How to Block Knitting (if you don’t have all that fancy equipment)

Unless you’re blocking something everyday, you can make do it with what you already have.


I’m one of those lazy knitters. I don’t tend to block much (or swatch, but that’s a whole other issue…). The joy of finishing a project is just too much, I will always want to put it on and use it straight away. Now I’ve read that blocking only really works on projects made with some wool content, so as most of my knits have been made with acrylic I think I’m OK.

Due to this lack of blocking in my life, I don’t have any of the equipment for it. As with a lot of things however, I find you don’t need it. Unless perhaps you’re blocking knits all the time and fancy making life easier. I manage to get by just fine with things I already own.

What you need:
  • 2–3 towels
  • Pins
  • Tape measure (if you’re blocking a fitted garment that needs to be a certain size)
  • Mild shampoo or wool wash
  • Something to pin into

The amount of towels depends on the size of the knitting. One is needed to lay the item down to pin into, and the rest to dry it as much as possible before hand. The last point is your preference. I use a cutting mat to pin into, or you could use a piece of foam board, or even just the carpet, it works perfectly well.

Some people like to block their knits after seaming all the pieces together, this means that you have a good idea of the shape the garment is supposed to be, plus it’s done all in one go. Others prefer to block their knitted pieces separately before seaming together, having never done this I’m afraid I can’t say what the advantages are. If you prefer this method please let me know, I’m curious as to what you think!

Step One:

First you need to fill a sink or bowl with lukewarm water and add your choice of shampoo/wool wash. You don’t want to use hot water, as you’ll be in danger of felting the fabric – this happens when the fibres are rubbed together in hot water, causing them to stick together.

How to Block Knitting soak in water
Step Two:

Now add your knitting to the water, being careful not to move it around too much. Make sure it’s fully soaked and leave it in the water for around five minutes.

Step Three:

Once your knitting has finished soaking, drain the water and then rinse your garment with fresh water to get rid of any soap.

Step Four:

Get the towels ready! Carefully take your knitting out of the water and lay on a towel on the floor. To get rid of the excess water roll the towel up with the knitting inside, squeezing as you go. If there’s still a lot of water left over then repeat the process.

How to Block Knitting Pinning Down

Step Five:

Grab a dry towel and lay it over the mat or area of carpet where you’ll be blocking. Lay the garment down, and pull it into the right shape. Make sure the measurements match those of the pattern, and use pins to pin down tricky sections.

And you’re done! Now you just need to wait for it to dry. Good luck with your blocking, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask! The pattern is my free bunny snood – get it here!

How to Block Knitting

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