Knit Tips: Blocking

Posted on

Blocking multi-colour projects

Our very first in the Knit Tips series.

How my heart sank when I blocked my beloved Scrappy Sea Dragon Shawl and the red bled! You can just see it on the left shoulder in the picture.
I still wear it often, but have been careful ever since!

My method to prevent colour bleeding is to pour 1/2 – 1 cup of Vinegar (depending on my anxiety level about bleeding for the particular project) into the blocking water. So far this has been successful, although I’m not sure that it is necessarily “dyer recommended”!

I had such a great response from you with so many suggestions from both knitters and dyers. I’ll share these below with a healthy disclaimer; please try these out on a test piece of yarn or your swatch before you block your full project.

Before knitting: Some knitters like to pre soak their yarn, it is probably a good idea to use a soak or wool wash at this stage to see if the colour will bleed out of the fibre and rinse extra well if it has. This can be a really good idea for those particularly notorious for bleeding colours such as red and teals.

After knitting: Some knitters prefer to gently steam or spray/spritz with water when blocking to keep the FO drier and help prevent bleeding. While this is effective I personally prefer to wet block my projects; I like to block them in the way I would intend to wash them after wearing and that involves getting it nice and wet. I suppose dry cleaning would be a work around for cleaning items that were team or spritz blocked. In the case of shawls I love stretching them out when blocking and find that wet blocking allows plenty of give in the project as I do this.

Wet blocking tips: Many of you also suggested vinegar and also to use cooler water. Avoid using detergnat, this can cause the colours to bleed and run.

The overwhelmingly most common recommendation is to use “Shout Colour catchers”, pictured below. Many of you swear by these, I confess I haven’t yet tried them but they are now on my shopping list.

After Blocking: If your colours have bled there is an option to try (again, disclaimer – please use a test piece before trying on your procious handknit), Synthrapol may be useful in removing the bled colour from your project.

More to come in the Knit Tips series will include more Blocking tips, many of you have been asking for these, also this week we are talking about lace chart tips, join us in my Ravelry Group, my IG grid and Facebook to share yours and let me know if you have any Knit Tip topics you would like us to explore.

Find all Knit Tips posts here