Yeah, I said it and I meant it

A little peek, my pets, at a not quite finished sweater.  Well, let me be clearer – the knitting part is all finished, but in my books the last step of knitting is blocking.

littleleavespreblock 2014-03-25

I’ve taught all sorts of knitting classes and blogged all sorts of knitted things here, and I’m always amazed at the number of knitters who don’t often block, or think blocking is optional, or think that blocking means stretching, or block with steam only, or block… well, to be frank, any way that I don’t.  In my not inconsiderable experience, blocking is to knitting as ironing is to quilting – the step that makes your work so much tidier, and shows off your skills to their maximum. I’ve heard lots of knitters say that they don’t block small things, or things that are all in one piece or things that “don’t need it” or things that “don’t need fixing” (here, I suppose the misconception is that blocking fixes knitting problems, which it usually – and sadly – does not)  and I put forth here that everything needs it. All knitted things – with the rarest of possible exceptions, need one form of blocking or the other, and I think (and if you’d just kick that soapbox over here where I can climb up on it) I think that if you don’t believe in blocking, or don’t think it matters, that you might not have all the information, or might not be doing it right.

I’m going to start showing you as much about how I block (and why) as I do how I knit (and why) in the fond hopes that someday, I’ll won’t ever hear another knitter say “I never block, it doesn’t make a difference.”  That wee sweater is off for a blocking.  I’ll show you how I did it tomorrow.

156 thoughts on “Yeah, I said it and I meant it

  1. I block 95% of my knitting, it does make things look finished. That 5% exception is socks because they are on my feet and knit with negative ease, so I never bothered, and Hats…I don’t block hats because I wear them in Seattle in the winter so mother nature does it for me….

    • I consider that first wash after wearing socks the “blocking.” I mean, it’s washing, and washing is integral to blocking, so to my way of thinking, washing socks is blocking socks.

  2. I don’t understand how people manage to not block. You wouldn’t dream of not washing something before use, and if it’s natural fibre that has to be by hand. At that point you might as well block it, because it’s no extra work. Given that, why wouldn’t you block?

      • Edited to clarify: I always wash and BLOCK the finished sweater, shawl, or scarf when completed. I’ve never had a problem sewing together sweater pieces before washing/blocking.

      • I’ve been curious about this, too! I block most everything, but I’ve always wondered if I’m supposed to re-block after every wash?
        Looking forward to learning your ways, Stephanie. 🙂

    • ooooh, Presbytera, don’t you think it should have been before??? Even if the swatches are (and I believe I quote) “dirty little liars”.
      Chris S.

  3. I always block even if I just use an iron to do it. I always factor blocking into completion time 🙂 It evens up my stitches.

    • Oooh, look. There are two Emily’s. I’ll call myself Emily B from now on, so we can tell us apart.

      And I always block things, unless my kids snatch the item out of my hands as I finish sewing in the last end. Then it can take some time before I am able to get it back and deal with it properly. 🙂

  4. I just knit a Cat Bordhi pattern and it said this:

    Blocking:
    The cashmere cowl will self-block as you wear it. With wear, the yarn will bloom to produce a lovely halo.

    I am a skeptic. I blocked.

    • That must have been her moebius cowl pattern. I just finished a moebius cowl of my own devising and have been puzzling over how to block it. The twist has me befoozled! How did you manage?

      • Use the pointy end of your ironing board. You can pin the cowl down and steam uncooperative selvedges–2 sections at a time if the cowl is large enough–and just rotate and steam/spritz as each part dries.

        • I don’t really want to use steam because it’s a silk/mohair blend and I don’t want to flatten the bloom.

  5. I completely agree that blocking is a necessity. It helps to “smooth” things out a bit, I suppose and makes everything look more tidy. The pattern of a lace shawl is much more clear and sharp after it’s blocked. Same with cables.

  6. Blocking is the difference between handmade and homemade. Good seaming is the other component of that difference. Block on.

  7. I’m currently knitting on a sweater in fingering weight yarn — have been picking it up and putting it down due to the acres of stockinette contained in the sweater. I am easily bored. I’m hoping that blocking will even out the stitches — and if that’s not gonna happen I don’t want to know about it.

  8. I have to say, since I’ve been knitting things that actually need to be blocked, I’ve gotten much better about blocking clothes I buy that say “Dry flat”. I used to just drape them over the drying rack, telling myself that that was pretty flat and I’m tall, so who cares if it gets longer? But now they dry nicely on the white towels I bought just for blocking my knitting. Except socks!

