Blocking as a Finishing Touch

Want to make your finished items look even better? Block them! Blocking may seem intimidating, but you really only need a few things from around the house. Read on to become a blocking pro!


  • Hard, flat surface big enough for item to lay flat
  • Towels
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Rust-proof T-shaped pins
  • Spray bottle of water
  • Small fan (optional)


To start, cover your blocking surface with towels. Whatever surface you use needs to be padded enough for the pins to stick in it without damaging what is underneath, but not so padded that it becomes soft.

Lay out your finished item on your blocking surface. Using the T-pins, pin your item into place. Use the ruler or measuring tape to make sure that the sides are even and it is the correct size. Don’t be afraid to stretch your work slightly if necessary. When in doubt, use more pins!

BLockingRuler      Pinned

Spray the item with water from the water bottle. It shouldn’t be soaking wet, but it should be very damp. Leave the item in place overnight or until it is dry. If you live in a humid climate or want to dry your item faster, run a fan across it to help the water evaporate.

Once the item is dry, unpin it and enjoy using it!


Spray      Complete


NoIronWarning: Do not use heat or steam on your items made with acrylic or other man-made fibers. Heat and/or steam will cause the fibers to go limp and possibly stretch.






11 thoughts on “Blocking as a Finishing Touch

  1. Virginia Hoban

    Re: blocking as a finishing touch
    At the risk of sounding like an idiot, is blocking done only to smaller items, or clothing? Are baby blankets usually blocked? They seem a little big for it. I’m crocheting my son a scarf and was going to wash it before giving to him, should I block it first? I made one for myself and it seems fine without blocking it. So my basic bottom-line question is: should you block every crocheted item you make?
    Thanks for your help.

  2. Blanche

    Thank-you Margaret for your reply. Do you recommend spray starch for cotton doilies ?

    • redheart Post author

      Hi Blanche, Thanks for your question! We suggest that you test on your swatch first, since some formulations of spray starch can affect the color of the thread and you don’t want to cause a problem with the finished doily. If it doesn’t affect the color, we suggest only a very light mist.


    Can the babayville boutique plastic snaps be used on knit and crochet items both yarn and thread?

    • redheart Post author

      Dear Cathy, Thank you for your question. We are unfamiliar with this product and so unfortunately cannot answer your question.

  4. Kathy

    Hi Margaret! Is blocking permanent, even after later washing & drying? I just made a wonderfully colorful baby blanket for a gift with Red Heart Super Saver in Banana Berry Print. I just love the colors! The only problem is it has come out a bit wavy or lumpy in some areas, probably due to tension issues. When I lay it out on a table, I can pretty much press it all down flat (does not stay, of course), so I am pretty sure that blocking it will take care of the problems. But will it mantain the blocked shape even after it is washed and dried later on? Thanks so much!

    • redheart Post author

      Hi Kathy, Thank you for your question! Blocking is often undone by washing. The easiest way to reblock something, if you have the space, is to wash it and then pin it down before it is dry. That way you do not have to wet the project again.

  5. Crystal

    I made the mistake of using stream to block an acrylic scarf. Is there any saving it? It’s very limp and stretched out.

    • redheart Post author

      Dear Crystal, Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, steam blocking acrylic “kills” the acrylic fibers. There is no way for them to recover once they are limp and stretched out.

  6. Sandy

    I am knitting a long cable pattern scarf. Should I block this and if so I am open to suggestions on how to proceed. Thanks.

  7. Sandy

    What is the best way to block a long cable pattern knitted scarf?

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