I am looking for information about what MWK members do when finishing a knitted garment  Do people block with pins and steam or only steam the loose pieces?  Which garments would be blocked/steamed and which would not?  How does one make the determination?  Do people block to straighten the pieces so they match or to plump-up the stitches to even out the surface of the fabric and even-out the stitches?  The literature gives differing opinions on the need for blocking so I'm curious to know the experiences and opinions of others in our little knitting community. 


Never block, never worry.  Ok, I do block if it's a lace piece but rarely do I ever block anything else.  Doing so is supposed to relax the fibers, even out the stiches and make seaming easier.  I've done both steam blocking and wet blocking and prefer wet.  But then you have to wait and wait and wait until the piece is dry so steaming does have its advantages.  When I was first learning, a very talented knitter confided to me that she never blocks - as if it was a dirty little secret!  So, I think it's a personal preference and something you do if you feel it worth the extra work.

Craig's picture

Hi there,

It all depends, if your knitted piece has curled alot at the edges, if you block it makes piecing easier. I have blocked and have not blocked and there seems to be no difference to the finished piece.


Have been knitting for years. I knit continually then will try another craft, but will return to the needles.

Hi  Jesse

I never block, I just leave it to relax. Any moisture or heat will 'set' the wool and it's very difficult to alter the effects of this afterwards and, of course, never ever get any direct heat near wool which damages the fibres.  The exception is lace, which needs careful pinning out and then just a very light misting which is then left to dry.

victor's picture

Hi Jesse, I block all machine knitted garments, particularly if they are bit short or narrow. Also I find it gives a more 'professional' finish as it evens out the sts. I draw out the shape of the knitted piece to its exact measurements on a piece of cardboard then pin the garment to the cardboard (lots and lots of pins) and steam it and leave for at least 24 hours. I don't block hand knitted garments unless a bit more 'room' is needed. Never block anything with cables or a 'raised' pattern.  Victor

YarnGuy716's picture

I have never blocked pieces before assembling them. Never has a case where it would really be needed or advantageous. I have gotten into the habit of a gentle wash after the piece is assembled, for a few reasons:

1. It evens out the stitches and in many cases softens the yarn so it is more comfortable to the touch.
2. I knit every where, so that yarn has been rolling around at home, knitting guild meetings, knitting circles at local book stores and so forth. So it wouldn't hurt to wash.
3. I think my sweaters just look and fit better after a wash.








 I blocked the pieces of a sweater that I recently made.  I rolled the pieces in a damp towel and let them sit for a while, then blocked them to the correct size and shape by pinning them as Victor said above with "lots and lots of pins."  Then I just let the pieces dry.  I felt it made for easier assembly.













Sorry about the crazy spacing!  Guess I spaced Embarassed

The woman who taught me to weave always insisted that you should not consider a piece complete until it has been washed to relax and even out the threads (and to remove any soil that it has picked up from your hands or tools).  I think this applies equally to knitted items, especially with fibers that can withstand a good agitation in the machine.  I don't make any special effort to pin or shape my projects, just squeeze out the water, stretch gently into shape and dry on a towel.

kiwiknitter's picture

I thought I'd follow-up with this topic.  I sewed up the vest I just finished and then I washed it gently by hand and laid it out flat to dry.  I really like the way the wash evened out the stitches and softened the wool.  Thanks for all the tips! 


I've got knitting fever in the worsted way.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly