What is blocking?
Jessica Fenlon Thomas writes:
I used to think that blocking was something they did in football. I ignored the instruction "block garment pieces before seaming" because I didn't see the value or the point of it. Of course, it didn't help that many of the patterns that I chose didn't even call for blocking.
Sarah E White writes:
Blocking is a method of stretching and shaping a finished knitted piece to reach the dimensions suggested in the pattern, to make two pieces that need to match the same size, or to make your stitches look nicer and more even. Lace almost always needs to be blocked to "open up" the design so all those beautiful holes and patterns show in their true glory. Click here to read entire article
We recommend a process often referred to as Spray Blocking. To do this, you will take your finished item and pin it out to the be the correct size/shape. Once this is done, take a spray bottle with room-temperature water (make certain water is clean, and bottle has been used for nothing except water) and spray the entire item until it is wet. Then, do nothing but leave the item sitting flat until the piece is completely dry (usually 24-48- hours). You then take the pins out and continue on.
Depending upon the item, and the amount of blocking required, it might need additional blocking. If the item is a scarf, and did not completely fit on the your blocking board, you will need to block more of the scarf. If you are blocking a completely sweater, and you blocked with the front up, you may need to block again with the front down. Sometimes the item may just need to be blocked twice for best results.
The question then comes up about when to block. This can vary depending upon your personal preferences and the item. For best results, for example, let's assume we are knitting a sweater. Each piece should be blocked when completed: back, front and each sleeve. After the items are put together and edging done you would block it again, possibly on each side. Now comes the time to weave in all of those tails. A final trip to the blocking board before the sweater is ready to wear.
While there are many items that can be used to block on, we recommend the Sew-EZ Blocking Boards. They are designed specifically for this purpose. The board has a screen-printed measurement grid to assist with proper alignment. The top layer is covered with heavy duty denim that is gridded and padded with a water resistant lining, while the soft polyester bottom fabric protects any surface from scratches and abrasions. Each layer provides a pin through surface. The water-resistant lining will tolerate damp items and will dry out thoroughly. The boards fold in half for easy storage and portability and has convenient carrying handles.
There are 2 sizes available. The small board is 27" x 21". The large board is 33 x 51".