Block to Measurement.

What does it mean and How to do it.

So many patterns and instructions these day finish with the instruction “Block to measurements”.  What does this mean and is it and essential part of the project?

What is blocking?

Blocking is the process of dampening, wetting or steaming of a finished article to help set the shape and even out the stitches.

Is it necessary to block all projects?

Personally, I don’t think it is. If your garment is knitted to the correct tension and your work is fairly even, I don’t think is is necessary. Garments knitted from wool or cotton may benefit from a steaming (Use a damp cloth over the garment and hold the iron very lightly on the cloth to create steam). Steam the seams and then lay the garment flat to give a light steaming over the rest of the garment. Leave flat until completely dry.

Projects that benefit from blocking

Lacy patterns, shawls, blankets and rugs made with wool respond very well to wet blocking. The process sets the stitches, size and shape of the finished article and can improve the overall look greatly.

What about acrylics?

I would never steam or wet block acrylic yarns. If it is necessary for something like an acrylic baby shawl I would pin the dry article out to the measurements stated in the pattern, cover with a damp cloth and leave to dry completely.

What is wet blocking?

Wet blocking is when the finished article is soaked in water (refer to ball label for recommended water temperature), gently squeeze out excess water. Support the whole item and carefully transfer to clean, dry towel(s), gently roll the article in the towel(s) to remove more moisture. Find an area where the article can be laid out (undisturbed) until it is dry. Blocking matts, carpeted floor or unused bed (covered with a sheet/towel or similar) are suitable options. Gently lay out the article to the size recommended in the pattern and pin into place using rustless pins, pat pattern/lace design into place so that is sits straight and even. Allow to dry completely before removing pins.

Below is a video I made to show you how I wet blocked out my Cherish Knitted Blanket or Knee Rug knitted in the beautiful Tasmanian Merino White Gum wool.

Here is another example of a before after of wet blocking.

My lovely 87 year old Mum knitted this baby shawl in Patons Dreamtime Baby Wool and it is an example of the difference between an unblocked and blocked project.

Unblocked.

Knitted to the number of stitched in the pattern. the borders are rippling (especially the side borders), the points don’t have any definition and the centre eyelet section is condensed.

Wet Blocked.

You can see the difference in the borders, centre section and the points.  The overall size went from approx 70 cms to 100 cms

New to the Shop this month is Lang Super Soxx 4 ply

Lang Sock yarn is made in Italy for Lang & Co  –  is perfect for socks but also beanies, gloves, mittens, and other small items. The composition of the yarn is 75% Virgin (traceable) wool & 25 % Nylon.  The Super Soxx yarn is machine washable (40 degrees) and cool tumble dry.

Shop for Lang Super Soxx 4 ply