Yes, you've heard this before. Remember this post? That was a little over a year ago and now I can tell you that I was working on a chapter for a book. DRG/House of White Birches actually let me write an entire chapter about blocking. Crazy, right? Take a look at any of your finishing books on the shelf and see how much space each one of them devotes to this subject. I dare you to find anything over a page and a half.
Friends, there is now a finishing book with an entire chapter--six pages--with photographs galore, all about the glory of blocking. And I got to write it. Man, this is the best thing to happen to me in a while, especially in a year with some trip-ups, let me tell you. When Kara Gott Warner put out the call for submissions to this book, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I give you The Perfect Finish, edited by the fabulous Kara herself.
I highly recommend this book to you knitters, and not only for my blocking chapter. So much fantastic information! Five cute projects! Lots of pictures! (end cheesy promo)
Seriously, I had a blast working on this project. I got to knit up two baby sweaters with Mission Falls 136 Superwash Merino (so soft!), one assembled and one in pieces, to show blocking both ways. I also made some swatches--lace and cables--to show the effect of blocking on these kinds of stitch patterns. Even the research was fun as I perused every book and Web site I could get my hands on to get a wide spread of knowledge on this subject. Over and over again it appalled me how little space and time has been spent on this very valuable subject.
Hear me now and believe me later (nod to Hanz and Franz). Block your knits! So many great knitting projects never get to the finish because this one step is ignored. In one of my many fantasies of being not a nice girl, I wield a big Block It! stamp to brand many, many images of mangled up, wrinkly so-called FO's...because it's not finished until it's blocked.
Yes, there are a very few exceptions, but I can safely say that about 99% of the time, you should block. Yes, even socks.
If you want to know exactly why and how, buy the book.