciting, I’ve never tried SOAK or blocking wires. And I’m becoming lace obsessed, so detailed blocking is becoming increasingly important.

    May 16, 2009
  713. Thank you for the tutorial — I “blocked” my first lace shawl but obviously didn’t get it wet enough as it looked fine for a while but is back to something the cat dragged in. Will be blocking it again!

    May 16, 2009
  714. Jessica #

    I’ve done some blocking and it really helps lace! I have a cardigan I am working on right now that I will be blocking as it is a curled up thing. Once blocked, I know it will look good. I just hope it fits….:)

    May 16, 2009
  715. Rebecca #

    Blocking your finished project transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. All the work is showcased to its full potential.
    Blocking wires would make the process much easier.
    It would be wonderful to win the prize.

    Rebecca

    May 16, 2009
  716. Joan #

    Thanks for the great tutorial – handsome doggie!! Such a good helper.
    My question has to do w/blocking cotton – does it work as well as wool, is it a needed as it is for wool? A working on a summer scarf and am wondering….and blocking wires seem like magic!!! must move up to them…..xo

    May 16, 2009
  717. JC #

    I actually love the blocking process, especially for lace. After I’ve lived with a piece I’ve been knitting– sometimes for months — blocking it is giving it its full potential. It becomes real, and something separate from me. That’s the point at which I can let it go, wear it or give it as a gift, and move onto another project.

    By the way, if you ever knit a circular shawl, block it on a round tablecloth (that won’t color-run!). It will make your life so much easier.

    May 16, 2009
  718. Maggie Pietrzak #

    I am just learning blocking and have been absorbing all I can before purchasing blocking pins and a board. Thanks for the help and even if I don’t win, I better understand the process. Your website has always been helpful.

    May 16, 2009
  719. Wow, awesome photos of the process! I got to use blocking wires recently and I’m a total convert!

    May 16, 2009
    • L.Sassy #

      Loved this article. I do newsletters and you have just given me the best one I can pass along. So glad you spent the hours writing… And I did learn a thing or two. Thank you.

      May 16, 2009
  720. Kari D #

    Looks as though I am not the only one who has not knitted lace because of my fear of blocking appropriately! THANKS so much for the tutorial. Obviously I need to go back and read a couple more times. Thanks as well for the opportunity to win the blocking wires….This scarf is so gorgeous…and all you have to do is block correctly, eh?

    May 16, 2009
  721. Gina #

    Great Info. Is there any value to blocking synthetic fibers (ex. Comfort)? I’ve had great results with natural fiber lace — that was one of the neatest knitting things to see.

    May 16, 2009
  722. Mare3141 #

    I’m a beginning knitter and have been avidly reading everything I can get my hands on. I haven’t gotten to the point of blocking anything yet but I am sure I will bring up this article again for reference for when I do. The comments have also been educational. I look forward to more!

    Thanks!

    May 16, 2009
  723. Robbie #

    I had never blocked anything until I started using natural fibers, now I block everything. It does make a difference.

    May 16, 2009
  724. kathleen etherington #

    I think I need someone with four (fur) feet to check my blocking board. I love the salad spinner idea! I am a true believer in blocking!

    May 16, 2009
  725. Libba #

    The blocking wires look really cool and make for a nice even edge. I have seen cable stitches that were blocked and the cables then looked too flat. Any advice?

    May 16, 2009
  726. jacky #

    I’ve been meaning to get some wires and try blocking with them (all those pins make my fingertips sore)…thanks for the article – very informative.

    May 16, 2009
  727. Sally #

    Thanks so much for the blocking info. I have blocked before on a vest I made and it really does make a huge difference in how the finished project looks when being worn. I was wondering if you need to block a finished project if it is made with 100% acrylic?

    Sally

    May 16, 2009
  728. Pat Jones #

    Hi !

    Thanks so much for the information. I am a newbi…but have finished several items. Lg Prayer Shawl, hat and scarf set, socks. etc…..trying to do enough socks so I don’t have to have several books around me. I think I have it all together now. I would like to try a sweater next and then I will be on my way. I can also do entrelac now and I love it.

    I would love to win the pkg and wires so that I can continue on with my
    knitting education. I don’t want my knitting to look “home” made…smiles

    Here’s hoping I win also.

    I am having so much fun trying out my knitting skills and getting all the supplies in…. :-)
    Pat

    May 16, 2009
  729. Thelma Taylor #

    I just started blocking about a year ago when I realized how it helped sweater seams look more flat and finished. I used a steamer much like the one you showed. Then I tried it on a vest with open work, made out of 100% homespun alpaca yarn and you’re right, the pattern became more beautiful and clear. I was amazed and totally sold. I’ve not knit a lace scarf, but you’ve got me hooked and it will be one of the projects I start in about a month. The free pattern is a great incentive. Thanks so much for the tips. I also checked out the Soak products on their site and I will try them. As they say in the West, “Happy Trails and keep on, keep on knitting…”

    May 16, 2009
  730. Margie #

    The blocking serves the same purpose as pressing does as you are putting together a sewn garment.

    May 16, 2009
  731. Willi #

    I’ve never tried Soak, but I certainly will now.
    Never tried wires to stretch my knitted scarves, or anything else. I stretch my project out on a large towel, and keep going back to stretch and even out the sides, pat and stretch, pat and……and keep going back until it meets my approval or is dry.
    Look so wonderful using the wire kit. Would love to have that.

    May 16, 2009
  732. Blocking is a must! Thanks for the great info. I’m just getting into lace knitting and would love a set of blocking wires. They look as though they would make the job go much faster.

    May 16, 2009
  733. zknitz #

    That was a great tutorial- thanks for passing on great information! =)

    May 16, 2009
  734. Melody #

    Thanks for the great tutorial on blocking. I love the challenge of lace knitting and want badly to do a lace wrap of some sort. I even have the patterns! Blocking, however, has intimidated me to the point that my lace project keeps being relegated to the bottom of my endless knitting que. You’ve inspired me to give it a try!

    May 16, 2009
  735. I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who don’t block. It’s a process
    that I love because of the magic it works (especially on those projects with the occassional iffy-looking stitches that make me nervous as I bravely soldier on).
    Of course there is also the fact that it means that I am so tantalizingly close to being finished. Yes, I’m proud to say that I am a blocker. Primarily a soaker and
    a spritzer using a gazillion t-pins.

    May 16, 2009
  736. I have been knitting and crocheting for years, but only with acrylic until this past year. Now that I am using natural fibers, blocking is more important than ever and the magic that it produces is amazing.