  9. I believe the term “blocking” is the problem. For too long I really thought it meant I had to do some complicated manipulation of the knitted item, some fancy footwork. I “just washed it and laid it out nicely.” At some point I realized, like you said, that’s mostly what blocking is!

    • That’s totally what it means when it comes to things that aren’t lace. “Make it tidy and clean”.

  10. i assume we’re speaking of wool here, not acrylic. which is what i use 95% of the time, with the hats i make and then give away.

    however, i do wash and dry every hat i make before i send it off to charity, so does that count?

  11. Thank you! I could seriously use some lessons in blocking before I get more ambitious.

    No, I don’t block my socks and they really are just fine. Most of the people I knit for put their socks on right away and start wearing them.

          • Every knitted object I have ever made has cat hair knitted right into it, no matter how much a clean it up, wash it, block it. Now I just believe that the hair is the necessary, “custom” ingredient that makes my stuff extra special! And pray that my recipients are not allergic.

          • It’s not just cat hair! The hour I spent teasing my own light brown hairs out of a piece of cream knitting is the only thing that’s ever made me want to have it cut short 🙂

  12. You said it, sister. I used to be one of those “I never block,” but I think it was due to fear and lack of information. Now I block everything. Couldn’t get a ticket to your talk on Friday night – sold out!

  13. Have we started the betting yet on 1) whether ‘Adriana’ is going to make it to Texas, and 2) in what condition (still knitting/needs blocking/done)?

  14. And the real comparison to quilters is that, faced with something slightly hinky but done, quilters say “It will quilt out.” Knitters say “It will block out.” They’re both usually … well, often, right

  15. I block everything except socks for myself. (Well, and even that isn’t entirely accurate, since I wash them before I wear them — the one time I didn’t, there was enough excess dye in the yarn that my feet ended up purple! But I don’t put them on sock blockers or anything, unless I’m knitting them as a gift and want them to look super-fancy.)

  16. I never used to block my knitting because I didn’t have a clue how to do that, and it sounded terrifying. I had visions of measuring the garment before washing, then sketching it out on a towel, carefully measuring the washed garment, …..
    Pfft! Now that I know how easy it is, I block everything – yes, even socks. They just look so much nicer. After I spent all that time knitting them as perfectly as I knew how, why wouldn’t I want them to look their best?!

  17. I totally agree. In fact, I often go beyond and block a work in progress to check on the sizing, especially with superwash (which I rarely use). Blocking means washing, then moulding it to the desired shape. In the words of EZ, “Bend it to your will”.

  18. I need to learn what you’re teaching tomorrow. I really don’t know much about blocking. I knit a lot with acrylic for charity and I don’t block any of it (little baby sweaters and hats) and I knit superwash socks and I never block them either. I also don’t know a thing about seaming. I just stitch up seams so they look neat. Can you help me (and I bet, a lot of other people) with this? I have a feeling the term “mattress stitch” is going to come up in a seaming lesson, and I don’t have a clue how to do it. Thank you!

  19. I am unclear on how to block a hat. I get blocking for sweater parts (so you can sew them together and they’re not all smungily) and I REALLY get it on any sort of scarf or shawl. But I’m confused about the hats – which are not flat.

      • First time I’ve ever failed a human test – a lot of others, but never not-being-human. Anyway – I use a bowl upside down on another bowl – it keeps the curve. LOVE the idea of balloons! Irene

    • I wear my hats out in the rain. It’s a surprisingly effective hat blocking method, and the hat blocks to the exact right size if I’ve got my ease correct. Then I just lay them out to dry after my walk.

  20. I have never blocked even though I know I needed to…(that one scarf that’s just too short – surely blocking would help!) I actually went to my LYS today to pick up some T-pins so I could block my very first item, a shawl. Once there, I was informed that I needed to get some wires as well, oh and where was I going to block it? On my bed? Nope, she wouldn’t recommend that. So I did buy the wires (or I was going to need a lot more pins and way more time than anticipated) but they were out of the blocking mat. So now I’ll wait for your tutorial, but I’m still probably going to use the bed.

    • block on your bed! I do it ALL THE TIME. I have a crawling baby and there is no way he’d let me have something like that out on the floor. And you don’t actually NEED blocking wires, though I do think they are helpful for shawls.

  21. I always block, but I’m in the process of knitting a fabulous silk scarf and haven’t a clue how to safely block silk. Any suggestions?

