Alison here, back with another Tip Tuesday! This week I've decided to break down a question that knitters ask me all the time: what's the deal with blocking and do I really have to do it?
My short answer: yes, always! Why? Because blocking your finished knitting project helps smooth out all of those tiny imperfections by relaxing and softening the yarn, making the edges appear smoother and giving your stitches an even look. I've seen mediocre projects completely transformed into amazing wearable pieces simply after being blocked.
Ready to tackle a bit on blocking with me? Ok, Let's go!
Like with anything handmade, there are various ways that you can block your finished projects. The more popular techniques for lighter weight yarns or lace patterned projects are all wet blocking techniques such as spray blocking or immersing your project into water using a special wool wash product. While I often use these techniques for cotton yarns, I find them totally ineffective for the chunky weight blankets that I love to knit. What's more, the wet blocking techniques tend to take more time and are more labor intensive then my preferred blocking method: steam blocking.
All you need to steam block your project is a home iron with a steam setting, a flat non-absorbent surface and these tips:
And Voilà! – Just like that guys and you've steam blocked your garment!
I usually block everything, and I mean everything. Just be aware that if you do block your knitwear things will stretch out a bit. As long as you calculate that in your initial gauge (I often steam block my gauge swatch before starting a new project), you should be good to block any item you want! As always, I can't wait to see how you put these tips into good use!
Did this inspire you to pick up your iron and begin blocking? Tag #OMLTipTuesday on @ourmakerlife instagram so I can peek at your blocked garments and see all the amazing ways you are using these tips - you just might have the next great blocked garment that we'll feature!
Alison, OML dream team
Alison is the knitter behind @la.reserve.design She has always loved making things with her own two hands and the idea of turning strands of yarn into warm, wearable garments gets her itching to pick up her needles. With a background in textile design she currently works as a design assistant for a menswear company in Montreal, Canada. Her favorite thing to knit is warm chunky blankets made of cozy, thick wool.