Why You Should Block Your Knitting: The Essential Guide

Blocking is often the unsung hero of knitting, a final step that can make the difference between a homemade look and a polished, professional finish. If you've ever wondered why blocking is necessary or how to go about it, this post is for you. Let's dive into the benefits and methods of blocking your knitting projects.

What is Blocking?

Blocking is the process of wetting or steaming your finished knitting project and then shaping it to the desired dimensions. This step helps to even out stitches, set the fabric into its final shape, and add that crisp, finished look to your pieces. There are several methods to block your knitting, including wet blocking, steam blocking, and spray blocking, each suitable for different types of fibers and projects.

Benefits of Blocking Your Knitting

  1. Even Out Stitches

    • One of the most noticeable benefits of blocking is how it evens out the stitches. During knitting, tension can vary, leading to uneven stitches. Blocking relaxes the fibres, allowing the stitches to settle into a uniform appearance. This is particularly evident in lace knitting, where blocking opens up the pattern, making the intricate details stand out beautifully.
  2. Set the Shape

    • Blocking allows you to shape your project to the exact dimensions required. Whether it's a garment that needs precise measurements or a blanket that needs to lay flat, blocking ensures your finished piece matches the intended size. For garments like sweaters, blocking ensures that pieces fit together perfectly during seaming and that the overall fit is as expected.
  3. Improve Drape

    • Different fibres behave differently once blocked. For example, wool tends to bloom and soften, while cotton can become more structured. Blocking can enhance the natural drape of the fabric, making your project look and feel better when worn.  A blocked shawl will have a lovely, flowing drape, enhancing its elegance and wearability.
  4. Open Up Lace Patterns

    • Lace patterns benefit immensely from blocking. The process opens up the stitches, revealing the lace design in all its glory.  A lace scarf or shawl, which might look scrunched up and indistinct pre-blocking, transforms into a delicate, airy fabric once blocked.
  5. Fix Minor Imperfections

    • Blocking can help correct minor imperfections in your knitting. Slightly uneven edges, curling stockinette, or minor sizing issues can often be resolved through blocking.  If your hat comes out slightly too tight or your sweater hem curls, blocking can often adjust these issues without needing to re-knit the item.

How to Block Your Knitting

  1. Wet Blocking

    • Method: Soak your knitting in lukewarm water with a gentle wool wash. Gently squeeze out excess water without wringing. Lay the item flat on a blocking mat, pinning it to the desired dimensions. Allow it to dry completely.
    • Best For: Most natural fibres, lace patterns, and projects that need significant reshaping.
  2. Steam Blocking

    • Method: Use a steam iron or garment steamer to gently steam your knitting, taking care not to touch the iron directly to the fabric. Shape and pin your project as you steam.
    • Best For: Wool and wool blends, and projects that need less drastic shaping.
  3. Spray Blocking

    • Method: Lay your knitting flat and mist it lightly with water. Shape and pin to desired dimensions and allow it to dry.
    • Best For: Delicate fibers, smaller projects, or when only minor adjustments are needed.


Blocking is an essential step in knitting that transforms your project from homemade to handmade. It enhances the look and feel of your finished items, ensuring that all your hard work results in a beautifully finished piece. Whether you're knitting a cozy sweater, a delicate lace shawl, or a simple pair of socks, take the time to block your work—you'll be amazed at the difference it makes.

Happy knitting and happy blocking!