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How to Block Socks

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Blocked Sock

A blocked sock is ready to wear.

(c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

When knitting most kinds of lace knitting projects, and a lot of projects that aren't lace, for that matter, it's essential to block your knitting to make it look the way it is supposed to. But what about socks? Do they really need blocking? And how do you go about blocking socks if you want to?

Socks usually don't require blocking unless you want to do it just to smooth out the stitches, but it is a nice way to finish lace socks if you like. The good news is blocking socks takes a lot less time and attention than, say, blocking a lace shawl would.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: about 15 minutes, plus drying time

Here's How:

  1. Fill a sink with lukewarm water and a teaspoon or so of wool wash or dishwashing liquid.

  2. Place socks in the sink, pressing down to ensure that the water penetrates the fiber nicely. Allow them to sit for at least 10 or 15 minutes.

  3. Drain water from the sink and rinse the socks in another sink of lukewarm water. This step is not strictly necessary if you use wool wash that doesn't require rinsing.

  4. Gently press the socks without ringing to get excess water out of them.

  5. Place the socks on a large towel, roll the towel up and press the remove any addition excess water.

  6. Remove the socks from the towel and place on sock blockers. Leave the blocked socks to dry flat on any water-resistant surface, or place them on top of a dry towel. Allow to dry completely before removing from the blocker and wearing.

Tips:

  1. There are many different kinds of sock blockers on the market, from plastic and wooden forms that are the size and shape of a foot to metal frames that you can hang from the shower rod for super-fast drying.

    If you make a lot of socks you want to block, you might want to try out a few different kinds, but they all work pretty equally well.

  2. Like other lace projects, once the socks have been laundered, especially if they're laundered aggressively, they may benefit from being blocked again. Just wash as normal and allow them to dry on the sock blockers.

What You Need

  • Finished pair of socks.
  • Sink.
  • Wool wash or liquid dish soap.
  • One or two towels.
  • Sock blockers.

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