How to Wet Block your Knitting

Have you ever spent hours knitting that perfect gift for your loved one, only to find that the end result was less than ideal?  There may be some uneven edges and borders, or your work looks just a little bit lumpy.  If you’d like your knitting to have that finished store bought look, then wet blocking is the way to go.

In this post I will walk you through how I wet blocked a baby blanket that I made.

As you can see in the before photo above, the cables look bunchy and do not lay flat.  The yarn needs to be relaxed in order for the stitch detail to be seen.  I also found that the blanket measured small and I hoped to increase the size a bit by relaxing the fibres of the yarn.  This yarn in particular is Knit Picks Swish worsted weight yarn, which is 100% Superwash Merino Wool.  Its very important to understand the fibre content and care instructions of the yarn you are using before you wet it.   The care instructions for this yarn say that you can machine wash gentle cycle and lay flat to dry so I wasn’t too worried about getting it wet.

Why Wet Block

You may want to wet block your work for the following reasons

  • Even out lumps and bumps
  • Make your stitches look more evenly spaced
  • Stretch and shape the finished work to match pattern dimensions
  • Add length to your work

Before you Start – Precautions

Before you get started with wet blocking its important to read the wash and care instructions of the yarn you are using.  Some materials and novelty yarns simply cannot be wet.  Also, acrylic yarns may need to be steam blocked instead of wet blocked to hold their shape (the heat melts the plastic in the fibres).  In this post I am only going to cover wet blocking with natural fibres.

Getting Started – What you will Need

  • Towels
  • Tape measure
  • T-Pins for pinning your work
  • Your knitting or crochet pattern to reference for the finished dimensions
  • Spray bottle or sink with water
  • Flat even surface to lay out your work (I use the carpeted floor in my bedroom)

Step 1: Weave in all loose ends

Weave in the loose ends before you start.  The wet blocking process will actually help lock in the weaved in ends.

Step 2:  Wet the Fabric

You can wet the fabric either by soaking it in a sink or basin full of water, or by laying it flat and spraying it with spray bottle until the fibres are very wet.


Step 3: Gently Remove the Excess Water

Very gently press out the excess water.  Be careful not to wring out the water as you will damage the delicate fibres.  For large projects like blankets, carefully lay it out flat on a thick towel and then roll it so that the towel absorbs the extra water as shown in the photos below.


Step 4: Pin into Place and Dry

Lay the work out on a towel or blocking mat on a flat surface.  You can use pins to pin it into place so that it will dry exactly how you have laid it out.  Use a tape measure to ensure that all sides are even and symmetrical and match your pattern requirements.


And that is it! All you have to do now is wait about 24-48 hours until your work is completely dry.  Here are some photos of what my baby blanket looked like after blocking.  The wet blocking process also increased the dimensions of the blanket considerably in this case.  The initial measurements before blocking were 27 inches x 19 inches, and after blocking the blanket measured 37 inches x 24 inches!


The pattern for the blanket used in this wet blocking demo is available for purchase for $5.00 USD (just click the button below to purchase the PDF file).


I hope you enjoyed this wet blocking tutorial!  If you did, please share it on your favorite social media site.

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5 Responses

  1. This is a great idea and adds a wonderful look to the blanket . I am impressed the blanket is larger as well this is neat.

    1. Great question! It depends on the yarn. Some yarns do lose their shape when wet, so its a good idea to lay flat to dry. You can usually tell by the care instructions on the yarn label.

  2. I have stirred up quite a discussion on a FB knitting group by sharing the dramatic change after wet blocking the cable blanket. I, too, thought it must be two separate cable stitches, but after seeing the photos of the process, I saw the transformation. I have a feeling that some did not bother to go look!

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