The Benefits of Blocking Your Garments

We are people who enjoy working closely with fibers to either knit or crochet and we all know that sometimes yarn can be extremely stubborn. Your stockinette curls or your lace isn't draping right or that little crocheted top you just whipped up is pulling in on one side... You know what can fix that? Blocking.

Blocking is the use of water (and in our favorite case its steam) to relax the stitches and settle them into a shape that suits our needs. Oftentimes blocking is simply about smoothing out stockinette or to hide a few problem stitches that were more loose or tight than the rest of the fabric. The garment is wired through the edge stitches and pinned to a surface. Steam is gently applied to fix any issues and the garment is left to dry to preserve the fixed stitches.

To begin blocking you will need a few things and all the items we use in the store and by professionals you will find available to order on this page:

  • Blocking Board: This piece of equipment needs to be able to absorb a great deal of steam heat and moisture.
  • Blocking Wires & Pins: Blocking wires, ran through the edges of your piece, will keep those stitches straight and make for a very professional edge. Pins will keep the garment stretched to the correct dimensions on your board and are a perfect accompanyment to wires. There are several thicknesses of wires as well as strengths. Its important to get sturdier ones for straight edges and bendier ones for clean curves.
  • Steamer: A steamer will vary in power. We prefer the ones that stand up and have a wall plug-in with a large resevoir.

Blocking Mats

Coco Knit's Knitter's Blocks - 9 Tiles

Knitter's Pride Blocking Mats

Born out of necessity, the Coco Knit's Knitter's Blocking Sets are versatile, lightweight, and compact.

  • Very low, lightly barbed pile
  • fabric covering gently grips your knitting without pilling or leaving fibers
  • 9 blocks, each 12"x12"
  • Heat resistant
  • essential for steam blocking
  • Thick backing of waterproof EVA
  • suitable for use on any surface since moisture won’t seep through
  • Because the tiles don't absorb water, blocked items will dry faster than with towels and cloths
  • holds pins firmly in place.
  • Versatile
  • can be assembled in a variety of sizes from a square for sweater pieces, a long rectangle for scarves or a triangle for shawls
  • Compact
  • mats are stored in a sturdy 14”x14” bag

An affordable option to block your projects, Knitter's Pride Blocking Mat Sets are versatile, lightweight, and compact.

  • 9 blocks, each 11.8"x11.8"
  • Heat resistant
  • essential for steam blocking
  • suitable for use on any surface since moisture won’t seep through
  • holds pins firmly in place.
  • Versatile
  • can be assembled in a variety of sizes from a square for sweater pieces, a long rectangle for scarves or a triangle for shawls
  • Compact
  • mats are stored in a 14”x14” bag

Clover Quilting Pins

Clover Quilting Pins

Long Pins, heat resistant and can be ironed. Pin heads make them easy to grab! Sturdy but thin shanks make them slide smoothly into the blocking boards. This is what I use! 100 pins in a hard clear plastic box.

Angelika Recommends!

Sweater Finishing with Leslye Solomon:

how to professionally block, seam and finish your knit or crocheted garments DVD


For Machine Knitters:

Sweater Finishing with Leslye Solomon DVD

Instead of skeletons in your closet, is there a bag filled with four knitted pieces just waiting to become a sweater? You spent all that money on the yarn and all those hours knitting it, why stop now? Finally, here is the video that gives a close-up and private lesson that answers so manyof your finishing questions for hand and machine knitters.

In this video you will learn:

  • How to block using Blockers or blocking wire sets.. 
  • How to treat various fibers.
  • Two methods of joining shoulder stitches for a flawless and invisible seam.
  • Learn how to pick up around the neck edge.
  • How to pick up the side of a drop shoulder sweater and knit down towards the cuff.
  • For machine knitters see how to cast off 1 x 1 ribbing so the end looks as good as the beginning.
  • Learn how to install a set in sleeve and see how to do the best invisible side seams ever.
  • How to begin the edge of the seam to get the most even edge.
  • Learn how to install zippers, weave in ends, make reversible seams for afghans, improve the look of cardigan bands.
  • How to lengthen and shorten knits, and more. . .
  • Fiber Dreams Blocking Wires

    Fiber Dreams Blocking Wires

    This no-frills lace blocking wire set is especially good for blocking your lace and other light weight knitting and crochet projects. You get a baker’s dozen (13) light-weight, stainless steel blocking wires (dressing wires). Each wire is 3 feet long. Set comes packaged in an attractive, slim plastic storage tube (tube diameter is just ˝ inch) with a beautiful frosted finish.

