Learn to Knit in 10 Simple Steps

8.  Blocking Your Scarf

What the heck does this mean?  A completed knitting project often looks crumpled or off center when it is bound off.  For the most part, this is normal and can be remedied by a process known as blocking.

There are a couple of different ways to block a knitted piece.  I’m going to discuss the most basic approach.  Remember, we are keeping things simple. You will need an ironing board, a steam iron, and a damp towel or pressing cloth.  I love to use those old linen calendars that my grandmother hung up in her kitchen every year, but a small towel will also work.

Dampen the towel.  You want it wet to the touch, but not dripping.  Lay your scarf flat on the ironing board.  Place the towel over the scarf, beginning at one end.  Place the hot iron (heated to the wool setting with steam) on top of the towel and let it sit there for about 10 – 15 seconds.  Do not rub the iron back and forth – you are not ironing, you are blocking!  Just let it sit for the allotted time and then pick it up.  Be careful, the towel and scarf may be hot and steamy.

Lift up the towel.  You will notice that the scarf is flattened a bit and damp.  The damp wool will be quite pliable, so this is the time to reshape any crumpling. Continue with the blocking until the entire scarf has been done.

If the scarf is still off center or out of shape, it may be necessary to fasten it to the ironing board using rust proof pins.  Arrange the scarf into the correct shape and pin it to the ironing board. The scarf will then dry into the proper shape.

9.  Let Your Scarf Dry

When you are finished blocking your project, it will be damp.  Your knitting will need to dry completely so that it can retain the correct shape.  I usually leave projects right on the ironing board, or I may roll them into a dry towel and unroll the towel on top of my dryer.  The warmth from the dryer can speed up the drying process.  Don’t put your project into the dryer, however.  You will be horrified by the result.

I also know a knitter that places a towel over an old window screen and dries the knitting on the towel. And of course, you can purchase pricey racks and blocking tiles which also work.  My grandmother would be appalled.

10.  Enjoy Your Completed Project

Once your project is dry, enjoy it!  Show it off!  Tell people that you knit it yourself; believe me, they will be impressed.  And begin to plan your next knitting adventure.  Knitting is good for you. It can help relieve stress, induce weight loss, and gives you a feeling of accomplishment.  Plus, you can teach your grandkids someday!

“Featured Image: All Rights Reserved Photo by Catkin

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