Why should I block?
Have you ever knitted something, sewn it up, tried it on then realized it's a bit snug around the arms or you can't quite see the beautiful pattern you knitted in. Or in the case of a shawl it's come out tiny even though you have followed the pattern exactly. These are all reasons to block.
I have to confess and put my hands up, up until a year ago I never blocked anything and spent half my time disappointed with the final garment. Then Handy Helen one of our knit n natter ladies started taking my garments and shawls away to block for me and they looked amazing afterwards. So that got me thinking I really must start blocking things myself and I started to find a way of doing it.
What do I need for blocking?
Number one you need space to lay your knitting out so either a table top, a piece of floor if you don't have kids and pets to get in the way or a washing line. Then you need either foam blocks the kids foam floor jigsaws are ideal or in my case I use a large duvet cover as I have to block at the shop. You also need pins or blocking pins which we sell or pegs if you using the washing line. It's a simple as that some people use a steamer but that's really not necessary.
So what do I actually do?
You are best blocking a garment in pieces before you sew it together. You can either wet your knitting through first and squeeze some of the water out or wet it with a sprayer afterwards. Pin your knitting out to the measurements given on your pattern and leave it to dry. It's as simple as that. Once it's dry you can then go ahead and sew it together. If you are blocking a shawl or a scarf or anything else that's knitted in one piece make sure you don't sew the ends in until after you have blocked it.
If you are blocking on the washing line, peg your shawl / garment out on the line and then use extra pegs on the bottom as weight's to help pull it into shape.
It's as simple as that and it's well worth doing.