Thursday, March 9, 2017

How to block textured knits

Here's the situation: you've just finished knitting something with fantastic texture, either in cables or knits-and-purls, and now you need to block it. Wet-blocking, where you soak the project before laying/pinning it out to dry, can really flatten out texture, especially if you've used a yarn that doesn't 'bounce back' much once it's dry (like an alpaca or silk blend).

I had just this dilemma when I finished my Beeswax Scarf! I had wet-blocked my swatch and been disappointed by how flattened-out it was:

Scarf above; swatch below

Scarf on the left; swatch on the right

Obviously, I was keen to try a different blocking method that would preserve more of the lovely texture!

I settled on a method similar to wet-blocking, but with the order of the steps switched up: first you pin out your project, then you wet it. I used pins to stretch the scarf slightly and open up the eyelet-holes, and then I sprayed it liberally with a spray-bottle full of water. And I made a stop-motion video showing exactly what I did:

This method also has the advantage of taking less time to dry, because the yarn isn't fully soaked through. :)

I really want to try it next time I knit a cabled hat, because putting the hat over a balloon and spraying it has got to be easier than prodding a floppy, wet hat into shape.

Do you have a favourite blocking method I need to try?


  1. Thanks so much for your method of blocking articles with a lot of texture. I just finished Mary-Anne Mace's Southern Blue shawl and would be heartbroken if all those lovely nupps and cables would get squished!

    I'm off to get the blocking started!

  2. Thankyou!!! and you are right.... plopping a wet hat on a balloon is not fun. haha.

    1. You're very welcome! And yes, it always tries to stretch out too much and doesn't want to sit straight...