    May 16, 2009
  737. Teresa #

    I’m a relative newbie to knitting and haven’t made anything yet that requires serious blocking. This reference was handy — and inspiring! — such that I’ll bookmark it and refer to it in the future. I always love the projects on this knitting site in particular!

    Thanks!

    May 16, 2009
  738. mollita #

    Wow– great post. I’m still learning and always wonder how many people block before or after seaming. (When blocking a sweater or cardigan)

    May 16, 2009
  739. Linda Wheeler #

    I just finished a sweater project and have been putting off blocking it and thus have not sewn it together. After going through your instructions I am now actually excited to block my sweater pieces and see how it comes out! It sure sounds like it will improve what I’ve already done.

    Thanks for the pictures and like the colander idea. I’ve always used a big beach towel. I also love your cute, four legged assistant!!! I raise guide dogs for the blind and love dogs in all situations!

    May 16, 2009
  740. Debbie Walker #

    You are certainly motivating me to try blocking on my own! I have the jubilee scarf already on the needles , so that will be the guinea pig project!

    May 16, 2009
  741. Michele H #

    Blocking is essential on any project, from the smallest hand towel to the largest sweater. It brings out the hidden beauty all those hours of handling and bundling done to it while working on it have crushed or disfigured. I agree its just plain fun as well as a necessity.

    Part of why I like to knit is turning just yarn into something useful and beautiful. NOT blocking is like making a chocolate sundae and not having a spoon to eat it with. It has to be a requirement.

    God bless to all. And thank you for the articles and the great advice you pass along.

    May 16, 2009
  742. Elaine #

    I know blocking works wonders and I have seen the magic. Then why oh why do I have 5 knits I have finished but not blocked yet? It’s not because I am a really fast knitter. I think I really need some blocking wires! Great information here. Thanks.

    May 16, 2009
  743. Thanks for the tips. My LYS owner (and friend) was stunned when I told her I’d never blocked anything (not even my dreamy mohair lace stole). Time to get on that.
    I just washed a dress made for my daughter in Queensland Bebe CotSoy. Oy! It’s looking pretty loose. I don’t think it’s blockable but I’m hoping there’s something I can do to not have it stretch everytime I wash it. (She’s six months old, spit ups occur, washing is necessary.) Any tips for cotton or blends like this?

    May 16, 2009
  744. Shannon #

    I have always hated blocking! When I finish with a project, I want to wear it/use it NOW! However, I’ve seen what a difference blocking makes in the finished look, and so make myself do it. I’ve tried steam blocking, wet blocking and spraying after pinning out. I have to say steam blocking is my favorite for small projects, because it’s so fast. For larger projects, however, I often use wet blocking. If I’m in too much of a hurry for this, I’ll often spritz with a spray bottle to get an item wet and then steam some of the excess water away. I guess all that matters is that I keep doing it. And my projects are coming out great!

    May 16, 2009
  745. sjeknits #

    Nice review of blocking basics. I am an obsessive wet blocker. I just love the magic that happens as a fresh-off-the-needles knit settles into shape. I haven’t tried Soak yet, but I am planning to hunt for it at the next show.

    May 16, 2009
  746. Mary Ann #

    Really good tutorial. I have always used the old method of a towel and a steam iron. But now , after reading this, I would like to try the wires. Never used Soak, but sounds wonderful. Thanks for the info and the contest.

    May 16, 2009
  747. kathi #

    I have always blocked everything I’ve done, knitting, crocheting or needlepoint, using a steam iron and I always thought I was sort of cheating somehow. I’ve even used metal, size 4 double point needles
    and steam to block a lacy baby hat and it worked pretty well! I have soaked needlepoint and let it air dry after blocking, but I have never tried to finish my knitting this way. Thank you for the lesson.

    May 16, 2009
  748. Rebecca #

    Great tutorial — a set of blocking wires sure beats trying to do the job with a bunch of T-pins!!

    May 16, 2009
  749. Blocking has become so much easier since i got a set of those foam mats that interlock like puzzle pieces. Most recently i’ve blocked a fair isle sweater i made and a scarf i blocked for a friend. It’s so nice to be able to pop the mats into exactly the shape i need!

    May 16, 2009
  750. I’m working on a lace scarf that will need blocking – which I’ve never done before. Now I know I will need Soak and follow your video instructions. Thanks for the help.

    May 16, 2009
  751. I have never blocked before but after reading this I realize I need to!

    May 16, 2009
  752. Diana #

    Oh wow! I didn’t even know about the blocking board and blocking wires! And Soaked sounds wonderful! Thank you for the info. I will have to look into these wonderful items! Can you post info on how to block BIG items? Like afghans? That would be so helpful!

    May 16, 2009
  753. Lisa Marie #

    I’m going to have to try blocking now. Where can I block my FO with pins if I don’t have a blocking board? I’m also wondering where you put those blocking wires through–every row, or less often?
    Thanks!

    May 16, 2009
  754. Karen #

    I can’t believe I never thought of using a colander before! Thanks for all the great tips.

    May 16, 2009
  755. Kesam Katz #

    Would love to have these blocking wires to use!!!!

    May 16, 2009
  756. Kim #

    Blocking with a million pins sucks. I’ve been wanting some blocking wires for ages..

    May 16, 2009
  757. Collette #

    I haven’t blocked many things so I was kind of stunned the first time I blocked lace. It transformed from a big pile of blah to a gorgeous shawl. I might be hooked now!

    May 16, 2009
  758. joan #

    I appreciate your detailed help but what can a person substitue for that heavy steam capable iron and steamer when you don’t do that much blocking? I love knitting but just don’t have all the time at my disposal. Thanks for your help.

    May 16, 2009
  759. Amy Scott #

    This is a great post on blocking.Thanks for the contest.

    May 16, 2009
  760. I have seen the power of blocking in many types of garments – thanks for this tutorial (and reminder!)

    May 16, 2009
  761. Carol #

    You mean now I can get my beautiful lace wrap I made two years ago blocked? Oh happy day. I’ll be able to see what it’s really supposed to look like and quite possibly have it ready for a wedding I’m attending next month.

    May 16, 2009
  762. After reading your instructions I am excited to give blocking a try. I am very interested in the Soak products as well. Thank you for the instructions and the opportunity to win a blocking set!

    May 16, 2009
  763. Carmen #

    You’re site is amazing, a constant something new to learn … and there’s plenty for me to learn since I’m very new to knitting. I’ve crochet for a long time and can think of several pieces that could use blocking. Am excited to see the difference and, I’ll admit, nervous too! Thanks.

    May 16, 2009
  764. Harlene LeVine #

    What is the easiest way to block a hat? I have tried drying on bowls and balloons but can’t seem to find the right size. Any suggestions?

