The Power of the Block

I know this is football season, but this has nothing to do with your frontline. Instead of big, beefy guys, I’m taking about yarn—specifically what to do when you think your project is done.

When we go on a road trip, think hours and hours in the car, I usually bring a project. So for the drive over to Lake Chelan, I grabbed a couple of my yarn shop tour patterns just waiting to be knitted up.

By the time we arrived home, they were done—almost. One was a scarf made in sock-weight yarn with beautiful cables and open work. The other was a shawlette in worsted with lovely a knitted-on, scalloped edge. The shawl probably would have been fine without blocking, but the scarf would never do.

I simply soaked both in their individual bowls with warm water and a little Woolite. My new yarn book suggests 20 minutes to let the fibers loosen up; but if you’ve been out of town for a week and need to restock the fridge, an hour or two works just fine.

Here’s what they looked like when I pulled them out of their bath. (You should also squeeze them gently, roll them in a towel to get rid of the excess moisture, and lay them out carefully to avoid stretching the wet fibers.)

Scarves before

I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly not going to wear that scarf when it’s all wonky. After counting stitches, placing markers, keeping track of rows, and learning the pattern, I want this thing to look amazing not crazy.

Don’t you worry, all we need are a few blocking wires and some pins. To get rid of the snakes.


And turn them into lovely honeycombs.


Sometimes finishing can make a huge difference. After pinning them out, I just left my knitting to dry.

Scarves after

They’re still not perfect, but now the beautiful pattern shines through. So take that extra time to make all your knitting look beautiful.

What are you working on now that the weather has started to turn?



5 thoughts on “The Power of the Block

  1. Oh so beautiful. I remember Mom blocking all over any carpet, and skirting around, or jumping over (which she did not like me to do) her beautiful work. Sadly, I have out grown the cotton crochet sweaters, jackets, skirts, and I do not have anyone that is that small………….or in interested in having them. How about you, any idea of what to do with them, other than sell at my annual garage sale?

    • Bogart tried to sit on my scarf when I decided it was time to unpin. 😊as for projects from your mom, I love using sweaters to cover pillows. Wool can be felted and made into all sorts of things. Open up a few seams, add some gussets, and knits become very forgiving. It all depends on your style and creativity.

    • Bogart likes to lay own my projects; I’d prefer little feet jumping over them. As for your favorite old sweaters from your mom, they make great pillow covers—cozy and soft. Those pieces that are the wrong size can be reworked with side panels or gussets. Take a leaf out of your friend Rachel’s book, felt the wool sweaters, and turn them into stuffed animals. Good luck!

  2. Pingback: September Potpourri at Our House | big white house on the hill

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