Do I need to block my stockinette stitch project?

Q&A: Do I need to block my stockinette stitch project?

Are you frustrated with your stockinette stitch project always curling at the edges? We’ve been there and understand how this can hinder your knitting progress. Our comprehensive guide will show you why blocking is an effective method to prevent unwanted curling.

So, are you ready to take your knitting prowess to the next level?.

Blocking Knitting

Why Does Stockinette Stitch Curl?

Stockinette stitch projects have a notorious reputation for curling. This is primarily due to the way these types of stitches are constructed. Each knit stitch pulls slightly on its surrounding purls, causing an imbalance in tension that results in a naturally curled fabric.

The discrepancies between the fronts and backs of each stitch mean there’s more yarn on one side than the other, leading to an unavoidable lean or tilt in one direction.

It’s important to note that while curling might seem problematic at first glance, it can actually be beneficial for some patterns. Organic fibers like wool tend to curl less after washing and blocking than synthetic ones do but no matter what type of yarn you choose, expect some degree of curving until you intervene with blocking techniques.

And remember: not all curls are bad! In scarves or afghans, this roll-up effect can add dimension and character to your completed knitting project.

The Benefits of Blocking Stockinette Stitch Projects

Blocking your stockinette stitch project can greatly improve its appearance and overall finished look. Here are the benefits of blocking:

  • Smoothing out any curling: Stockinette stitch has a tendency to curl at the edges, especially when worked flat. Blocking can help flatten these curls and make your project lay flat.
  • Setting the shape: Blocking allows you to shape your knitting pieces exactly how you want them. Whether it’s straightening out a wonky edge or giving a garment more structure, blocking helps create a more polished final result.
  • Improving overall tension: By wetblocking your stockinette stitch project, you can even out any uneven tension in your knitting. This helps give your fabric a smoother appearance and improves the overall consistency of your stitches.
  • Enhancing drape: The act of blocking can relax the fibers in your knitting, improving the drape and flow of the fabric. This is particularly beneficial for garments or accessories that require some movement or fluidity.
  • Allowing better stitch definition: By opening up the stitches through blocking, you can create more defined and crisp stitch patterns in your stockinette fabric. This is especially important if you’re incorporating cables or other textured elements into your project.

Before you go…

Blocking your stockinette stitch project is highly recommended. It helps to combat the natural curling tendency of this stitch pattern and gives a more polished look to your finished garment or accessory.

By wetblocking or using other blocking techniques, you can shape and smooth out your knitting, resulting in a professional-looking piece that you’ll be proud to wear or display. Don’t skip this important step in completing your project!


1. What is blocking and why is it necessary for a stockinette stitch project?

Blocking is the process of wetting or steaming a knitted or crocheted project to shape and set the stitches. It is necessary for a stockinette stitch project because it helps even out tension, relaxes the fibers, and enhances the drape and appearance of the finished piece.

2. How do I block a stockinette stitch project?

To block a stockinette stitch project, you can soak it in lukewarm water with gentle detergent, squeeze out excess water, then lay it flat on a towel and shape it to the desired measurements. Alternatively, you can steam block by hovering an iron over your dampened project without touching it directly.

3. Can I skip blocking my stockinette stitch project?

While blocking is not always mandatory, especially for smaller projects like accessories, it can greatly improve the final result of your stockinette stitch garment. Skipping blocking may result in uneven stitches or an ill-fitting finished piece.

4. Are there any alternatives to traditional wet or steam blocking for a stockinette stitch project?

Yes, there are alternative methods such as spray-blocking using a misting bottle filled with water or using blocking wires or pins to stretch and shape the fabric. These methods offer more control over shaping while avoiding excessive moisture on delicate fibers if that’s a concern for your specific project.

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