Boss of your knitting
Published On: March 1, 2024

Do you have to block your socks? No, of course not. You are the boss of your knitting, and a grown up, and I have absolutely no power to compel you to do anything at all.

I do, however, want to show you what blocking your socks does and talk about when I do it and when you might want to do it.

The first picture shows a pair of socks fresh of the needles, never once touched by water. You can see that they’re lovely, but a bit crumpled. This is totally normal.

The second shows one of them slid onto a sock blocker (just a piece of wire bent into the shape of the outline of a sock). It’s not actually been blocked yet, I just slipped it on there to show the contrast.

The third picture shows one sock still unblocked and the other one after I soaked it and then let it dry on the blocker. Normally I’d block them both at the same time, but I wanted to show you the difference, so I did these one by one.

Now…socks are a bit of an edge case for blocking.

I always block mine before photos because it makes for better pictures and that makes for better pattern sales. But I realize most folks aren’t worried about that.

I’d do the same if I wanted to show of my work (like for posts on ravelry or instagram or the blog) or if I were going to enter them in the country fair or guild show whatever. And I always block socks before I give them as a gift, because again, it makes them look better, and presentation matters. So any time I need them to look their best, I’m going to block them (especially since it literally takes 60 seconds to slip the socks on the blockers, straighten them out, and hang them up).

However…I do not generally block my socks every time I wash them. I mostly just try to pat them out flat to dry (rather than crumpled up) and call it good enough.

Socks are made with negative ease, meaning that when you put them on, your leg and foot will stretch out the fabric. So even if they come out of the sock basket a bit rumpled, they’ll straighten up and show off their fancy bits once you have them on your feet.

But if it’s going to make your heart sing to have a sock drawer full of perfectly blocked socks, you can totally do that too. I’ll never judge!

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