    May 16, 2009
  765. Rolene #

    I’ve always been terrified of blocking – my biggest fear has always been that I will end up with a soaking wet mess after all that work. So I avoid the process for as long as I possibly can.

    Thanks for the info – your tutorial has given me the confidence to give it another try.

    Thanks! :)

    May 16, 2009
  766. Marty #

    I’m working on a lace shawl right now, so the topic is soooo appropriate. You think your project looks good while you’re knitting it, but you’ve illustrated how you can make it beautiful with a little effort. Thanks!

    May 16, 2009
  767. Vicki #

    I’m currently working on Norah’s Adia lace scarf in Ultra Alpaca Fine, and it looks like a blob. I’m looking forward to the magical blocking to reveal its beauty. I could really use those blocking wires. I’ve been using Soak for a couple years now. It’s the best! Thanks for the helpful tutorial.

    May 16, 2009
  768. Barbara #

    I learned to knit as a child but never got beyond the washcloth/scarf stage. Now, as a grandma I am almost finished with my first real knitted project, so this tutorial on blocking came just in time. Starting good habits right from the beginning is a good way to go, so this top I am working on will be blocked. I have never seen blocking wires before. Thanks!

    May 16, 2009
  769. Lori #

    I’m fairly new to the knitting actual garments and all the steps involved. I had previously vowed never to block a garment – it just seemed like a waste of time. One of my knitting friends convined me to try it “just once”, and then she promised to never bug me again. I must admit, I’m a convert. Blocking makes such a difference in how the garment lays – it is just amazing! BTW – prepare yourself for the smell if you are using wool. No one told me about that – PU!

    May 16, 2009
  770. Tammie Sisco #

    I see you have an abundance of help! My cat says she must always be notified when anything related to yarn is happening.

    May 16, 2009
  771. Excellent post! I’m a commited blocker. Usually a hardy wet block is what I need, everything I knit looks like a cat chewed it up by the time I’m done knitting, because I carry projects around so much, they get a lot of scrunching. I’ve never used blocking wires though- it’d take me to a whole new level, and save lots of pinning time.

    May 16, 2009
  772. Sharon #

    Blocking is my friend. It’s amazing the difference it makes. I always block before I seam; I was lucky to learn this early on. I love the way the fabric feels, the way it drapes after I have blocked it. Now, I need those blocking wires!

    May 16, 2009
  773. DJ #

    I firmly believe in blocking, and I still avoid doing! The wash and blocking wires would be nice. Here’s hoping…

    May 16, 2009
  774. Susan Dilger #

    Great article! Definitely something I need to work on! Thank you!

    May 16, 2009
  775. Lee Mitchell #

    Have just heard of a different way to block but have not tried it. Just pin your dry item and put a wet towel on top and let the towel dry. Has anyone tried this method?

    May 16, 2009
  776. georgi quane #

    I agree that blocking really makes a finished project look perfect, however sometimes the process can seem so daunting. So many choices. I do use several different methods depending on the finished fabric. I have yet to use just steam however. My iron is fabulous but steaming a big project with it is just too difficult. I am saving up for a steamer.

    I will have to try SOAK. I have always used Eucalan or just hair conditioner (in a pinch).

    May 16, 2009
  777. I always wanted to learn how to knit socks and just last week I completed my first pair I am so proud of myself, I would love to win the kit thank you

    May 16, 2009
  778. Kathleen #

    This is a great tutorial — I’ve saved it for further use.

    I have to say, blocking really does make a difference. I get grumped at for spreading my knitting out around the house, but knitters are tough — we can take a little grumpint! ;-)

    I’ve never seen the Soak washes. I usually use Ivory Snow, but these sound great. If I don’t win them (hope, hope!!), I’ll have to look for them in my local shops.

    Kathleen

    May 16, 2009
  779. mary jo #

    when I block I do it the same way every time. I give the knit a good soak in water with lavender soap. then stretch it out on either a bed in the spare room or on a wire mesh table on the deck. a couple of years ago I blocked a shawl that I had knit for my sister’s birthday on the deck. when I came back later to bring it in – it had frozen into a large rectangle. it was quite commical to see this shawl taller than me stiff as cardboard.
    I will have to try some of the techniques on your blog and blocking wires
    mjm

    May 16, 2009
  780. It is a great tutorial! But I have never used wires, only oodles of pins and I use a half sheet (4×4) of rigid foam insulation for my board. I like the fact that with the board I can stand them up on end to dry (in the bathtub or outside on the porch) and do several garments at once. And I use lavender scented creme rinse after washing my garments and handspun yarns in baby shampoo. Much cheaper and I love the finished “hand” and scent!
    Happy Fibering!

    May 16, 2009
  781. RachelB #

    I just finished a lace scarf. This would be perfect for my first time blocking.

    May 16, 2009
  782. Gee #

    I have been knitting for about 50 years but have avoided blocking as found it fiddly with pins and towels….and pins give a sort of spider web edge effect – never heard of wires before or Soak

    May 16, 2009
  783. Melanie PL #

    I recently saw the Ultra Alpaca Fine yarn in my LYS and just fell in love with it. I’ve been reluctant to try knitting lace, mostly because of the lack of a clue, but now feel empowered. Thanks for the change to win!

    May 16, 2009
  784. Cindy Sonnenberg #

    Thank you for the GREAT tutorial. I have stayed away from lace knitting. I now have the urge to give it a try. I hope I win the kit. I would love to try the Soak!

    May 16, 2009
  785. Oh, this was good! I am currently in the making of a Icelandic Lace Shawl, and really concerned about the blocking process… Count me in the contest, if a Swedish girl can join?

    May 16, 2009
  786. Ann Smith #

    I love this interactive website. It always has the answers I am looking for. I would love to have this blocking kit.

    Happy Day….Ann

    May 16, 2009
  787. Mette #

    Wonderful. Will keep in mind for my next project :)

    May 16, 2009
  788. Linda #

    I have not heard os Soak..sounds like a good item to have…as for blocking….oih yes…need to block3 lace scarves and a lace shawl, but was in wonder how to handle. I have previous blocked with steam but know that is not suitable for lacey items……so until I get the nerve have 2 more lacey scarves on needles…….maybe your prize would help clear out the drawer that looks quite daunting… but I would so love to learn the nack for this…Thank you for tutorial!!!

    May 16, 2009
  789. MaryB #

    Blocking in some ways still remains a technical challenge! How to get lovely, even points on shawls? I try, but I never seem to get as much definition as the photos show. Perhaps a follow up tutorial specific to points on laceweight shawls? Please?

    It amazes me though, just how much nicer any knitted item looks after a bath and block! Spa treatment for hand knits!

