How to Wet-Block Knitting or Crochet
11 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Crocheting a Gauge Swatch
When you wet-block a piece of knitting or crochet, you wet it and coax it into its final shape. To wet block your knitting or crochet, you get it completely wet in a sink or basin of water. Have a large towel at the ready.
When blocking your finished piece, consider adding a little gentle soap or wool wash to the water and swish out whatever dirt and grime your piece may have picked up while you worked on it. Just be sure to give it several good rinses, unless you use a no-rinse formula.
Get as much water out of your sweater as you can without stretching or wringing it out.
You can press the piece against the empty sink basin to eliminate some of the water or press the piece between your palms to squeeze a little more water out of it — but don’t wring it out.
Without stretching the piece, spread it out on the towel and fold the ends of the towel over it; then gently and loosely roll up the towel to absorb more water.
You don’t want to get the piece too dry. It should be more wet than damp — just not dripping wet — when you lay it out to block. Plus, if you roll too tightly, you’ll have creases in your knitted piece.
If you’re using blocking wires, unroll the piece and weave in the wires along the edges.
Blocking wires come with instructions on how best to do this.
Gently lay your piece out on the blocking board.
For a stockinette piece, lay it face down on the blocking board; for a textured or cabled sweater, lay it right side up. If your board has a cover with a grid, line up the centerlines of your pieces with the grid.
Spread your piece out to the correct dimensions without distorting the direction of the stitches.
Using your schematic for reference and the grid as a guide, start at the center.
Pin and smooth all pieces.
Use pins (preferably T-pins) and pin only a few places to keep the piece flat. Run your palms lightly over the piece to help keep everything smooth and even.
Sculpt your piece while it’s wet, then allow it to dry.
Drying may take a day or so. If you’re in a hurry, you can get your piece to dry in a matter of hours by placing a fan in front of it. The bigger the fan, the quicker the piece dries. A window fan does the trick in no time.