How to Block Your Knitting

Blocking is a simple but vital step which will greatly improve the look of even the most beginner knitting. If you have made the effort to hand-knit something, it deserves to be blocked.

Check out our Knitter's Block kit and our Sweater Care Kit for all the tools you'll need. 

What is Blocking?

Blocking is the process of wetting or steaming your final pieces of knitting to set the finished size and even out the stitches.

You could use any flat surface to block your garments (I'm partial to the Knitter’s Block), just be sure that your knitted piece lies flat and fully dries so that its shape sets. Don't forget to check that moisture doesn't soak through and damage anything underneath it. (This has happened to me, which is why I developed the Knitter's Block — the blocks are backed with waterproof EVA so you can safely block on a bed, table or floor.)

Always block your finished pieces before seaming. By flattening and setting the shape of your pieces, you will be able to more easily line up your stitches to seam them together.

The fiber content of the yarn and the stitch pattern of your knitting will often determine how you block your finished pieces. Below you’ll find instructions on wet blocking, which is my preferred method.

Instructions for How To Block Your Knitting


Step 1: Wetting

Soak your knitted item in gentle wash per the yarn label instructions. If you have a Sweater Care Kit, you may choose to use the Eucalan Fabric Wash that comes with the kit.

While your item is soaking, set up the surface that you will using for blocking. If you’re using the Knitter’s Block, configure the tiles to accommodate your knitted item.

Drain the water, then gently squeeze (don’t wring) your knitting and roll it in a towel to extract as much moisture as possible.


Step 2: Blocking


Lay your damp knitting right-side up on the your blocking surface and gently nudge the piece to your finished measurements.

If you’re using the Knitter’s Block, place the gingham cloth onto the assembled tiles so it will be under your knitting. Each check measures approximately 1" square. Lay your damp knitting RS up onto the checked cloth and use the checks as a guide to get your correct finished measurements.

Pin the knitted item around the edges, placing the pins at an angle, with the top of the pin pointing away from the garment. Place the first pin in the top center, moving to the bottom center as you pin the piece to the correct length. Next, pin your work to the correct width (if blocking a sweater, start with the bust width). Fill in around the edges, always referring to your finished measurements.

Allow to air dry.


Arrange your damp knitting on your blocking surface and gently nudge and smooth the piece to your finished measurements.

If you’re using the Knitter’s Block, the tiles will gently grip your knitting so that the sweater stays in place. Place the checked cloth over the knitted item to check sizing if necessary.

To help hold rolling edges down either use a few T-pins or dampen a cloth and use its weight to hold down your knitting.

Allow to air dry.


Step 3: Steaming (optional)

  • Set the temperature of your iron to the lowest setting that allows steam.
  • While the iron is heating, saturate a cloth with water and squeeze out the excess so that it is no longer dripping but still very wet (not just damp).
  • For very heavy blocking (thick, coarse wool that you are trying to soften up, for instance) you can spray the whole piece with water from a clean spray bottle. This step is not necessary for medium/light blocking.
  • Lay the wet blocking cloth over the top of your pinned piece.
  • Gently use the iron to steam the entire piece in an up and down motion (never side to side) without any pressure. Using pressure may ruin your knitting.
  • Just barely touch the pressing cloth with the iron and hold it there a few seconds. Move on to the next spot until the whole piece has been steamed. The moisture of the steam is what does the blocking.

For light blocking, you can now lift the cloth and allow the knitting to dry.

For medium/heavy blocking, leave the cloth in place until it has dried. If your knitting is still damp, allow it to dry before removing.

Regardless of whether you block with or without steam, make sure your pieces are dry before moving them.



After you have sewn your garment together you may wish to steam the seams, especially if they are bulky or stiff. For shoulder and armhole seams, use a terry cloth hand towel folded and then rolled to the size and shape of your upper arm. Turn the garment inside out and fit the rolled towel into the shoulder and armhole openings. Steam the seams gently by using the wet pressing cloth and steam iron, and just barely touching the pressing cloth with the iron. Let the steam do the work.



Hi Sima,
Of course it is up to you—you may just want to wear it right away! But to even out the band stitches and the seams, you probably want to block it again. To speed up the process, you could try steaming it lightly or spraying with water instead of wet blocking.
All that work makes the Cocoknits sweaters with bands and collars knit as you go, such as Lizzie, Franca, and Sarah, sound like more fun!


Hi Robin,
Sorry to hear about your mishap! We usually air dry inside. If you do it outside, you have to be absolutely sure it is in complete shade, and protected from local wildlife. We hope everything works out with your sweater!