    • It’s totally the same thing. Just follow the fabric wash instructions. I’ve knit several lace scarves/shawls with silk and just do it the same way. I’ll even aggressively block, if needed. You won’t have a problem, it’s the same process.

  22. I block some things, but in all honesty I didn’t know that you should block all knitting. I’d never heard/read anyone say to block a hat, or mittens, for example. The most I’ve heard blocking linked with was lace. So, that was my impression about blocking. I’ve been blocking more lately, things that aren’t even lace, so I guess I’m improving :).

    Looking forward to your next post!

  23. Well, I can understand how it’s vital for lace for example. However when I blocked my woolen sweaters (pins and all) swear to God I couldn’t see a difference. Maybe I was doing it wrong after all. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post then 🙂

    • I will guarantee you that even with the most horrible cheap acrylic, blocking massages the tension in your stitches so that they even out. Stocking stitch especially in big areas as many people do develop some biasing of the fabric in stocking stitch, those holes that happen when you’re turning shortrows no matter how you do it, stranded colourwork especially loves it, and yes, lace. Even just the chance to massage back some of the pulling that can happen when you’ve got a whole jumper hanging off the needles while you’re finishing one side of the neck.

      But when you include a yarn that blooms, it makes a huge difference.

      • Thank you, I just knitted this winter dollclothes from the lovely patterns of Maalfrid Gausel in cheap acrylic, to test them, because some of my dolls have different sizes and I did not want to have to use lovely wool to then have miscalculations. Her patterns are marvelous, it turns out and the acrylic was also, because young children tend to “wash” dollclothes without supervision and would hotwash the wool and acrylic is much more forgiving with chanhging clothes too. But I thought blocking would not help the acylic, now you tell me otherwise. So I will wash! and block the dollsclothes too, they have short rows! Next time I will knit with lovely wool, but those dollsclothes are for my own collection, thank you again for the reference to acrylic.

        • Wow…I am definately coming out of the closet about knitting clothing for my own dolls (and trolls!). I thought I was the only one in the world nerdy enough to do that.

  24. You’re preaching to the choir here! For years as a knitter, I never really knew what blocking was. But as I began to take my knitting more seriously, aiming to improve and hopefully achieve a truly finished (or hope of hopes) professional look, I started blocking my work. It was my epiphany! What a difference it made. I would love to hear/learn more about your blocking techniques, methods etc. b/c I’m not always sure if blocking means full immersion bath, damply ironed between tea towels, with gentle detergent, without etc etc.

  25. I like to block, but I like all the orderly things that form part of the ritual of Making a Thing. Made me think of a favorite Julia Child quote, which is sort of appropos? “I always give my bird a generous butter massage before I put it in the oven. Why? Because I think the chicken likes it — and, more important, I like to give it.”

  26. Yay! I have a cowl I just blocked, and the edges are still curling. I am thinking of blocking it again. Looking forward to all the tips you can share.

    • Unfortunately blocking does not stop stockinette from curling.

      So where do those beautiful lace scarves and shawls that show no sign of curling come from? I wish someone would tell me. Blocking doesn’t work. Neither does knitting a flat edge. What is the secret?

  27. I started taking blocking seriously when I read your piece titled “the miracle of blocking”. One of many things I learned from you! Thanks!

  28. My lack of blocking understanding is partly why I have 2 sweaters in pieces sitting in bags…not sure when to block or how.

  29. Thank you thank you thank you! I am still relatively young in knitting years (items off my needles are in single figures) and really want to block but all of the knitters I know don’t seem to block.

    I also live on a very damp island where most homes have damp issues all winter so really shudder at the thought of trying to let a wool item airdry in a very specific way. Factoring in the lack of space, plus the amount of time it might need, multiplied by 3 children under 4 (including a certain child who has worked out I am all talk and no action while nursing) and I worry it might be a bridge too far. But I have a very pretty shawl I spent hours on that could look that much better…

  30. I have blocked. I do block. But… if I can get away without blocking, I am afraid to say, I don’t block. Sweaters, yes. My lovely Zuzu’s Petals, yes. It’s Christmas eve and 11:45 no blocking gets done. I hate to block so I am anxiously waiting for you to show me the error of my ways.

    By the way, I am so green with envy that your little sweater is finished and I still have 1 and 3/4’s of arms to do and the button band. How do you do it???

  31. I don’t block dishcloths (really, what is the point?). I don’t block socks. I block sweaters, lace, and things with funky stitch patterns. But a basic hat – nope. A garter stitch something or other – nope.