    May 16, 2009
  790. Kelly #

    Thanks for the info. I’ve had people admire lace knitting I’ve been working on in public, and I always want to add a disclaimer like “Oh, but it will look REALLY nice once it’s blocked!” because the bug-sack look of an unblocked lace shawl is a bit weird, especially when you know the potential of blocking done well, but then I’d have to explain what blocking is and I’m sure people would start backing away from the zealot… ;-)

    May 16, 2009
  791. Cindy #

    I’ve just started making garments and my blocking has been laundering and pinning the sweater to a towel. I have never tried wires. I find them intimidating! Thanks for the article!

    May 16, 2009
  792. Arleta A. Magallanes #

    Thanks for the contest. Am hoping to win. And am planning to venture into lace knitting.

    May 16, 2009
  793. Susan #

    Thanks for the great information on blocking.

    May 16, 2009
  794. That reminds me, I have a swatch that needs to be blocked.

    May 16, 2009
  795. Ann #

    Not only does blocking even out the stitches, but I’ve found it really ensures a scarf or shawl will drape beautifully when worn.

    May 16, 2009
  796. Ingeborg van Goethem #

    Thank you for the tutorial! Blocking is one of my least favorite things to do, but it does wonders for the project!!

    May 16, 2009
  797. Maureen #

    Thanks for this tutorial! With the few sights and videos, this is the first I’m hearing about Soak. The one blocking project I tried took 3 days to dry. How do you handle blocking/drying really long items like a large scarf? So much to learn….Thanks!

    May 16, 2009
  798. Kathy T #

    Until recently, I’d only used my steam iron to block the simple projects I have made, and I’d never even heard of blocking wires. Now I am eager to try the launder/ soak method on some charity knitting squares I made that weren’t quite the right size. Maybe they will be if I block them properly! Thanks. This is practical information for all knitteers.

    May 16, 2009
  799. thanks for the blocking tips! i have my fingers crossed that i win the prize.

    May 16, 2009
  800. Melinda Davis #

    Thanks — blocking seems much less scary to me now! I love the scarf too!

    May 16, 2009
  801. Rebecca #

    I am going to have to get some blocking wires. I have trouble getting straigt edges on my lace projects. I am also going to have to get a blocking board (or maybe 2 for when I wash my sweater/skirt outfit I made)

    May 16, 2009
  802. Bonnie Gordon #

    LOVE the plaiting in this pattern. Just ripped out another alpaca project as pattern did not do the yarn justice. Can’t wait to try this one. Blocking instructions~wonderful info. Thankyou!

    May 16, 2009
  803. Dot Maudlin #

    My first blocking project, your Arianna shell pattern, is in the process of drying. I’m impatiently waiting for it to dry to seam it together, finish it off, and wear it. This is the first garment I’ve attempted and wouldn’t have been able to consider making it without the assistance and support of a wonderful friend and fellow knitters. Thank you so much for the wonderful website and all Berroco does to enhance the experience of yarn crafting.

    May 16, 2009
  804. Pat #

    I look forward to trying blocking wires. I am old-school and have been using big quilting pins on my ironing board for small projects.
    Thanks so much for your photo coverage. Your visual help has given me more incentive to try something new.

    May 16, 2009
  805. Kim #

    I’m a fairly new knitter, and hadn’t yet heard of using wires for blocking. Of course, it makes perfect sense, how much simplier. I actually enjoy the blocking process, mainly because of articles just like this one extolling its virtues. Thanks for chance to win the blocking kit. Either way, I plan to try both SOAK and the blocking wires.

    May 16, 2009
  806. KC #

    Thanks for the article, loved the idea of using a colander do drain the water. I’ve been using the spin cycle of my washer for that step. The trick is to get the drippy wet item from my kitchen sink to the dryer without making a mess. Love your “blocking inspector”. How long do you soak your item?

    May 16, 2009
  807. Linda #

    Ah, the magical powers of blocking lace. That scarf is so perfect.

    May 16, 2009
  808. LILFAY57 #

    Great tutorial! I haven’t seen such a great breakdown since my first lessons (I have been a knitter over 4 decades). Your illustrations are great also. You covered it all and should publish this. Reading it was like a refresher course and made me confident that I have been doing something right. I like the way you stress the importance of blocking the test swatch to check gauge; it is not enough to just knit the swatch, it has to be blocked also. I have never used wires, didn’t know about them 40 years ago, but they sound like a great tool.

    May 16, 2009
  809. Debbie #

    Thanks for all the great info – I learned a lot. And thanks for the contest. Debbie

    May 16, 2009
  810. Carol #

    Ooo, real blocking wires! I’ve been telling DH that I need some stainless steel welding rod, so I can block my knitting – he just looks at me like I’ve really fell off the deep end!

    May 16, 2009
  811. Adrian Smith #

    I started using blocking wires two years ago and it was one of the best things I have done to improve my finishing of any garment. I have used them on lace scarves, all types of sweaters and even on blankets. I can’t imagine how I managed without them.

    May 16, 2009
  812. Angela #

    Thank you for the tutorial !! I have been in a “knitting funk” lately as all my F.O.’s have not come out to my liking.These tips will come in handy,as blocking has always been a frustration for me.Can’t wait to try the soak sample I got from my L.Y.S! ( now if I just had the right blocking tools ……)

    May 16, 2009
  813. Pat Neuman #

    I am almost finished the final edging of a large round shawl. How would I block it using the wires….it would seem that I would need lots of wires for a round item. The shawl is The Rona Lace Shawl form Knit Picks made with Alpaca Cloud. Thanks for any help you can give me. Pat

    May 16, 2009
  814. oh, I would love to win!

    I am always afraid of steam blocking – I wet block everything. I worry that steam blocking will set in any dirt I inadvertently got onto the item during knitting.

    May 16, 2009
  815. Leanne #

    Thank you so much! And, thank you for this wonderful opportunity! I already learned something new–using the colander. Had never heard of or thought of that!!!!

    I am dying for a set of blocking wires. I did my first blocking by hand and have to admit that it was hard to block the scarf EVENLY by hand. Wires would have been awesome!

    May 16, 2009
  816. Claudia #

    Okay, that is beautiful. I love girlie things.

    May 16, 2009
  817. Tece Markel #

    Thanks for the informational tutorial…a picture is always worth a thousand words!

    May 16, 2009
  818. Diana Ballard #

    Thank you for the blocking info. I learned from it, especially about using a cloander and a salad spinner–never heard of using those items before! I am just venturing into lace projects and appreciate learning from your experts. The blocking kit will be a wonderful benefit for the winner. Yes, I hope to be that winner!

