How to Wet Block

Blocking can be such a magical process. Stitches smooth out, fibers fall perfectly in place, and your project seems to suddenly come to life. If you haven’t experienced the beauty of blocking, or feel like you could learn more, this is the tutorial for you! Julie takes you through the process of wet blocking a sweater step by step. But you can use this tutorial for any knit item (a hat, scarf, mittens, etc) or with a store-bought sweater that you don't want to take to the dry cleaner. You'll follow the same process if you have a sweater that is already blocked and needs rewashing. In this video Julie makes use of the Sweater Care Collection and Knitter's Block. You'll see how these tools can help make blocking a breeze!


How to Wet Block



Fill a clean sink or tub with lukewarm water and add a delicate soap. (Our favorite is Eucalan wash because it doesn't suds or foam. So you don't need to rinse it at all after you're done soaking your garment.) Cover your sweater in water and gently squeeze to ensure that the water penetrates the fibers fully. Leave it to soak for 5-20 minutes.


Remove From Water

Lift the sweater out of the sink and gently squeeze (do not wring). Try supporting the sweater from underneath to prevent it from stretching out of shape. It will feel floppy, that's okay. Julie likes to use the mesh Sweater Care Pop-up Dryer here. You can lay it over the sink (flat and unclipped) to help keep things tidy while squeezing out excess moisture. You want to get as much water out as you can, because it will cut down on drying time.


Tip: If you have a front-loading washing machine with a gentle spin cycle, you can put your sweater in a Sweater Care Washing Bag and spin it on gentle at this stage. But be careful, every machine is different and it won't work well with all models. Take it slowly and check frequently until you're comfortable with your machine. 


Roll in Towel

Next, grab the large Super-Absorbent Towel. You could really use any other towel, but this one can hold several times its weight in moisture so it dries much more quickly. Lay your sweater out flat and roll up. Now gently step directly down on the towel, walking back and forth a few times. Unroll and repeat as necessary. 


Grab Tools From the Knitter's Block

Grab everything from your Knitter's Block. Lay the foam tiles out to a size that works well with your sweater. (Side note: we love these tiles because they are made of EVA foam that is formamide and formaldehyde free, so it protects the surface you're working on without using harmful chemicals. They also have texture on the top to keep the sweater off the foam, providing more circulation for faster drying.) 

Now, grab a towel with straight edges and place on top of the foam tiles. You can use the Check Your Gauge Cloth (included in Knitter's Block or sold separately). Each square is 1" and helps you get a straight edge and the correct measurements for your piece. The thread is pre-treated before the fabric is woven to prevent stretching, shrinking, or distortion

You may also want to grab T-Pins (included in Knitter's Block or sold separately). Julie doesn't use these for sweaters, but you cab use them during the next step to be more precise. We recommend using pins with items where fit needs to be spot on. They can also be helpful to use at the cast-on or bind-off of stockinette if you want to reduce rolling. 


Lay the Sweater Out

Place the sweater on top of the towel and tiles and gently massage into the shape you want. After wet blocking it may seem really long and skinny - don't worry, that is perfectly normal! Just continue to work it, gently patting into place, and checking the measurements to see that it's where you want it. Remember, measurement is easy with the Check Your Gauge Cloth gingham pattern. Each square is an inch, which makes for quick counting. After everything is laid out as you like, you have the option to pin the edges. Let it sit for at least an hour, but we recommend more like half a day. 


Finish Drying with Pop-Up Dryer

Once your item is set, slide the Pop-up Dryer underneath your garment (do this before you clip it together so the dryer is flat). Once it's on top and in shape, clip the straps together so air can flow underneath. This tool is great because you don't have to flip the sweater and it will dry more quickly. Once it's completely dry, that's it! You've completed wet blocking, how beautiful does your knitted handiwork look now? 

The Sweater Care Collection


Build your own kit...

Customize your own kit for sweater care, blocking, and fine fiber care. Tools from this collection will help protect your knits and keep them looking great for years to come.

Browse the Sweater Care Collection


Knitter's Block

Includes 18 interlocking, fiber-topped EVA foam, 12" × 12" tiles, 40 stainless steel T-pins, 48" Check Your Gauge Cloth with 1" square gingham, and a sturdy jute bag to contain the kit. The T-pins and Check Your Gauge Cloth can also be purchased separately.

Shop Knitter's Block


Sweater Care Washing Bags

These eco-friendly nylon mesh cylinder bags (made with recycled plastic) keep your knitted and crocheted pieces, or any delicate washables, from stretching or snagging in the wash. Available in small and large sizes.

Shop Sweater Care Washing Bags


Super-Absorbent Towel

Speeds up the process of drying hand washables by absorbing excess water from your garment before air drying. Made from a lightweight felt-like cloth, it soaks up much more water than a regular bath towel.

Shop Super-Absorbent Towel


Sweater Care Pop-up Dryer

Will help air-dry hand washables more quickly by allowing increased airflow above and below your garment. The buckle straps can be adjusted to your desired height, and the whole thing folds down into a small and easily storable size.

Shop Sweater Care Pop-up Dryer


Sweater Care Brush

Made with natural boar bristles, a bamboo body, and a cotton twill handle, this oval brush not only depills and neatens up fibers, it also re-fluffs mohair and alpaca and sweeps away lint and pet hair.



Fuzz Off Comb

Made with a biodegradable PLA folding handle and a stainless steel depilling blade, the Fuzz Off Comb (patent pending) is compact for travel and uniquely designed to remove pills without damaging your sweater. 



Emery Boards

Available in a colorful pack of six, these are the perfect little files to keep in a project bag or Accessory Roll - because there's nothing worse than a nail snagging your yarn.

Shop Emery Boards


Jute Tote

This sturdy jute bag, with strong handles, is perfect for corralling all of the Sweater Care Collection tools. Jute is a natural fiber that is 100% recyclable and biodegradable.

Shop Jute Tote



Hi Jo, You definitely can! Julie says she often finds she doesn’t need to, and that using the Sweater Care Brush on it is all it needs to look great. Hope that helps!


Do you recommend wet blocking mohair as well? Thank you :-)


Hi Susan, yes that is a good idea. It will make seaming easier :)

Susan Church

My pattern asks for the neckline to be made when the sweater is joined at the shoulders. Can I block the front, back and sleeves before joining them together for the neck.? Then perhaps block again with the neck cabling?


Hi Marjorie, Thanks for the feedback. While we are considering selling the pop-up dryer separately, it is currently available only in the kit.

marjorie wolf

Can I just get the pop up dryer, I have everything else.


Great information! Blocking is no longer a complete mystery.

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