Learn how to block your newly crocheted hat. This step by step tutorial includes written instructions, photos and a video showing you the process.
I also answer some commonly asked questions regarding blocking. If you have one be sure to leave your question in the comments section.
Do I need to block my crochet?
Probably. Blanket squares are the most commonly items blocked by crocheters. But most of your projects can benefits from blocking.
Blocking helps to set and show off squares and lace patterns really well.
I’m using a hat for this tutorial, because I made it with natural fibers which relax a lot more than acrylic. And I want the hat to fit even after wearing and washing.
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What is blocking?
In short, blocking is the process of getting your finished crochet piece wet, either through soaking, spraying or steaming, then shaping it and leaving it to dry.
Why block your crochet hat?
Most crochet hats made with acrylic yarn won’t need to be blocked. However if you’re working in natural fibers like wool or alpaca then you need to block your crochet work.
The short answer is you need to block your work, if your fibers will be effected by wear and washing.
If you’ve been crocheting for any length of time you’ve probably already noticed that you work tends to loosen up and stretch after a while.
This “relaxing” is normal. But when you’re working with some natural fibers they change a lot more than a man made yarn, like acrylic.
So if you plan to wear and wash your handmade items, then take the time to block them. Otherwise, after the first wash (even hand washing), your hat will be a different size than when you finished crocheting it.
But once you block your hat, or wash it, it won’t revert back to the size/shape it was before.
Another reason you might need to block is for shaping. In my experience I have seen this most in knitting. But it applies to crochet too-especially lacy patterns.
So when you block, you want to set the shape you desire. If you have stripes, line them up. Check your edges, if it should be pointy or rounded, then make it so.
If you can get the right shape with your fingers, then you won’t need pins. You may need to pin edges or color work into the shape you want.
As the hat dries, it will adhere to the shape you set it. And yes, in this case it will revert back to any old shape after the next wash.
But, most of the time your natural fibers will need to lay flat to dry. So then, you dry them in the necessary shape.
Benefits of Blocking
- Achieve the correct size.
- Get the right shape
- Relaxes the stitches for beautiful drape.
- Defines the stitch pattern.
Do I need special tools for blocking?
No, not at all. You can block your crochet with items you likely already have at home.
- You’ll need a finished crochet piece. In this case I’m demonstrating with a hat.
- I use blocking boards*, because I have them. But you can use a towel and a table or bed to lay it on.
- Water and a sink or bucket to hold it.
- Optionally a little wool wash or gentle soap-but these are not required.
- Pins are used to set the shape. In the case of a hat, it’s unlikely you’ll need them.
Is blocking hard?
No, but waiting is! It’s hard to wait for your beautifully finished hat to dry overnight.
But it’s definitely worth the wait.
- Finished crochet hat.
- Soap, if using.
- A sink or bucket to fill with water.
- Blocking board, or a clean dry towel and a flat surface like a table or bed, where you can leave the hat overnight.
- Some blocking requires pins, hats usually do not.
- Fill the sink, or bucket with enough warm water to submerge your hat.
- Add a dash of soap, if you're using it. I'm using wool wash, but you can use any gentle soap, or non if you prefer. Always follow your soap instructions.
- Gently submerge your completed hat in the water.
- Gently press it into the water, allowing it to get fully wet.
- Allow the hat to soak a few minutes, 5-15 mins is plenty.
- Rinse gently.
- Gently squeeze the water out, without wringing the hat. Be very easy here, but get as much water out as possible.
- Lay your hat in a towel + roll it up, squeeze it to press out more water.
- Now lay out the damp hat on a blocking board or clean dry towel.
- Use your hands to gently press hat into position. If needed, you can pin into place.
- Allow to dry in a comfortable place where it can dry overnight. And that's it, it's really that simple.
Always follow the care instructions on your yarn label, i.e. cold vs warm water, lay flat to dry, etc.
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Watch the video tutorial on my YouTube channel.