I am knitting a cardigan and I understand I need to block the pieces before seaming them together. Well, the instructions state that after I seam the shoulders, I am to knit the buttonhole band and button band along the edges of the cardigan and around the neck.
So my question is, after I have added the buttonhole and button band and seamed the entire cardigan, should I then wet block the whole cardigan so that the bands get blocked as well? Or may I skip blocking a second time because the bands don’t need blocking?

Beth Anderson

Can I ask what is meant by air drying? I blocked a sweater outside in the shade but the upper side has bleached and is now a different colour from the underside. I’m currently trying to block the other way round so that both sides are the same.


Hi Robin, Yes, we recommend that you block before seaming. It makes the process easier. You could lightly steam the areas to be seamed if you don’t want to block the whole sweater at this point.


I have just finished knitting a gorgeous striped dolman sleeve cardigan from Isager. It’s wool and knit in one piece. I have 2 short side seams to sew and need to join neck pieces and then seam that to the body. I am rather anxious about doing this correctly. The sweater has been a labor of love for my daughter. The sweater has great shape and evenness already. Should I wet and block it before tackle sewing the seams?


Hi Bronwen, Yes, blocking all your squares to the recommended measurements will help standardize the squares and make assembly easier. How much you can change their measurements will depend on the yarn you used, so check the instructions in the pattern and on your yarn label for more information. For natural fibers, blocking can be magic!


Thanks for this information, I’m relearning knitting so I did a blanket kit, each square was a different stitch, not surprisingly I’ve ended up with different sized squares! Can I use this blocking method to stretch my smaller squares to match the larger ones?


Hi Sue,

Yes we understand. We do ship to Australia but you’ll be much better off with shipping costs/delivery time if you purchase from a yarn store closer to you. Skein Sisters would be a good option for you, they’re located in Australia. Here’s a link to their Cocoknits product page :) Hope that helps – stay safe and healthy!


Are you able to post to Australia. We are all stuck inside and we need access to lovely things like this to keep us sane :-)


Hi Sue,

You can if it fits! We recommend using our Knitter’s Block for items that are larger and don’t lay flat on your board. You can configure the squares to the shape of your item and the material holds T-pins nicely. Hope that helps!

Sue Humphreys

Hi if I haven’t got a blocking board can I use an ironing board to block my granddaughters cardigans on.



Hi Katie,

Every yarn and stitch is going to block differently, so unfortunately we can’t estimate your final gauge for you. Because it’s a sweater, we do recommend blocking it with whatever you have around. Although it’s not ideal, if you just wet the swatch, roll in a towel, and dry flat somewhere that will give you a safer estimate than nothing!


Hi, I have a swatch that I am unable to block (don’t have the supplies for blocking in my current location)— the gauge swatch is 3 1/4" for 20 stitches in a cable pattern after blocking, and I have 3" currently. This is for a sweater— will that end up working out if you had to guess?


Hi Kathi, We’re sorry to hear about this! We recommend gently pushing the stitches together so they are closer, but not bunching. Plan B, you could put it in the dryer, but be extremely careful. Check it often to see its progress in shrinking. Moving forward we recommend blocking your swatch to get gauge because some yarns just grow when blocked (alpaca is a popular fiber to grow significantly). Even if it wasn’t blocked the cowl would likely growth with use, so it’s often better to just block in the beginning. I hope that helps!

Kathi Littwin

Hello, doing my first blocking item today. it’s a cowl that dry measures 12″ × 48″. Wet it gotten huge almost double in length and I’m finding it very hard to compress it into the proper size. Any suggestions.


Hi Vllma,

Your yarn is bleeding, we recommend sharing this information with the yarn company and asking their suggestions for blocking. It’s an issue due to the specific type of yarn you’re using (likely the dye for that color) rather than blocking. If you’re concerned about bleeding you could use cold water instead, but that’s not a guarantee to totally fix the problem – some yarns will bleed regardless.

Hope that helps!


I’m not lucky when I have to block my knitting projects. Recently I made the failing point shawl the beauty of this wrap is gradient technique. I have dark green color to ivory in between beautiful speckle color.whenI blocked the dark color bleed. Can you explain me what I’m doing wrong.maybe I’m not supposed to use the wetting technique. Wish I can send you pictures.


Thank you for the blocking information. I have been wondering how to treat the seams of my sweater so they wouldn’t be so bulky. I am very happy to learn the technique of rolling up a terry cloth towel to shape the seam.

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