Why Block Your Finished Objects?

Many of us agree that your project isn't finished until it comes off the blocking mats.  Blocking is the last step in the process of knitting or crocheting a project.  It takes the project from 'that's nice' to 'wow, that's amazing!'.  You will see that your stitches are more defined, lace work has opened up and any excess dye or loose fibres are washed away. 

WET Blocking

Gather your blocking tool kit which should include a bottle of wool wash, towels, blocking mats, t-pins, and a few darning/tapestry needles.  Fill the tub or sink with tepid water and let soak for 15 - 30 mins — long enough to saturate all the fibres.  Rinse, or not?  (Eucalan and Unicorn Fibre are both no-rinse products.)  I always rinse simply because I get a kick out of seeing all the dirt, loose fibres and excess dye flow down the drain. Whether you rinse or not, gently squeeze; don't wring the excess water out of your project.

Place a towel on the floor and lay your project on top of the towel and wrap it up like a burrito.  Step on the towel to get as much water out of the project as possible (a second towel might come in handy).  The more water you can get out of the project, the quicker it will dry. 

Your blocking mats don't need to be fancy.  I use the kids floor mats, the ones that look like a giant puzzle.  Lay your project on the mats, right side (RS) up and place your t-pins around the border of the item you are blocking to hold it in place while it dries (see your pattern schematic for measurements).  

Now, forget about it for 24 to 48 hours, unpin, weave in those ends and WEAR IT!    

STEAM Blocking

Steam blocking is great for very delicate knits or if you are unsure of the fibre used.  When steam blocking, it is very important that the hot iron never touches the fabric or you risk burning or melting your finished object and nobody has time for that! 

You will need an iron, ironing board, wet (not dripping) towel or cloth, t-pins, and a spray bottle with water.  Lay the item to be blocked directly on the ironing board, pin into place (optional), place the damp towel or cloth on the item, gently press the steaming iron to the item (not side-to-side) and hold for a few seconds. Continue these steps until the entire item has been steamed. 

Allow your item to dry before moving and then weave in those ends and WEAR it!