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Sometimes, after you have finished a knitting or crochet project, the end result can be less than perfect looking. There may be some uneven edges and borders, or your work looks a little lumpy. If you’d like your finished work to have that perfect store bought look, then wet blocking is the way to go.
In this post I will walk you through how I wet blocked a baby blanket that I made. Here is a photo of what it looked like coming off the needles.
The cables look bunchy and you can’t really see the stitch details. Also, the blanket measured small and I hoped to increase the size a bit by relaxing the fibres of the wool. This yarn in particular is Knit Picks Swish worsted weight yarn, which is 100% Superwash Merino Wool. Its very important to understand the fibre content and care instructions of the yarn you are using before you wet it. The care instructions for this yarn say that you can machine wash gentle cycle and lay flat to dry so I was not worried about getting it wet.
Why Wet Block
You may want to wet block your work for the following reasons
- Even out lumps and bumps
- Make your stitches look more evenly spaced
- Stretch and shape the finished work to match pattern dimensions
- Add length to your work
Before you Start – Precautions
Before you get started with wet blocking you should always read the wash and care instructions of the yarn you are using. Some materials and novelty yarns simply cannot be wet. Also, acrylic yarns may need to be steam blocked instead of wet blocked to hold their shape (the heat melts the plastic in the fibres). In this post I am only going to cover wet blocking with natural fibres.
Getting Started – What you will Need
- Tape measure
- T-Pins for pinning your work
- Your knitting or crochet pattern to reference for the finished dimensions
- Spray bottle or sink with water
- Flat even surface to lay out your work (I use the carpeted floor in my bedroom)
Step 1: Weave in all loose ends
You should weave in the loose ends before you start. The wet blocking process will actually help lock in the weaved in ends.
Step 2: Wet the Fabric
You can wet the fabric either by soaking it in a sink or basin full of water, or by laying it flat and spraying it with spray bottle until the fibres are very wet.
Step 3: Gently Remove the Excess Water
Very gently press out the excess water. You have to be careful not to wring out the water as you will damage the delicate fibres. For large projects like blankets, you can carefully lay it out flat on a thick towel and then roll it so that the towel absorbs the extra water as shown in the photos below.
Step 4: Pin into Place and Dry
Lay the work out on a towel or blocking mat on a flat surface. You can use pins to pin it into place so that it will dry exactly how you have laid it out. Use a tape measure to ensure that all sides are even and symmetrical and match your pattern requirements.
And that is it! All you have to do now is wait about 24-48 hours until your work is completely dry. Here are some photos of what my baby blanket looked like after blocking. Way better in my opinion! It also increased the dimensions of the blanket considerably. The initial measurements before blocking were 27 inches x 19 inches, and after blocking the blanket measured 36 inches x 24 inches!
If you would like to make this blanket yourself, you can purchase it from my Etsy or Craftsy shops.