    • Same. I block when a project needs it, but I don’t feel that an item isn’t finished until it’s blocked. Blocking socks? I don’t understand that. I’ve made and given away many items to happy and appreciative recipients – and they’re not all blocked.

  32. I’ll be interested in how you block because most of my stuff looks worse after blocking. No really, it does. I made a sweater into a dress with blocking. And that was after actually doing a gauge swatch (I’m really not into those) AND washing the gauge swatch. Basically the only thing I block well is lace and blankets. But garments and accessories and I have a rather rocky history.

    • Did you wash and block the gauge swatch in the same way you did the sweater? Some yarns do get drapier and stretch out – especially when knit at a loos gauge – but when you wash and block the swatch, you know what to expect.

  33. I have been knitting for years and started blocking seriously and regularly about 5 years ago, thanks to you YH. It does make a huge difference to the finished product. I am looking forward to your articles about it. Sorry I missed you in San Francisco; we were on a hop-on hop-off night tour and nearly froze (I know that sounds strange coming from a Torontonian); i will get to see you sometime!

  34. I spoke with you about blocking when I met you in Exton. I block everything but socks….. blocking is kind of like a girdle. It can hide a multitude of sins, but at the end of the day, it can’t fix what ain’t right in a design. So I google and ravelry search every pattern I think about knitting, study other knitters’ photos and decide if I really like the end product. It’s saved me a few headaches.

  35. Theoretically, I block everything I knit, but, in reality I knit for my four children. The minute something is off my needles, it’s on one of their bodies (and at least one sibling is sidling up to them saying “That would look better on ME”). I usually manage to get it off their bodies a few weeks later, by which point it is dirty and ready for washing anyway.

    Having an active child wear a sweater is a completely different sort of blocking, but one that also tends to even out the stitches and set the knit item into its proper form.

    I’m glad my kids enjoy their knits so much that I wouldn’t change any of this.

  36. In the weaving world it’s called wet finishing and IMHO it isn’t finished until it’s wet finished. 🙂
    Cheers
    Kaura

  37. I don’t like the act of blocking: all that fussing with wires and pins. But I love the way things look after being blocked, so I grit my teeth and do it. Especially lace shawls: it’s a magical transformation. I’d love to learn more about doing it better. Thanks, Stephanie

  38. I agree with those who say there’s no point to blocking socks, since they fit exactly the same way whether you do or not . . . but I don’t put them in the dryer, so I guess I block them after washing. Same with hats. It just doesn’t make any difference.

    I don’t block anything knit with acrylic, which is a lot of my knitting because wool is expensive.

    But I did recently block a shawl made with garter stitch in woolen yarn, and it came out much larger than it was before; I was afraid it would be too small. And I’m working on my first-ever knit vest, and I will block the pieces; even I can see how necessary that is.

    But socks? Really? Why?

  39. I’m sure some people say they rarely or only sometimes block because they’re often using cottons or synthetics that can be machine washed and dried. Guess what? When using those fibers with simple, unconstructed items (like afghans or scarves), the machine washing and drying usually ARE the blocking! Still, there are exceptions. . .I can think of some items like doilies that may be made from machine-friendly cotton but benefit from a traditional wet blocking or a good steam-ironing.

  40. Whenever I make my Better Half anything, I have to convince him like crazy to wait until after I’ve blocked his garment. So depending on his patience, things may or may not get blocked, lol. I block everything else I make because I usually get chocolate on it.

  41. I too was a non-blocker until I did a workshop on finishing and saw the lovely way the stitches balance and settle with good blocking. Converted!

  42. Hi Stephanie!

    I love reading your blog, and I’m always looking forward to seeing what lessons you can teach me 🙂

    My question is, I try to block everything I knit, but recently I’ve been making baby blankets out of cotton, and I’m not sure how to block them: do you have any way to block cotton, or an equivalent action that you can recommend?

    I’m very excited to learn from your expertise on blocking!

    Ann

  43. I had a coworker who knit occasionally but never blocked but was not very thorough in anything else she did, either, and cut every corner she could. When her niece got married she made a large, lovely afghan for two but wouldn’t block it, said it would ruin it. Oy vey. Drove me crazy.

  44. I block everything with the exception of toys that are meant to be stuffed as you knit them. I block to remove the oils and other chemicals that must surely be on the commercial yarns I use. I have a skein of mink something that reeks of oil. Apparantly a lot of oil is added at the mill during the spinning process to keep down on static electricity. Most yarns and concequently most garments will benefit from getting that stuff out.

