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When To Block: That is the question

The pieces of the Everyday Cardigan are finished. Hooray! Here we have a pile:


That’s the back, the left front, the right front, and the sleeves. Ready to be seamed. Or not. You see, I have a dilemma. Do I block before seaming or seam before blocking or both? Let’s have a little survey, shall we?

What would you do?

This Post Has 40 Comments

  1. I like to block before I seam for 2 reasons: 1) flat edges are easier to block than edges that are curling, and 2) I find it easier to block the individual pieces than the seamed sweater.
    That being said, I’ve done it both ways 🙂

  2. Most books say to block the pieces first- I find it makes for flatter edges and less fighting trying to pin the edges before finally seaming them. Can’t wait to see it on you!

  3. It is so much easier to block the pieces and then seam. In fact, I block the pieces as they are finished so I can see how beautiful my handy work is. 😉

  4. I’ve only made one sweater that had individual pieces. I blocked the first piece right away just to see if it would grow enough to fit me!

  5. Beautiful sweater – I am almost tempted to try to knit a sweater this year, but not sure I am ready.

  6. I would block then seam it. I find it easier. I would also give another little touch-up blocking after it is put together.

    I can’t wait to see it when it is put together. It looks so comfortable!

  7. I’ve actually never knit a sweater in pieces. I’m a fan of the seamless raglan. Maybe that will change one day…but it’s looking unlikely. I can’t give you any advice…I’ve actually never blocked a thing. I’ve never had a need to.

    Do you block socks?

    Okay, there is one project that I will block when I am finished. I’m knitting a scarf sized Clapotis in laceweight…

  8. I vote “light” block, seam, “soak in water and wool wash” block again. Of course, the only seam-able thing I have ever knitted and had to block was my wedding dress (and it was lace), so that required a bit more effort, but I can see myself going in that route when I do start knitting sweaters. Love that yarn btw!

  9. I think it’s easier to seam once the pieces have been blocked. It’s going to be a beautiful sweater no matter how you do it.

  10. I always block the seam. I think it ismuch easier to make and invisible seam when the piece if flat….at my advance age I can see the “ladders” much better that way!

  11. I use the idea that if the fabric looks good I generally don’t block until after it’s seamed up…if the edges are curling bad I do lightly steam them before sewing up. (leave it to me to have such a convoluted answer!)

  12. Mostly I block, then seam, but sometimes steam edges first if it makes things easier, so whatever works best at the time 😉

  13. Of course – if you had a finisher at your yarn store like I do another option would be to give it to her to work out those details! That being said, block first, then seam!

  14. I am totally inexperienced with blocking as the majority of my projects are smaller ones where it’s not required (hats, socks, mittens, etc). However, I’ve read on many people’s blogs how difficult it can be to block a finished sweater….trying to get everything to lay out right when you’re talking about 2 layers of fabric. So my vote was to block and then seam. 🙂

    The color you chose looks really pretty- can’t wait to see the finished sweater!

  15. Having just seamed a sweater without blocking it, I found myself thinking several times during the process that I wished I’d blocked it first. It went together fine, but it would’ve been even easier if it had been blocked.

  16. Don’t know enough about sweater making to contribute. Unless you have a column inserted for “WHAT??? You block sweaters???”

  17. As I uderstand it, the blocking is supposed to make all the pieces even and the size they’re supposed to be. (Assuming that they were close to begin with.) Of course, the only sweater I’ve actually finished that fairly closely approximated its intended size was a one-piece knit, so I never blocked it.

  18. Hmm, I just made my first sweater in pieces (usually I knit top-down all-one-piece). It seemed like a pain in the butt to try to block all the bits so every edge would match up, not to mention needing a million pins, so I just seamed it all without blocking, which was perfectly easy, then blocked the finished sweater by laying it out and patting it into shape — no pins! Worked great 🙂

  19. I never block except lace. Even that is a struggle. I know you are *supposed* to do it though. Gorgeous yarn. It will be lovely when it’s done.

  20. I blocked before and after for the last sweater I made. Before for ease of seaming, and after for the button bands and collar.

  21. First, if I could reach through my monitor and snatch that yarn up for my own, well, let’s just say you wouldn’t be worrying about when to block. Sadly, I believe the block, seam, block method will produce the snappiest results. Such is the way of the world.

  22. Oh well, not in the majority… I’d say for a complicated or very well fitted sweater, then block first then seam… but for an EVERYday sweater… just seam and then block, or not!

  23. If I don’t seam right away, I’m going to really lag on that part of the project. So seaming quick seems like the thing to do.

  24. It is wool right? I steam (actually press very gently), seam while the pieces are still nice and flat, then block or steam again. Whether I wet block depends on how much the project needs a wash.

  25. Block. Seam. Do the finishing work, keeping in mind the blooming of the yarn after getting it wet, so don’t panic when the button bands pull in, then reblock the sweater lightly, maybe steaming (very lightly, through a towel and don’t let the iron touch that) the seams and pay special attention to the bands, getting them wet and pinning them out to fit the garment. Then pray as it dries, make deals with the devil as you pull out the pins…….. and rejoice when you try it on and it is lovely!

  26. Terry and Margene are sweater goddesses. I will now change my evil ways of blocking after all the sweat is done. I was always concerned that I would block different pieces differently. Lazy me.

  27. I’m the worst possible combination of impatient and lazy. I always seam right away, since I can’t wait to see how it will look/fit. Then I sometimes never get around to blocking at all, because I’m too busy wearing the sweater. My Rogue still doesn’t have a zipper because of this – I’m waiting to put in the zip until after blocking, and I don’t get around to blocking because I don’t want to be without it while it’s drying…
    Bad knitter, bad!

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