RELAX. YOU’RE BLOCKING

From my inbox, based on yesterday’s post:? Does knitting really need to be blocked?? It seems so inconvenient to take all these finishing steps when we all want to get the current piece (finally)?done, try it on, and cast on for the next.

It’s?up to you. I find that while blocking is far from an absolute remedy for all knitting ills, it does even out stitch imperfections, improve drape, and even does a little bit to help tame curl. I do a wash/wet block, in which I wash the garment as I intend to for the rest of its life, then pin it out to dry. I never use any of the steam blocking/finishing methods. You can set yarn for life using steam, a mistake is yours forever. But wash/wet blocking can be undone by another trip through the laundry.

I don’t block everything I knit, but I almost always block wool or wool-blend things larger than socks. I also almost always block things I intend on sewing together. If I’ve knit in the round, I’ll block the body and sleeves before attaching them. If the sleeves go on early (like on a Wallaby, where they are joined before the yoke is knit I’ll block the sleeves first, attach them, then block the entire garment when again when all the knitting is done.

I always block lace and cotton knitting – especially counterpane motifs before assembly. Yesterday’s poncho looked MUCH better after it was stretched to even out and maximize the spread of the laddering.

I rarely block hats unless they require post-knitting shaping (like stretching a tam over a plate to give it a beret fold). Some synthetics I block, others not. I didn’t block my Suede T because it was heavy enough to lay flat without encouragement, plus I’d heard that immersion in water changes the yarn’s drape. (I’ll probably dry clean that piece). I did block the Waterspun poncho. Classic Elite Waterspun?is a yarn that looks worlds better after washing and blocking. I’ve made several things from it and always block it before assembly.

So. Do I always block?? No. Do I think blocking is worth the effort?? For most, but not all pieces.

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