    Wires need to be wiped with a soft cloth prior to first use to remove the minimal manufacturing residue.

    The plastic tubes are custom made to Fiber Dream's specifications. After receiving the tubes from the manufacturer, they are sanded and buffed on the ends, so that each tube is smooth, beautiful, and nick-free.

    Fiber Dreams Worsted Weight Blocking Wires ®

    Fiber Dreams Lace Weight Blocking Wires ®

    Fiber Fantasy's Blockers Kit ®

    ($27.95 + $2 add'l shipping** ) Fiber Fantasy Blockers Kit

    It's not your fault that the stockinette stitch curls, or cable and rib knit fabrics sometime shrink in too much. What can you do when fairisle knitting puckers, tuck stitchlooks like a waffle, or your sweater is not quite the size or shape you thought it would be? Blocking your sweaters before you put them together could greatly improve the final product. You'll do this by slightly stretching or spreading this over-elastic fabric while lightly steaming it.

    Now you don't have to use a million pins when you block. Just insert these stainless steel, rust-proofwires along the edge of your unfinished pieces. The Blockers stop the curling so you can easily pin and steam to your desired measurement. Blockers act as a handle for every edge of your knitted piece. No longer will you need to pin every inch unsatisfactorily "scalloping"the edge of your knitted piece. Try our Blockers kit and you'll wonder how you ever lived without them.

    Blockers kit includes more than enough to do a sweater: 8 (36") 4 (18") stiff Blockers, two27" flexible Blockers (for sleeve caps and armholes), 30 T-pins and a yardstick for measuring. Blocking instructions are included.

    **To keep the wires and ruler from damage, I can only ship these sets in a USPS Priority Mail Tube. While the kits are very light, the tube jumps the weight up to 2 lbs.

    Fiber Fantasy Blockers Refill

    Blockers Refill Kits 10 - 18" ridgid wires

    Blockers Refill Kit 10 - 36" ridgid wires

    Blockers Refill Kit 10 - 27" flexible wires

    Jiffy Steamers

    Whether to damp block, steam block or iron is a controversial subject with knitters and crocheters. It is good to have tried all types of blocking and to use whatever method works best for the type of fabric you have produced.

    I work a lot with wool and wool blends. Wool, alpaca, mohair, etc (not angora) really need a nice steam blocking in my opinion. The stitches which once looked "wrinkled" will now look relaxed and professionally finished. The key is to not "press" the fabric, flattening the texture.

    The Jiffy Steamer I have is the J2. At the time, it was the only one available through my distributor. I've used it for removing wallaper and the teenagers loved it for their dressier dates. It still is steaming away, 15 years later. With appropriate care, it could be the last steamer you will buy.

    J-2 Steamer

    (free shipping)

    This is the model I've been using for 15 years. The stats on it says a 2-minute warm-up, but I think it is less.

    It has a solid brass heating element, 1300 watts of steaming power. An impact resistant 1-gallon water reservoir. I think the one I'm using is the original one. I don't recall ever replacing it. But replacements are available. Just lift it out and take it to the sink to fill it. A full gallon lasts for about 2 hours.

    Also 360 degree swivel casters for mobility and that's nice. I'm always pulling and pushing it around. The external case is metal, and often it is my foot that manipulates it around.

    This unit incorporates many of the same components found in the commercial grade steamers and, with proper maintenance, will provide years of service.

    Both models have a fusible link with automatic shut-off for safety.

    J-2000 Steamer

    (free shipping)

    The Model J-2000 has the same lightweight, flexible hose and easy-roll casters for mobility as the Model J-2, but with an updated design and several ergonomics features. This model heats up in 1 minute.

    It has a nice streamlined body, and is very stable. Easy to push around the floor.

    The external case is a heavy weight-industrial plastic. Quite ridgid. They call it high-impact polymer outer housing. Comes equipped with a clear, plastic 3/4 gallon water reservoir with a no-drip check valve system, a 5 ˝ foot flexible hose with a plastic steaming head.

    The low profile, easy-to-handle water reservoir holds three-quarters of a gallon of water for 1.5 hours of steaming.

    The Jiffy Steamers ship UPS, from the factory, usually within 2-3 days.