    May 16, 2009
  819. MaryBear #

    I am working on an Elfin Lace Shawl and your blog has taken the FEAR out of the blocking process! Now all I need is to win the kit so I won’t have to purchase all those goodies and the blocking wires. Yah…more money for STASH! *grin*

    May 16, 2009
  820. janice #

    What are your thoughts on the hotly contested idea of blocking acrylic? Not the “killing” of the fabric, just a regular blocking. Any real benefit? My knitting group is always tossing the idea back and forth!
    But for natural fibers – the tutorial was a welcome addition to my blocking portfolio – thanks! And thanks for another great pattern and another great contest.
    ~Janice

    May 16, 2009
  821. Irene #

    Those wires are a great idea. I have been using T-pins which are time consuming and don’t leave a straight edge. If I don’t win them, I’ll have to buy them. Thanks for all your great tutorials. They are priceless.

    May 17, 2009
  822. Playa Jane #

    So what do you call those of us who have not until now really blocked our stuff?

    I am such a wash and go person I had not really considered the joys of blocking. Thanks for this.

    May 17, 2009
  823. Tina C. #

    I understand blocking for lacy patterns and fine weight stuff, but what about for other, heavier weight projects? i’ll search the blog for advice for that.

    May 17, 2009
  824. Great info, thanks! My dog would definitely be ready and waiting to inspect my blocking board!! ;-)

    May 17, 2009
  825. Stacey #

    Beautiful scarf! Thanks for the great info on blocking. I’ve never had to block before, but will need to block the sweater I’m working on, so this came at a great time for me.

    May 17, 2009
  826. Mariann #

    I confess that I have ignored blocking in the past. Blocking wires are something I hadn’t heard of before. Thanks for sharing!

    May 17, 2009
  827. Renee #

    Thanks for the info and pictures!

    May 17, 2009
  828. deianara-crush #

    I’d really like to see an in-depth tutorial on blocking circular shawls… I’m getting close to completing my first Pi shawl and I have no clue how to block it properly.

    May 17, 2009
  829. Leila #

    Wow, I’d love to try some SOAK and blocking wires on the next thing I block. But anyway, this post has inspired me to look into steaming my knitting, which I haven’t tried yet. It looks intriguing.

    May 17, 2009
  830. lambiepie #

    When I started knitting again (after a 30 year hiatus) I swore I’d only knit with big yarn on big needles and then felt it so no one could see my uneven stitches and mistakes. But slowly, steadily, I have been drawn in to all the fascinating things looping yarn can do. Now I love cables, and I love lace. And I’m knitting laceweight yarn on size 3 needles. And I need to knit swatches. And I need to block. And it is ALL so wonderful! Thanks for all your beautiful patterns and inspiration and lessons!!

    May 17, 2009
  831. Andrea W #

    Really great tutorial on blocking. I’ve done it for years using about a million pins + some old/ thin/ straight knitting needles if the item was small enough. It would be awesome to have a set of blocking wires!!! Last fall I blocked a huge wool/ bamboo lace shawl made fr sock yarn. I got a set of those interlocking foam blocks that kids play on + used them on my livingroom floor as a blocking board. Cheap + can be used in different layouts. Now they store under my spare room bed out of the way. Thanks for the pretty scarf pattern too!!!

    May 17, 2009
  832. Jenn #

    I know I need to start blocking, this would be a great help!

    May 17, 2009
  833. Genevieve O'Shea #

    Thanks for the great tutorial! Now to tackle my pile of to-block garments ….

    May 17, 2009
  834. Nancy Thone #

    Thanks for the info on blocking — I will try it on my next garment. Up to know I have taken my finished projects to a local yarn shop which provides a blocking service. Your blocking technique looks easy!

    May 17, 2009
  835. Francene Was #

    I have blocked with success before, using steam and pins through a towel into my carpet (large project).

    What do I do with a baby loop mohair shawl not traditionally shaped , no patterning, and with no finished size insructions. How do I know how much I should stretch? Or do I just pin and steam as is, and if I do what can I expect to achieve with this yarn. It is nice and lofty now.

    To block or not to block, that is the question?

    Thanks, Francene

    May 17, 2009
  836. Melinda #

    Thanks for the info. I’ve never even heard of blocking wires before.

    May 17, 2009
  837. I’ve never used blocking wires before. I’m assuming they can’t be used for items like sweaters unless they are still in parts, correct? Do you think a blocking board is pretty essential to the process? What features would you look for in a blocking board?

    May 17, 2009
  838. Joyce #

    I have never used a wash or soak in the 45 yrs. I’ve been knitting. Sure would like to win this contest to try it out to see what I’ve been missing. I so enjoy Berroco KnitBits, keep them coming!

    May 17, 2009
  839. Soak rocks! I got a little packet in a swap package and loved it.

    May 17, 2009
  840. I think I’ve only seen 3 flavors of Soak! They all sounds wonderful! I’ve long-coveted blocking wires, was going to put them on my Christmas list–again! I would love to have a set. The scarf is lovely, definitely have that one on the to-do list! Thank you!

    May 17, 2009
  841. Jan Morris #

    I witnessed the ‘wonders of blocking’ before but haven’t tried it myself due to fear of ruining a finished object. There are so many blocking techniques and so very many varieties of yarn that using the wrong method vis a vis a particular fiber seems a strong possibility. Where does one find guidance as to which technique to select? Is this info the yarn company could provide on the band? Or have available on a website?

    I’ve finished the Wakame sweater in Berroco Luv It but don’t know how to block it.

    May 17, 2009
  842. Diana #

    I block pretty much everything I knit, usually with a full wet block. I love the way the knitting transforms into something beautiful and even and polished. I would love to try out some blocking wires!

    May 17, 2009
  843. April #

    Pick me random number generator ! I’ve never tried Soak or blocking wires, but I’d like to.

    May 17, 2009
  844. Thank you for your wonderful article on blocking. I am about to begin an article with Ultra Alpaca Light and will follow your directions explicitly each step of the way!
    I began knitting 2 years ago and it is one of the most wonderful hobbies I have ever enjoyed. I appreciate all your wonderful articles, free patterns, and everything you do for us knitters!
    Glenda

    May 17, 2009
  845. Pam Garritano #

    I crochet a doily many years ago which turned out to be a disaster. My mother-in-law an expert in doily making told me what it need was a good blocking. Amazing! What a difference! It didn’t match the quality of her work but it was usable.
    I still haven’t figured out how to block sweaters yet to have comparable results… any help would be appreciated!

    May 17, 2009
  846. I want to block, I just have no space. I need to get one of those mats so I can put it on my giagantic bed. I can’t pin straight into my bed because it has one of those memory foam covers. But I blocked a little shawl (like head sized) that I made from dale of norway and it changes the fabric so much. Went from hard and kind of crunchy to soft and billowy. Luscious.