  45. I have never understood blocking, so I’m really happy to learn more about it. I’ve blocked one small baby blanket, and I did it mostly to fix the border (it was wonky). I’m honestly a little afraid that blocking could screw up what I’ve made!

  46. AMEN! Preach it from that soap box…

    Worse even than the straights vs circulars debate, is the debate over blocking. It always helps and is always worth it. If you don’t think so, I challenge you to read what Clara Parkes says about the process and then tell me that something doesn’t need it.

    Sorry, I have recently been on my own soap box…

  47. There are some things that I don’t block because I want to wear them right away (scarves and hats come to mind) but they definitely look better when they are blocked.

    Blocking just makes the yarn look better most of the time too. It softens up scratchy wool and cleans things up. Plus, the way I drag my knitting around, I think it does get kind of grubby and needs that washing for more than one reason.

    Also, I love the smell of the wool wash. It is so nice to wear something that smells so good. I guess that is another reason to be a little patient when I finish a scarf.

    • I would have to say the same,the best thing about blocking wool knits (aside from the definate improvement in appearance) is the lovely smell of wet wool. It reminds me of the smell of the cozy ski lodge where my family would stay in the soggy mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Skiers wore wool in those days.

  48. I have ruined things by blocking them. It’s not that I’m lazy, bored or broken by the pieces I’ve knitted for an eon, it’s that I don’t want them to be warped out of recognition. They never seem to bounce back. I’m terrified of blocking. Every time! Surely I’m not the only one…

  49. Hats: I made a tam that absolutely required blocking with a small plate to get that perfect shape. Socks: yup, but no stretcher thingees, just wash and dry flat. Lace: ABSOLUTELY, anything with any open work looks SO much better if you wet block it.
    I haven’t knitted anything in pieces that needed to be sewn together yet, but of course those need to be blocked to get all the pieces align-able, right? My fear that blocking won’t really do that and everything will snap back to whatever wonky shape they were before is what keeps me from making such items… That, and the fact that I kinda hate sewing knitted stuff together.
    So Yes, Please – talk about blocking and sewing!

  50. Now, if only I could get over my fear of my circular blocking wires–the ones that came with a warning that they hadn’t been pre-washed and there might still be some industrial oil on them. I’ve never been able to make myself risk using them.

  51. I completely agree with you. It also confuses me because I think most things one would knit, one would also need to WASH, so why not wash before wearing the same way you would with any garment?

  52. I teach knitting, and it amazes me how my students are so resistant to blocking….And they plug their ears and say “la, la, la,” when I even mention the “S” word.

    So I often bring their stuff home and block it. Can’t let the poor knitting hang out to dry. Oh wait….

  53. I’m continually surprised by the number of people who do not block. I’ve read posts on Ravelry about knitters who have stacks of blocking to do. They finish the knitting and just add the garment it to the stack.
    So many people asked me about blocking that last year I actually started teaching a class on blocking lace shawls and scarves.

  54. I am finishing my first sweater knit for me, and hoping I will love it once it’s blocked: right now the edges curl in ways I don’t like, and the stitches look a little sloppy. I look forward to your next post so I can learn how to do it right!

  55. I am a convert to blocking. Once you have seen first hand the difference it makes to your knitted item you will never skip this step again. It really does add that finishing touch.

  56. If anyone is in doubt about the value of blocking, have a look at the blocking of the wedding shawl October 19 & 20, 2006.

  57. Looking forward to your post on blocking because, funny enough, I just wrote about this. I only learned about blocking recently as in my country, Italy, there isn’t a tradition of blocking as a final step to complete a knit – an entire nation of knitters who do not routinely block (but then we don’t quilt either :)) – though we do steam iron pieces before sewing them together. What I’m really curious about is what happens to that initial blocking when the garment is washed again: do you block (meaning, with pins and wires, and stretching and shaping as I read above, and not regular flat-drying method) each time? Thank you!

  58. Thank you soooooo sooooo much for what you’re about to show us. I’m afraid of blocking, and a number of things I have lying around prove it. Right now I have a long long scarf and pieces of a child’s shrug just waiting for your input. I look at those blocking T pins and long bars and soft tiles that look like the floor in kindergarten and just don’t know what to buy or how to use it. It’s a subject like quilting (meaning the actual sewing together of the back, batting and top) — most quilt patterns instruct how to make the top and then end “quilt as desired”, telling you nothing — it’s a whole big topic of its own and where do you start? You will wipe away all the tears and mystery, I’m sure. Bless you.

