How to block a hat?

I just finished Odessa from Magnits :woohoo:

I’ve read that I can block it on an inflated balloon??! I’ve actually never blocked anything, despite having knit for years now :oops:

Help! Do I get it sopping wet first? Will it really dry on a balloon? I like the balloon idea because I have nowhere to pin it down to block it in the traditional way–a balloon I can prop out of the way of my toddler.

ETA one more question: once I block it and make it all pretty, what would be the best way to send it via mail to its recipient? So I don’t mess up the nice blocking job?

My preference is just to wash it first (whether it is a hat or scarf or sweater or what-have-you). Then while it is still wet, roll it up in a towel and stand on it (if it’s feltable, you don’t want to wring it) to remove excess water.

For hats, an inflated balloon would be fine, but what I usually use is a towel stuffed inside a plastic grocery bag, because this way I can manipulate the shape how I like, and there’s no danger of my cats screwing everything up. :wink: Just leave it that way until it is completely dry, and you’re done with blocking.

Once it’s blocked, it doesn’t seem to matter how you package it, in my experience. What blocking does is “set” your stitches in place. Once the recipient unpacks it and puts it on, everything should be fine.

Thanks so much for the tips! :muah: