Blocking ribbed knitting?

I’m knitting a 100% cotton ribbed vest that goes all the way down to my ankles, and I want the ribs to show. However, I’m new to blocking, so I’d like to know these things primarily:

  1. What’s the easiest way to block so that the ribs lie flat? I’ll be doing a lot of it, so I don’t want anything particularly complex.

  2. Will I lose length if it’s ribbed?! I kind of want it to stay at my ankles…

  3. Should I block [I]before[/I] I sew the pieces together, or [I]after[/I]?

Thanks in advance for replies.

What direction are your ribs? Horizontal or vertical? That will make a big difference in answering your questions…

The ribs are vertical.

Then you should just pull then [I]downward, [/I]not side to side, and then pin then out. Pinning then out widthwise will take away some of the elasticity.