How I Wet Block My Knits … Knitting Expat Photo Guide To Blocking …

Hey Everyone … so I have been getting a lot of questions from viewers about how I wet block my knitting once its finished … I talked through the process in EPISODE 12 of the Podcast but I thought I would also be good for you all to have a visual explanation of how I do it … so I took some photos of the process the last time I blocked some knitting to show you the steps I go through for blocking …

In this post I cover how I wash/block my handknit socks that don’t go into the washing machine, how I block a lace cowl, and a lace shawl …

First things first is to soak the knits … I use some Eucalan no rinse wool wash … but in the past I have also used hair conditioner however if you do soak your knits in this they will need gentle rinsing after being soaked …

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I just pour a small amount (about 5-10ml) into lukewarm / hot water, depending on how many items I am blocking together … in this case I had three items that were all predominantly purple in colour so I soaked them together in my bathroom sink …

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Once you have placed your knits in the water to soak make sure you give them a good squeeze to help them absorb the water … do not rub or agitate the knitting at all as this may cause felting or distorted stitches … just some gentle squeezing … then leave to soak for 15-30mins …

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Once you have finished soaking the items drain the water and gently squeeze out any excess water from the knitting … if you used conditioner at this point you would need to rinse the items with water first … when squeezing again do not wring or twist the knitting … gently support all the weight of the project (to avoid over stretching the piece) and squeeze out as much water as you can … I wasn’t able to photograph the shawls as they needed both hands to do this step …

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With the socks I just lay them out onto a small towel … I leave a little space at the top to fold down the towel onto the sock before starting to roll it up like a sausage roll or burrito … I try to do this as firmly as possible to squeeze out as much water as I can during this step …

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For the Shawl and Cowl I did pretty much the same thing … in this case I used a larger towel and rolled them up one after the other …

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While the knitting was soaking I had laid out my blocking mats on the floor in my Craft Room … however if you do not have blocking mats you can also use a bed with some towels laid down first … I did that for a long time before getting some mats … and the mats I use are not specialist blocking mats or anything special … they are just foam play mats for children that I picked up on sale a while back …

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To get out even more water from the knitting before laying them out to dry … I squeeze the rolled up knitting under my arms … or sit on them … or even stand on them … (excuse my PJ’s) …

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The socks are the simplest for blocking … I just shape them by hand and lay them down to dry … and that is it … I do not have sock blockers but if you do you can use those to make sure your socks dry in the shape that you prefer …

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For the Lace Cowl … I first folded it in half and laid it out … then using pins (I used T-Pins here because I have them but regular sewing pins works too) I first pinned out the top edge …

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Then I pinned out the two corner points on the bottom …

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Then I pinned the front edge of the cowl (In this case its the long edge on the left) as straight as I could … If I had blocking wires I would have used those here … but I didn’t so I make do with the pins and just do the best I can …

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Then I lined up the points along the bottom where the picot bind off is to pull out and shape the points of the cowl … as it is folded in half I also made sure to line up the points on the other side as well to get as symmetrical a final shape as possible …

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For the Lace Shawl … I start by pinning out the two edge points and centre spine …

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Then I will go and pin out the centre tip at the very bottom of the triangle …

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Then working my way out from the centre point I pin out each tip trying to keep the points as symmetrical as possible …

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After I have pinned out all the points I will go back and re-do any of the pins that may need adjusting … as you can see in the first picture below one of the pins looks slightly in the wrong place … so I will take it out and re-pin as many as necessary to get an even look to the shawl … as shown in the second picture …

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Finally because this shawl had a lace central panel I felt the need to try and straighten out the top edge as much as possible to show this off nicely … if I had blocking wires again this would be where I would use them … but I don’t so again I made do with the pins and did the best I could to get a straight edge along the top …

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That pretty much covers the basics of how I block my knitting … now for the Filmstrip Shawl (Blue and Beige in the picture below) as it is all knit in garter stitch and with no lace details that needs to be stretched out … I didn’t need to pin it too much … I just laid it out flat on the mats and straightened it out by hand … I only ended up pinning the three corners to keep them straight while drying …

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Then you just leave the knitting alone until it is completely dry to the touch … my knits usually dry within a couple hours but I tend to leave them overnight to be sure … however you will find drying time will depend on the weather and how warm the room is where the knitting is left to block …

Once completely dry remove the pins and enjoy your lovely knitted items …

Please let me know if you have any other questions about blocking your knits or any tips on blocking you wish to add … I’d love to hear them … you can leave any comments or suggestions in the DISCUSSION THREAD on the RAVELRY group for the Podcast … and if your not already a member of the Group then hop on over … join the group and get involved with the chatter on the discussion threads … we’re a friendly bunch …

Thanks for stopping by …

Mina X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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