Does everything have to be blocked, and

if not, what does and what doesn’t??

I keep reading about, but haven’t done anything that really seemed to need it, and wonder if that’s only because I don’t know what I’m doing. :slight_smile:

There are so many good reasons to block. It improves stitch definition, especially in lace and can improve the fit and shape of a garment.

There are some things like lace and colorwork that really need to be blocked.

Does everything need blocking? No. But most things would look better if you did.

That said, I rarely block anything. But I think about how I should most of the time. :aww:

Yes, I agree mostly with zkimom. Most things do look better for blocking.

The exception? To me, items using cables and textured stitches like popcorns lose by being squashed. They are much better for being left as knitted.


Natural fibers should typically be blocked, particularly when knitting garments. It ensures that all of the pieces are the proper dimensions which makes sewing, for instance, sleeves onto a sweater easier. Synthetic fibers usually cannot be blocked, so if you are knitting a form-fitting garment out of an acrylic yarn make sure you knit it precisely to the measurements that will fit your body (or the intended recipient’s) so that it will fit well without being blocked to size.

Scarves, hats and socks usually don’t have to be blocked, but you can make that decision when you see the finished piece. If you’re pleased with it then don’t sweat it. If it looks a bit curled around the edges or a bit puckered along one side, by all means block it. For example, many people prefer blocking an Entrelac scarf because it really helps straighten up where you have worked the short rows. It really makes the woven effect “pop”.

Some people say you should never block ribbing, but that is a myth. Granted, there are ways to properly block a ribbed piece so as not to effect the integrity of the rib pattern, but you can block ribbing none the less. It’s a matter of preference.

Block? I’m supposed to block? LOL!! I block very little. I’m too impatient and want to wear what I just made. My mom taught me to block by gently washing things and then laying them out on the blocking board with pins and shaping things just so. I have a friend that simply lays her work out on a large piece of cardboard (left over from when she got a new refrigerator) and then sprays it with water until it is just damp. I like her version better and have adopted it for the few things that I actually take time to block. I NEVER block socks.