    May 17, 2009
  847. Barb #

    Great info (and prize!). KnitBits is my favorite ! Thanks!

    May 17, 2009
  848. lynn #

    hi, this is my first time reading this blog and it was very interesting…but i have two questions. first, can you block one part of an item and leave the other parts un-blocked? I really like the Jubilee scarf pattern for it’s lacy-ness but I don’t like how flat the cables looked after it was blocked. Is it possible to pin out one section and not stretch the other?

    and secondly, if I’m blocking cotton, can I just iron the life out of it? I’ve been knitting lace edgings in some mercerized cotton and they’re way too long to even think about blocking with water and pins.

    hopefully someone will answer these questions for me,
    Lynn

    May 17, 2009
  849. Pat Humphrey #

    The only things I have blocked are doilies. Where would a person block a 72″ scarf?

    May 17, 2009
  850. Natalie #

    As much of a pain it is sometimes to block stuff (i just hate the waiting to be able to wear my finished knitting :) ) I definitely see it as a necessary evil now. If only I had those awesome blocking wires, maybe I would learn to fully enjoy blocking :)

    May 17, 2009
  851. Rosalie Fitzgibbons #

    Informative and well written article. I have a lovely sleeveless sweater ready to assemble in my knitting bag but have put off finishing it. It needs to be blocked to look better than it does all rolled up in the bag. My crochet friends discourage me from blocking saying I will flatten the pattern and ruin the hand made look which they love. You are inspiring me to do what I know is necessary! Thanks. Where can we purchase the Soak and the wires onl line?

    May 17, 2009
  852. Lynn in DC #

    I confess, I am afraid to finish projects because I dread blocking them!

    Blocking wires & board are on my “like to buy maybe sometime” list, but now they have moved to the top.

    May 17, 2009
  853. Janice #

    thanks for the info!

    May 17, 2009
  854. Susan #

    I’ve always ignored blocking, but have recently been struggling to follow some pretty afghan patterns and assumed that the pattern was wrong! Now I can see that it probably just needed to be properly finished.

    Thanks.

    May 17, 2009
  855. I’m learning so much from your blogs and the knit alongs. I had heard of blocking but I have never done it. I had no heard of “washes” but I love the idea of treating my special projects with special washes. It makes it that much more..special!

    May 17, 2009
  856. Kathryn #

    There are so many comments I have nothing new to add,but would like to win!

    May 17, 2009
  857. Lynn Hoffmann #

    I never knew about blocking pins.! I should keep up with all these new gagets.

    May 18, 2009
  858. Emily #

    I once was a block-o-phobe, and never blocked anything. But now I am reformed and block everything! I even have three swatches blocking right now!

    May 18, 2009
  859. Karen Blancher #

    I have not knit anything that requires fine blocking, but have a lot of yarn for fine knitting.
    Would love to use blocking wires but hubby can not justify spending $ on wire.
    Great info on blocking.

    May 18, 2009
  860. AnSiva #

    This is a useful blog with tips for blocking. I have tried to block but have not be really sucessful.

    Thanks for the blog.

    May 18, 2009
  861. Lynn #

    I have a question about Soak and similar washes: all of my research seems to indicate that all of these products do contain lanolin. Some, like Eucalan, more than others (like Soak possibly). But I include pure alpaca items in my charity’s offerings to the public for those potential donors who have wool and/or lanolin allergies. Are there any washes that do the trick, are no-rinse, and also lanolin-free? If so, please let me know via email. Much appreciated!

    May 18, 2009
  862. Willa Jean #

    I saw this question posed above, but I’ve also been wondering how to block thingsd with curves… Faroese shawls, sweaters with shaping, stuff like that.W

    May 18, 2009
  863. Jen C. #

    Thanks for offering the blocking kit prize! Winning would really encourage me to knit more lace.

    May 18, 2009
  864. Mimi #

    Blocking on the floor, using T-pins for 6 feet on either side of a scarf, made me think twice before starting another lace project. I knit lacy socks, but you don’t have to block them. I have been saving for blocking wires for some time. Your photos, along with the descriptions, make blocking sound pretty easy.

    May 18, 2009
  865. Gail Hunt #

    This was very, very helpful. I thought the only way to block was to soak something in water and to then pin it onto a surface. I have two “lacy” items that I have been afraid to soak, so they have been sitting for months in my “unfinished projects” bag.

    After reading your wonderful suggestions, I first laid out my items, one long scarf and one baby blanket, attaching them to my home-made blocking board with the long pins I bought. My, do I wish I had the blocking wires you describe! I did need to use a meeellion!! It took forever.

    I decided to try the spray and the steam. I used my steamer for the scarf and the spray for the blanket. I cannot believe the outcome! I am delirious with joy. These were meant to be Christmas presents but, since they were never finished, they were never sent.

    Today I wrapped them and am sending them out tomorrow. This has been hanging over my head for ages. I felt like that character in Peanuts with a constant cloud over his head.

    Thank you so much. My little cloud is gone!

    Gail P. Hunt
    Orinda, California 94563

    May 18, 2009
  866. NanJ. #

    Do you think i could use my stainless steel shish kabob rods as wires? They do not rust and are smooth and 2 and a half feet long. Goodness knows we hardly get enough sunny days to barbecue here…

    May 18, 2009
  867. Caroline #

    I really needed to learn this. Thanks for posting! I will be back review! thanks

    May 18, 2009
  868. Colleen #

    Thank you the info on blocking!

    May 18, 2009
  869. HeatherOutsideBOS #

    Blocking is magical! When my first lace project came off the needles, I was proud of myself, and I loved it. Then I blocked it (hundreds of pins on the bed, and an aching back after 2 hours of trying to get it straight, even, and pointy). Oh. My. God. So worth the effort. :-) I practically hyperventilated when I saw the improvement off the pins the next day! Love had turned to lust, and I’ve never looked back.

    May 18, 2009
  870. Nancy #

    This was very helpful. Thanks!

    May 18, 2009
  871. Ina #

    Thanks for the tutorial and contest! I love blocking, guess I’m a blockhead, too.

    May 18, 2009
  872. There’s nothing quite like the transformation that lace undergoes with blocking! I love to see how everything opens up and flattens out… makes all those yarnovers and tedious stitches worth it!

    Currently my blocking apparatus consists of some dowels, my spare bed, and some stainless steel quilting pins – so a prize like that would be awesome!

    good luck everyone!

    May 18, 2009
  873. Terrific! There should be more blocking tutorials out there… I remember when I was just figuring out how to do it, I felt like I was more or less on my own.

