Wet Blocking for Knit and Crochet Projects
Wet blocking is a finishing step recommended for most handknit items and is often used in crochet patterns. Blocking tremendously improves the finished look of the stitches and seams, as well as the overall finished garment appearance. It also ensures proper shape and measurements after washing, as some fibers tend to stretch or shrink. You might want to block a sample swatch before working on any garment pattern to check if there are any major changes after blocking, which would help you to calculate ease or to make necessary adjustments.
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- Blocking board or interlocking play mat
- Rust-resistant blocking pins (optional, depending on the project)
- Cotton Bath Towel – 1 or 2
- Utility sink or laundry tub
STEP 1: Soak your knit or crochet item in warm water using a laundry tub or utility sink. Soap is not required for blocking, but a small amount of wool wash is beneficial for 100% wool items.
Hot Water Caution!
- Wool fibers may shrink or felt at high temperature
- Cotton fibers may shrink at high temperature
- Acrylic fibers may lose elasticity at high temperature
STEP 2: Drain the sink and gently squeeze the excess moisture out by pressing the item against the sink edges.
STEP 3: Depending on the size of the item, lay 1 or 2 bath towels onto the blocking board (or interlocking play mat). Then, carefully lift the wet item out of the sink without stretching it by its own weight, then lay it flat onto the towel surface. Roll the item in the towel to absorb moisture.
STEP 4: Remove towels and spread out the item on the blocking board, shaping it to the specified measurements.
STEP 5: Optional – Secure the item around the edges using rust-resistant blocking pins.
NOTE: Some lace items may require using blocking wires.
STEP 6: Rotate and flip the item periodically to ensure even drying.
All done! You can also check out my “Spray Blocking” tutorial for additional information about blocking techniques.
IraRott® Rusty the Giraffe Crochet Blanket Pattern can be found at IraRott.com