  59. I will be eager to see how you block long scarves! I’m doing one now in mohair silk that may be up to 80 inches long and I have no idea how I’m going to block it.

  60. I just finished the pieces to my first sweater. I started sewing the shoulder seams, but I had the thought at the back of my mind that I should really block the pieces before doing it. You’ve inspired me to rip back the shoulder seams and block the pieces before sewing it all. I even ordered some rubber foam floor mats to use since space is at a premium in our apartment and we don’t have an extra bed to use while it blocks 🙂

  61. Yippeeeee! I keep reading about blocking but always end up with more questions than answers and terrified I will destroy the knitting.

  62. Hi, I would love more blocking instruction, specifically the why and how of steam blocking. That just freaks me out. By the way, Steph, I am zooming along on a Moderne Log Cabin, which I think you knit back in 2009, and your picking up stitches instructions are working very nicely. I frequently interrupt my knitting to admire the wrong side of the work. I bet I am not the only one doing that…

  63. Amen sister! Looking at your photos of finished knitting (and those of The Rainey Sisters – those girls can finish!) made me start giving all my knitting a good bath. Looking forward to your lesson!

  64. Jinx! I was just catching up with my blog reading as a reward for getting my latest blog post out on … wet blocking! It’s a bit of a do-as-I-say not-as-I-do post since I had not blocked my swatch and was surprised at the results. I was in a rush to get this scarf pattern out before the spring Knitty was published (to offer a simpler way to test out the Showy Decreases that are in the Fiftyfifty top) and skipped this blocking step. If you’d like to read about it I’m at blog.knittingnuances.com. I’d love to know how do you feel about swatch blocking.

  65. Steph, I hope you include clear guidance on blocking synthetic fibers. I would probably never use them, but so many moms of little ones do not like natural fibers because of allergies or extra washing demands. Soo . . . I use synthetics.
    I think I understand the strategies for blocking natural fibers. But junky old acrylic and polyester stump me.
    Do I have a fiber respect problem?

  66. Would love to know more about blocking.
    On a different topic, CNN website has an article entitled ‘ This is your brain on knitting’ today. All about the calming effect of crafts on people with PTSD. Those of us who have gone to your talks already knew that.

  67. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but I bought the wires and laboriously blocked a lace scarf. It took me quite a while. The finished results were lovely…..until I wore the thing a few times. It seems to have collapsed back to its original unblocked form. How do you make blocking last?

  68. I just received your “Knitting Rules!” for my birthday and DEVOURED it. I am supremely excited to learn more about blocking.

    I’ll say that one of the things that terrifies me about blocking is bleeding. I blocked a chocolate-and-ivory scarf a few months ago and the chocolate bled purple into the ivory; I almost cried. Is the only solution to wash all yarn before using? It seems like a huge pain and it might change the way the yarn knits up and what if I somehow break my work and what about different fiber types and…basically putting things in water scares me.

  69. I love blocking! It’s like magic sometimes! Plus I drag my knitting around so much during the process of knitting (not to mention the cat hair it collects) that I feel washing is a must.

  70. I realize I’m a little late to the party here… but… Do you block your socks? It’s the one thing I don’t bother with, but everyone else seems to have those sock blockers and I’m starting to feel the peer pressure.

  71. Great post – thanks. I just bought the tiny tea leaves pattern and was curious as to why you did it on straight needles when it calls for circulars. I just learned to use circulars this winter for making hats and so I feel now I can take on a sweater in the round (a small one!) Should I do what the pattern says or what you did?

  72. Just watch the way the stitches move, all by themselves, when you submerge the fabric in the warm water and you’ll never even consider skipping the blocking step!

    Thanks for making such a strong point on this issue, Stephanie!

  73. Good! Yes! Show me why I need to block.
    I usually just feel relieved to be done knitting so I stop there. But… if you can prove it to me, I’ll probably start blocking. And my stuff will probably start looking fantastic!

    I am interested in seeing all your processes – swatching, etc.

  74. Stephanie wrote: “All knitted things – with the rarest of possible exceptions, need one form of blocking or the other.” Sorry, Stephanie, but I am not blocking my dishcloths. Hats, scarves, sweaters, even socks, but I’m not blocking dishcloths. Are those your exceptions? 🙂

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