Wet Blocking

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Immersion Method

What You Need

  • A finished knit
  • A basin for water (sink, tub, bowl, etc.)
  • Cool water
  • Wool wash (optional)
  • Two (or more) large, colorfast bath towels
  • A soft, moisture-proof surface to pin into (blocking mats are really only interlocking floor mats marketed to knitters - I get mine in the garage section at Costco)
  • Rustproof blocking wires and pins
  • A measuring implement like a ruler or tape measure
  • A fan to speed up the drying process (optional)

Procedure

  1. Weave in all ends invisibly on the wrong side of the knit before blocking.
  2. Animal fibers felt when at least two of these three factors are present: moisture, heat, and agitation. Since we are forced to use one felting factor during wet blocking - moisture, we are avoiding heat and agitation.
  3. Fill a sink or basin with cool water, adding a capful of your favorite wool wash. The cool water removes one felting factor: heat. Look for soaps that are rinseless, which don’t require you to give your fabric a second soak in plain water.
  4. Fully submerge your knit and gently press out as many air bubbles as possible. Here we are removing a second felting factor: agitation. Pressing is gentler than squeezing, twisting, or wringing. The idea is to have all of the fiber fully saturated with moisture. Continue pressing out air from the fabric until it remains underwater.
  5. Let the knit soak for at least 10 minutes, allowing the water to fully infiltrate the fibers.
  6. Drain sink and press (again: no agitation, do not squeeze, wring, or twist) as much water out of your knit as possible.
  7. Place your knit on a bath towel on the floor. Cover it with another bath towel. Roll up your knit and the towels like a burrito. Step on the towel burrito, using your body weight to remove excess moisture from the knit.
  8. Remove your knit from the towels and check that the fabric now feels damp instead of dripping wet. If it is still very wet, repeat the towel burrito process with dry towels.
  9. Lay knit flat on a moisture-proof surface. Use rust-proof blocking wires in the edges and rust-proof pins to pin the knit into the shape of the schematic.
  10. Allow to dry completely before removing pins and wires.

Misting Method

What You Need

Procedure