Why You Need a Knit Blocking Service Near Me
Washing your knits changes them, and you should be sure to entrust your sweaters to a dry cleaner that measures each one before cleaning and blocks them back to those measurements after. Blocking reshapes and distributes the knit weave to reduce size or change shape, and locks it in place.
What Is Knit Blocking?
Blocking is one of the most important steps in knitting, especially for a finished garment. It’s almost like waving a magic wand over your work, it turns kinky and uneven stitches into neatly defined shapes, and makes your knits look incredible.
Wet blocking is the traditional method and recommended for wool (and animal fibers in general). Soak your finished project in water until it is completely saturated. Do not agitate the yarn, as this can cause it to felt or change its shape. Once the piece is wet, pin it into its desired size and shape on a flat surface, such as a cork wall board or blocking mats, then smooth out bumps and wrinkles with your hands.
Another way to block is by steaming your fabric. This is a great option for man-made fibers, novelty yarns (but not acrylic which melts under the heat) and some wools and blends, but never use it on anything that says “dry clean only.” Heat will melt some cellulose in your wool.
How to Block Your Knits at Home
Wet blocking is the most common method and involves gently submerging your work in lukewarm water to loosen and relax the fibers. It works well for most yarns, including lace and super-fine gauge. Just be aware that certain animal fibers, such as wool, can felt if too much water is used and agitated.
After soaking, rinse, squeeze out the excess water and lay your project on a towel or blocking mat. Use rust-proof pins to secure it in place, always referring to your finished measurements (e.g., sweater length, collar width) to verify overall symmetry and sizing.
Next, spray the fabric with clean, lukewarm water using a spray bottle. You can also use a steamer, which creates a steady stream of warm moisture. When finished, allow the garment to dry completely before removing the pins or moving it. The result will be a smooth, even, and perfectly set shape. Whether you’re knitting a blanket, scarf, washcloth, or hat, it’s worth the time to block your work. It makes a huge difference in the final look and will give your FO a professional, finished appearance.
How to Block Your Knits in a Professional Environment
Wet blocking stretches and shapes hand knits to create the desired shape, size, and drape. It also helps to even out the stitches and set in the final dimensions. Blocking also helps your finished project to look neat and professional.
You can do wet blocking at home with two easily obtainable tools: a flat surface, such as an ironing board or countertop, and blocking mats. You will also need strong, rust-proof pins (also called blocking wires), a mist bottle (like the ones used to water plants), and either a steamer or a heat-resistant iron.
Spritz your blocking surface with water until it is damp and then place your item on it, pinning into the shape and dimensions you desire. Allow the garment to dry completely before removing the pins.
How to Block Your Knits in a Commercial Environment
A block is like a magic wand for your knits – it can make them look finished and beautiful, relax the stitches for a more even appearance (especially helpful with lace), and help get that trademark knitting curl out. It also helps set the final dimensions of a garment piece, and is especially important if seaming two pieces together, or if you need to make sure your sleeve or collar is the right size.
Fortunately, blocking is relatively simple and inexpensive to do at home. All you need is a surface that is large enough to spread out your project, resistant to water damage, and a spot where it can be left undisturbed until it’s dry (be careful about pets, they often gravitate towards freshly blocked items). You can use a bedsheet or carpet, a blocking mat or board, or cork wall boards, all of which are available for purchase online or in stores.
Once you’ve wet your piece, gently spread it out onto the surface and pin it into place using rust-proof pins. Then, lightly spritz the piece with water from a spray bottle – just enough to dampen it and let the fibers relax, but not soaking wet.