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How to Block Crochet: Wet or Steam Blocking Tutorial

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To block crochet, or not to block, that is the question. Quite literally – that is the question we will be answering today. If you’re wondering how to block crochet – grab your newly finished crocheted piece and let’s get to work!

How to Block Crochet

When you block crochet you are forcing your completed project to dry in a certain position. This is done with water – either by washing, misting, or steaming – then pinning into place.

How to Block Crochet

What is blocking?

Blocking is imperative when making a set of identical small pieces (like Granny Squares) that will be sewn together to make a larger piece such as an afghan. Blocking crochet pieces before you sew them together ensures that all of your pieces are the same dimension. Believe it or not, your mood can affect your tension. Angry crochet is a thing, y’all! Ha!

Choosing a Blocking board

What you use as a blocking mat is totally up to you. You could purchase a blocking mat specifically marketed for blocking, but a similar item will suffice. If you need just one smaller blocking mat, this 12″ x 12″ would work just fine.

I will say that my frugal self searched for the least expensive, largest foam mats I could find. I ended up with this colorful foam mat set that comes with NINE 12″ x 12″ inter-locking foam puzzle pieces. Had I gotten nine of the foam mats specifically marketed for blocking I would have spent over 3x the amount. I’ll spend that extra money on yarn, thanks. 😉

Crochet Hook Case Free Tutorial

If you are blocking multiple of the same item, use dowel rods strategically placed on your foam mats. All you need is a pack of dowel rods like this, and some foam circles like this. Ta-da!! Stack ’em up!

How to Block Crochet

How To block crochet

First check your yarn label to make sure that the yarn/wool can get wet/be washed. (see more on the difference, and felting here.) Then decide if you want to wet block or steam block your piece.

For regular wet blocking you will either:

1. ) get it completely submerged in water, then press in a towel to semi-dry (do not wring)


2. ) mist with a spray bottle until damp.

Lay the piece(s) out on your fancy used-to-be-the-kids-foam-mat blocking board and get to work! You’ll use sewing pins (any kind should suffice, but I like the ones with ball heads) to force the piece to stay in shape. Sometimes the sides/corners will be a bit wonky like this:

How to Block Crocheted piecces

Just force it into the shape you wish it to dry. Much better!

Using pins to block crochet

Leave the piece in place on the blocking board until it has completed dried. That is it!

How to Block Crochet

Then there is the other way of blocking… steam blocking!

Steam Blocking

Steam blocking is the method of blocking crochet that I prefer for garments or other larger items. For this you can use your clothes iron on the steam setting or a steamer specifically made for steaming fabric.

How to Steam Block Crochet

I found an inexpensive steamer to test this theory, and it worked like a charm! An actual steamer will hold a lot more water than your iron, meaning you can block much more without having to stop and back fill up.

Future blocking

It is possible, depending on the item, that you will need to block your piece after each and every laundering. This will most likely occur with lightweight shawls or other light items. If you’re blocking squares now to sew together for a blanket later, just wash and dry the finished blanket as instructed on the yarn label.

Isn’t that fun and easy?! What will you be blocking first?

How to Block Crochet

More tutorials:

How to Herringbone Half Double Crochet (HHDC)
How to Calculate Yarn Yardage by Weight
Adding a Zipper to Crochet Cardigans
How to Sew Crochet Pieces Together Using the Mattress Stitch
How to Make an Invisible Join in Crochet

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  1. Hi Ashlea! Love your stuff! I'm looking for how to block a Pancho? It's crocheted in rounds so just lay it flat even though only on side of the poncho is facing up? Should I block both sides? I get blocking a scarf that's not a circle but a poncho is a circle and I'm unsure. Any advice would be appreciated greatly!
  2. I have squares that I want to make a blanket. I posted this question elsewhere, but after reading this, I am wondering if blocking rows and then sewing the rows to assemble the blanket is the best idea.
  3. Im making a blanket out of a ton of granny squares. I'm using the spray method (I believe....I may try the steam method after reading your post though ). I've read quite a few posts trying to figure out exactly how long I should leave my granny squares pinned after I block them, but haven't been able to find a very good answer. Do you have a recommendation? Do I just need to wait until they dry completely, or should I leave them as long as possible? Any advice would be much appreciated!!
  4. I crocheted a star stitch blanket and it is wonkey, will steam blocking it help and will it have to be blocked after each washing? or do I need to start over?
  5. For the steam blocking, do you still pin out the (dry) item on the mats and then steam it? Or would you have the item on a hanger (for a garment) and steam like you would a blouse?
    1. Hi Kristi! I typically use steam blocking on garments such as sweaters/cardigans and hang them up as I'm steaming them. Hope this helps!
      1. Do you steam block on these mats, too, and it doesn't mess up the blanket? I always see mats advertised for steam blocking. I want to save money and make sure I don't mess up my project :-)
  6. Great tips for finishing my projects. I crochet to help deal with arthritis, but like to make useful, attractive articles as gifts. Your shared knowledge is indispensable.
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