    May 18, 2009
  874. Jenni #

    How timely……I have just recently “found” blocking. I can’t believe it took me so long! And then I did some lace knitting and it was a must. Had to get the wires, the pins and the yard stick. It’s so transformative. I have begun using the 24″ snap together kid’s play mats as a base. They can be put together to handle even large triangular shawls or large rectangular scarves. The pins stick and hold in the foam nicely. Blocking should always be as important as doing gauge swatches!

    May 18, 2009
  875. Pamela #

    Thanks for the tips on blocking. I usually “only” make scarves, but blocking makes a difference in the fabric, if not in the shape.

    May 18, 2009
  876. Marcia Devens #

    I admit to a small pile of FOs that only need the lovely finish you’ve described. But your tutorial has shifted my attitude from “Oh drudge!” to “Look at that!” Thanks a million!

    May 18, 2009
  877. Linda #

    Thanks, this was great!

    May 18, 2009
  878. Vicki #

    Thanks for the article on blocking. Its these “finishing” things that really make something look more “polished”. Keep the info coming! Thank you.

    May 18, 2009
  879. Sarra #

    Thank you for the fabulous info. I’ll have to see if I can find Soak locally.

    May 18, 2009
  880. TripletMom #

    Thank you for the wonderful info. I can put it to use soon as I have 2 lace projects on the needles now:)

    May 18, 2009
  881. Gale #

    I have never done and blocking. But as I learn to knit more items I will need you help to be a better kniter & blocker. very helpful blog.

    May 18, 2009
  882. Chrissy #

    Blocking is essential to most garments. It is miraculous how a blob of knitting becomes beautiful after blocking Although I have to admit that I don’t block socks. I’d love to win blocking wires because I’m working on a shawl for my niece’s wedding. Blocking wires would make the process so much easier!

    May 18, 2009
  883. Ali #

    Oh thank you! I have a pile of project finished, but for the blocking.. One of these days…

    May 18, 2009
  884. Your blocking is way more advanced than what I usually do! The last time I blocked a shawl, it was a frustrating process involving lots of pins and a couple redos. I sure could use some blocking wires!

    May 18, 2009
  885. I’ve only blocked one thing, a shawl. I have a vest that needs blocking, but I’m afraid to do it as this is the second time I’ve knit it. I accidentally felted the project the first time I knitted. I really like and don’t want to ruin it yet again. I’ll have to give your method a try.

    May 18, 2009
  886. Kristen #

    I would LOVE to win that prize. I’ve been doing all my blocking with T-pins and I think wires would really help me end up with neater edges!

    May 18, 2009
  887. Nancy Funderburg #

    Thanks for this helpful tutorial which makes the blocking process less daunting & less mysterious… til now, blocking has ranked close to weaving in ends as my LEAST favorite part of knitting! After reading the comments and checking out the tutorial, I feel more prepared to get the full benefits of the blocking process… even though the instructions for blocking seem “simple,” I’ve always wondered if I’m doing it quite right to get the full benefits of the process. Not sure if Soak is available locally, not at our LYS as far as I know, but would like to try it as I do love Eucalan.

    Nancy F.
    Nantucket, MA 02554

    May 18, 2009
  888. BeckyZoole #

    I’d never heard of blocking wires before. What a great idea! Thanks for the tip, and for the tutorial about blocking.

    May 18, 2009
  889. blocking for me is still a work in process. Of course i have tried every at home idea for blocking and various styles. So far i am getting better each time i do so. I think the wries would be a huge addition! thanks for the info shared!

    May 18, 2009
  890. Sara #

    I blocked my first lace shawl not long ago…
    took it off the needles and thought – did I seriously spend about 2 months of my time making… THIS?

    blocked it..
    and oh – it was so worth the time!
    :)

    Can I be entered please?

    RavID: WintersSong

    May 18, 2009
  891. I’ve always wanted to try soak – thanks for the entry!

    May 18, 2009
  892. Blocking is such an important part of finishing a project and a part I hate because I don’t have the right tools. Winning the blocking needles and soak would be a boon to my many UFO’s waiting to be finished and blocked.

    May 18, 2009
  893. Sarah #

    Please do put my name into the drawing! Your info is always helpful and never boring….

    May 19, 2009
  894. Lia #

    Last year I made myself a blocking surface with 1 inch gingham fabric and an insulation material I bought at the hardware store (it looks like a big styrofoam sheet). It is great, but as I see you use this blocking wires, I think it would be a great addition to my knitting equipment!

    May 19, 2009
  895. brownbear on ravelry #

    Count me in! Soak smells so good and I’ve never tried blocking wires.

    May 19, 2009
  896. DeannaC #

    Love this pattern! I don’t recall seeing cables with lace before. I enjoy how my knitting looks after blocking (I usually roll sweater pieces in a freshly washed towel) but wish I was able to not put it on the floor.

    May 19, 2009
  897. Stacie LaBean #

    Thanks for the great tutorial – I’ve been wetting items and laying them flat, but blocking makes so much more sense. Thanks for the photos and info – I’ll be using it soon. :)

    May 19, 2009
  898. Skoozeeta #

    I would so love to get a blocking kit – I have lots o’ blocking that needs to be done!
    S

    May 19, 2009
  899. Angelina Glass #

    Although I have known the basics of knitting and crocheting since I was a kid… (which I have taught my 9 year old daughter) we are both learning “beyond the basics” together… so we are AMAZED together at the resources we are finding all over the internet to learn all sorts of new things I never dreamed of…. Not anything like my amazingly talented Grandmother or Mother taught me growing up!!!!!!

    Thank you for this… we are both loving it!!!!

    May 19, 2009
  900. Emily #

    Working on a lace stole right now with baby alpaca, and will be blocking the first time when it’s done!

    May 19, 2009
  901. Tracy #

    I’ve always found blocking a little daunting! Thanks for the overview–and encouragement.

    May 19, 2009
  902. rswitalski #

    blocking still has me baffled. I blocked some socks but I think they would have come out better in the wash. sigh.

    May 19, 2009
  903. Lee #

    I just finished the “maria” skirt from the 2007 booklet, but used Seduce instead of Nostalgia. the skirt is lovely, now that it’s been blocked. I have to admit that the pre-blocked skirt made me wonder if the choice of yarn for the project was wrong. Not only was it right, it was PERFECT!

    May 19, 2009
  904. Lynne E. #

    The Soak selection and wires sound like a great prize!

    May 19, 2009
  905. Gail #

    I’ve become a big fan of blocking and really appreciate information from experienced “blockers.” There are so many techniques out there … it’s always good to get an experienced knitter/designer’s perspective.

