I have a question about blocking.

I'm trying to block the back piece of a sweater. It's a 100% wool yarn. After soaking it in lukewarm soapy water, rinsing, and squeezing as much water out of it, I lay it out on a towel. Problem is that when wet it's so much larger than when it was dry. So do I pin it down so that it lays flat or do I pin it down at the final dimensions that I want it to be when dry? Or maybe I re-pin it as it dries?


Bill's picture

you don't have to pin it...unless you need to stretch it. Just lay it flat, and if it's too big..."scrunch" it up so it's smaller. I try to get it to the size I want...then pat it a lot to flatten it.

ronhuber's picture

I do exactly what Bill does but I am careful with the garment when it is wet and support it so it doesn't stretch. I often put it is a big bowl to transport it.

MMario's picture

If you pat at it you should be able to get it into the dimensions you want for it; then you can pin it in place.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

matthewmack10's picture

you dont have to wet it all you have to do is wet a hankie and place it on the garment and iron it with a tap of the iron and it will be perfect this is how I block everything

correcttension's picture

Whatever you do, don't alter the number of stitches or tension on the other parts of the sweater as a result of what you end up with here. (unless it's hopelessly big, in which case you may want to frog it) I wouldn't pin it either, unless I wanted to stretch it a bit. But it sounds as if it's already bigger than you want it to be. I'd lay it flat on a towel, fluff it and scrunch it up to the size you want it to be, and then put another towel on top of it and leave it in a warmish place for a while. I wouldn't iron it at all at this stage - it would only make it bigger. Just keep a note of whatever you do, so that you can do the same thing to all the pieces of the sweater. Or you'll end up with a big chest and a small back (or vice versa......) Good luck!

robstrauss's picture

Thanks for all the great help, guys! The trick seems to be gentle patting with a bit of patience.

My next big challenge will be learning how to do seaming! I get the feeling that this is not one of the most favorite activities for a lot of you.


potterdc's picture

If you can learn to seam well - you will have the knitting world at your feet! When I learned to knit in the 80's, I simply did not have the patience to learn seaming, so I learned to knit in the round, building my sweaters as I went, which is quite a useful skill...but now I have more patience and I wish I knew how to seam and seam well! I do think the most useful thing is to be able to seam when you want and knit seamless when you want.

So go for it!

Jonathan in DC

Think less, enjoy it more.

Think less, enjoy it more.

Hi Rob
You can make sweaters that don't need to be put together. Seamless sweaters are great. Although you have to graft the underarm using Kitchner stitch. Have you read Elizabeth Zimmermans Knitting Without Tears ? A great book that has really inspired me over the years. Most of my projects are knittted in the round.