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I recently came across blocking.  Up until now the the word itself put the fear of God in to me.  And then, on Christmas Eve, when my dad’s scarf refused to do anything except curl in to an ugly tube I realised I was going to have to bite the bullet and give it a try.

I honestly don’t know why I haven’t done it before! It was so easy!

Here are the simple instructions that I use to do my blocking.

You will need:

– Warm water – not to hot, you should be able to put your fingers in it

– Wool wash

– A towel (or 2 towels if you want to use one to cover your blocking surface)

– Non-rusting pins

– A firm surface you can push pins in to to block on (a mattress, foam boards etc)

What you do:

– Run a bowl/sink of warm water and add a a small amount of wool wash, I’d say for a scarf I’d use about 2 teaspoons

– Put your item in to the warm water, make sure that it is all in the water and leave to soak for 15 minutes

– Remove the item from the water and squeeze as much water out of it as you can

– Lay the towl on a flat surface and lay your piece out on the towel so that it is flat, now roll the towel up with the item inside it, I now put the towel on the floor and walk on the roll, this helps squeeze out more water (you’ll be amazed how much water yarn items retain)

– Unroll the towel and remove your item

– Prepare the blocking surface by covering it with a towel if you desire

– Pin your item to the blocking surface in to the shape you want it to take, I push the pins in at an angle (point towards the centre of the item, heads leaning out away from the item)

– Leave to dry, and I mean really dry, I leave my single thickness, DK/8 Ply pieces for at least 12 hours (and yes it takes a lot of self restraint but I know that if I unpin it too early it’s just going to curl up again)

When you unpin your item it should hold the shape you pinned it in!  Clever huh?!

I know this method works for 100% Wool yarns, I have tried it with both alpaca and sheep wool and the results have been super.

Pictures to follow soon.