How to Block Branching Out Scarf?

Hi y’all!

I have never blocked before, but I know, from seeing before/after pictures here, what a difference it makes in a piece.

I just finished the Branching Out Scarf. I made it out of elsebeth lavold, which is 65% wool and 35% silk.

The instructions for the pattern say to soak it it in cold water and lay out to dry.

How do y’all suggest I do this?

I did a bit of research and found a bit on that tells some basic stuff, so I know I need to buy blocking pins.

What do I pin it to? Can I pin it to something portable and set it outside to dry quicker (I live in FL, so it’s quite warm these days), or will the yarn fade?

Thanks for your advice. :muah:

The best bet is to lay a bunch of towels out on a bed or on the floor of a room (where pets, kids and unsuspecting husbands can’t step on it) and pin it on down. You don’t need “blocking pins” specifically, just be sure to get rust proof pins. You can set fans on it to dry it quicker. You probably could block it out side on the deck or something - just use towels laid out and the pins will hold in the towels.

One of my favorite investment was the Lace Blocking Kit from Knit Picks. It is fabulous for blocking lace, sweater parts and SO many other things - it blocks perfectly!

Here’s the way I block my lace. I use the carpeted floor in my guest room.

Run a white sewing thread up the edge stitches of both long sides. Leave ends at least 1 foot longer than you expect the scarf to block out to.

Sit in sink full of cold water for about 5 minutes.

Lift [color=red]carefully[/color] onto a large white bathtowel.

Wrap wet scarf and step on towel to remove as much moisture as possible, but DON’T twist or stretch scarf.

Spread clean white sheet on bedroom carpet.

Make a loop (kind of like a lasso loop) at each end of the thread. Pin the top loops of each long edge to the floor through the sheet as wide apart as you want the scarf to be.

Pin the top edge to the floor with pins every 2 or 3 stitches.

Work on down the scarf, keeping the width between the edges even and stretching the length until the pattern looks correct. Every 6 inches or so I put a pin inside the white thread to keep the width correct.

When you get to the bottom of the scarf, pin the bottom loops out very taut. Pin the bottom edge out straight every 2 or 3 stitches just like you did the top.

Let dry (and keep any pets OUT of the room :teehee: ).

When fully dry, remove pins, cut the bottom loops off and pull the thread out of the edges from the top loops.

I think this is the best way to get nice straight sides on a scarf, shawl or wrap if you don’t have blocking wires.

I hope we get to see a picture of the finished product!

Happy Blocking!!!


Wow! And I thought all of the hard work was over! Whew!

Thanks for the help. I guess I know what I’ll be doing on Sunday!


we have to wait a WHOLE WEEK to see it?

o well
hope it goes well



Actually, I’m going to Walmart today to hunt down those pins.

But, if you read my “Brain is Tired and Fried” topic over in the General Knitting/OT forum, you would totally understand why.

Will post a picture soon.

I live in California and prefer to block outside also. Mainly coz I live near the ocean and the humidity is so high the thing would never dry out if I tried to block inside.

The best blocking surface in my opinion is an inexpensive slab of styrofoam that you can get from a good sized hardware store or home improvement store. They usually have them in with the insulation. They are only a few dollars. The store that I bought mine at had ones that were 3 feet x 6 feet so I got a couple so I can do shawls 6’ x 6’

I put them out on the deck. Get whatever it is that I am blocking wet and then pin it out on the styrofoam. I use regular push pins that they sell in the stationary dept. for bulletin boards. They don’t seem to rust. The styrofoam is great because it holds the garment in place while I’m putting the pins in. The pins stay where I put them and the styrofoam isn’t harmed by the water. Even large shawls are usually completely dry in a couple of hours if the sun is out.

What an interesting idea!

Well, I have the scarf blocking right now on a towel in my extra bedroom (pinned to the carpet). I sure hope I did it right. I was scared that I would stretch it out too much.

Keeping my fingers crossed…


I’m sure it’s dry by now. Can we see a picture, pretty please? :teehee:



It’s over in the Whatcha Knitting forum. I didn’t take a picture of the whole thing, though. Just one end.

I will say that blocking is NOT easy! I had the whole thing pinned before I thought about using a tape measure to make sure it was the same width. For someone who is such a perfectionist in other areas of my life, I just am not in this area.

So, it probably didn’t turn out as wide as the pattern says, although it could be my gauge too since I am a tight knitter – although I did purposely try to keep a very loose tension on the yarn while I was knitting.

Anyhow, it’s done, and I am happy. I will probably purchase the lace blocking wires that KP has on their site though. I’ll probably also try to make a blocking board.

I finally invested in a blocking board and blocking wires and blocking pins.
And, a swift and ball winder. After 35 years of knitting! :eyebrow:

Long story short, if you can afford these investments, it is money well spent!

IMHO the “knitting” is half the project. The “finishing” is the other half and just as important to produce a quality result. Think of it this way: the knitting is the “cake”…the finishing is the “frosting work”! What would one be without the other?

I used to shortcut around on finishing techniques, mostly because I didn’t know any better. I took a class at my LYS called Finishing Techniques about 5 years ago. THAT was an eye-opener, but I must say, my finished knitted items really look professional now! The class was also well worth the investment!