    May 19, 2009
  906. helenlam #

    Thanks for the giveaway! I’m really lazy about blocking, and I’ve been thinking about getting blocking pins for a while, so to win this giveaway would be great!

    May 20, 2009
  907. Maureen #

    I am not very good at use what I have blocking. I have had to try to block and item when I was on vacation–oh boy was that a story.

    May 20, 2009
  908. Pat Gordon #

    More tutorials please. Why not a Tut of the Month? This one is very helpful. Thanks.

    May 20, 2009
  909. I blocked a lace scarf today! Can’t wait to see how it comes out… I’ve never blocked silk before.

    May 20, 2009
  910. Julie #

    I always wet block my knitted garments and love how “refreshed” they come out!

    I have used Kookaburra and Eucalan woolwashes and would like to try Soak.

    May 20, 2009
  911. Liz #

    I am not a confident blocker. I’ve never seen the blocking wires used but they look more practical than pins. I heard an interview with the woman who created Soak yesterday, would like to try it.

    May 20, 2009
  912. Janine #

    Thank you for this tutorial. I am working on my first shawl and this was helpful information.

    May 20, 2009
  913. I almost always block. It’s amazing how it smooths out all the lumps. If only getting rid of cellulite could be so easy.

    I’d love to win a blocking kit.

    May 20, 2009
  914. One of those magical knitting moments is when you unpin a lace project you’ve been working on for days or weeks and you find that the wad of yarn has been transformed into a beautifully flowing, shimmering lace shawl. I’ve never tried wires, but I’d love to!

    May 20, 2009
  915. helen #

    I’ve always wanted a set of blocking wires – I’m getting more and more into lace and am planning a shawl to give to my future sister-in-law for her wedding!!

    May 20, 2009
  916. Drea #

    I never thought blocking was important, but I see how much of a difference it can make.

    May 20, 2009
  917. susan #

    Great tutorial! I’ve always blocked sweaters, scarves, etc. and found it so worthwhile, just to get the correct size, nevermind the smoothing out of stitches. I’m now starting a lace shawl and I’m wondering if I’ll have to block it so aggressively (using tons of pins) every time I wash it, or if drying it flat, pushed to correct size a la sweaters will be enough. This could affect who I make lace things for. Thanks…

    May 20, 2009
  918. SeeEmilieKnit #

    What is the brand of the blocking board you are using ? It looks neat !

    May 20, 2009
  919. missknitta #

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I’ve always wanted to try Soak :)

    May 20, 2009
  920. I already own some blocking wires, and they’re wonderful. If I won, I’d give one of the sets away. OTOH, I’ve never tried SOAK and would like to chance to check out each fragrance.

    May 20, 2009
  921. Sharon #

    Like many others, I find blocking intimidating, and appreciate the pointers and encouragement!

    May 20, 2009
  922. Connie #

    Thanks for the excellent explanation of blocking. This really takes the mystery out of it. I’ve only ever just used the steam iron with pins to anchor to the ironing board.

    May 20, 2009
  923. Dawn #

    Ooooh, I would love to try out Soak! I always see it near the checkout at my LYS but I try to resist impulse purchases that close to the register…

    May 20, 2009
  924. Jeannine Cherene #

    Wow! Thank you to the inventor of the blocking rods, someone was thinking. No more stainless steel pins. I usually block my guage swatch to get the “feel” of blocking, better the swatch than my time invested project. I never heard of Soak and it sounds fantastic. I’ve been using Dreft baby detergent and I’m sure the Soak is superior, can’t wait to find it and try it.

    May 20, 2009
  925. diane perttola #

    Well, you have sold me on blocking. Even if I don’t win the blocking materials, I will order them. It sounds like I need a professional look
    to my sweaters.

    May 21, 2009
  926. Debbie #

    Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I really could use the prizes. thanks! Debbie

    May 21, 2009
  927. Thanks for the chance to win! I’ve not had the pleasure of blocking lace yet, but I know of it’s benefits for baby sweaters and such.

    May 21, 2009
  928. Caryl Moon #

    That was a great tutorial on blocking! I have knitted for a number of years, but have never yet blocked a sweater. In the past, one of the yarn store owners from whom I purchased yarn stated that my knitting was even enough that it didn’t require blocking, particularly since I was using non-wool yarn.

    However, I now know that she was incorrect! Your example has illustrated how much better several of my pieces would have looked if they had been blocked!

    I am now searching for a blocking board prior to finishing the pieces of the last two knitted projects that I have nearly completed, a sweater, and a knitted bag from a Norah Gaughan pattern. I will probably need some blocking pins, as well…….

    Thanks for all the tips! I will certainly add this scarf to my list (extremely long) list of knitted projects waiting to be done.

    – Caryl Moon

    May 21, 2009
    • Carole B #

      I have been knitting lace for a couple of years now. I always block everything, and mentally invented blocking pins before I knew they existed. So I totally deserve some!

      In high school (long ago and far away) I wore a lot of wool sweaters and always blocked them into shape on a towel. The wool smells so good!

      Thanks for the tutorial, I love to get the newsletter.

      May 23, 2009
  929. My first blocking attempt involved over 200 paper clips and a child gate.
    It took some time to set it up, but it was worth it when my silk lace scarf was done.

    May 22, 2009
  930. Chia #

    Oh wow! Thank you for this generous contest. I’ve been wishing for a set like this for awhile, especially the blocking wires. My bf has been helping my block in the meantime but it is a pain keeping all the edges even. This would help a lot. Thanks for the freshening up tip, I didn’t know that one.
    munkiknits at yahoo.com

    May 23, 2009
  931. Jennie Harris LeGros #

    I guess one is never too old to learn new things. I have been knitting for many years, and never knew about “your way” of blocking. I have just used my steam iron over a damp towel. I will have to try the “Soak” way. Thanks!!

    May 23, 2009
  932. Barbara #

    I did once “kill” the yarn, (man made fibers) in a knitted piece. There was no longer any stretch or give or spring back to the yarn. Made the project look very flat and almost as if it were “old”. Luckily it was only one part to a project and I was able to knit another part to replace it. Also, I rarely block my entrelac, I just like the way it looks unblocked better, just personal preference.

    May 25, 2009
  933. Barbara #

    I have truly been inspired to try a lace scarf…knitting is my passion so much so that my husband is always teasing about my projects that must travel with me were ever I go. I would love to try a sample of Soak for my woolens and always need a refresher on how to block. Thank you for the informative blog…love the Lab!!!

    May 15, 2009

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  1. Berroco Blockhead! « What’s Soak worthy in your world?
  2. Blocking, Schlocking! · Knitting @ CraftGossip

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