Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How to block your mittens

Last month, I purchased my first pair of sock blockers. They’re an ingenious invention, if you ask me, and they’re a must for every sock knitter, who wants to add that little extra touch to a pair of finished socks.

The sock blockers had me wondering, though: How come there aren't any mitten blockers?

Fortunately, they're not that hard to make with a piece of cardboard, and they really do that last bit for your mittens so they, too, will look spectacular. It’s really a shame not to add that extra touch to your finished hand-knitted item, big or small, when you’ve probably put a lot of work into the actual knitting.



First, to create your own cardboard mitten blockers, you want to look for the finished measurements in your pattern. You want a template that is slightly shorter across, than the finished width of the mitten is.

For instance, the finished circumference of the knitted mitten pictured above is 7½'', which is 3¾'' across (half the circumference). The template, however, only measures 3½''. If you want a good, average-sized template that fits most mittens, 3½'' is a good go-to size.

Why is the template slightly smaller than the mitten? This is because the fabric adds additional volume, and a template with the exact measurements that you want your mitten to have will give you a mitten that’s too big, because of the added volume of the fabric. Remember, the template is going to be inside the mitten, so the width of the template will be the inside width of the mitten.

To block your finished mitten, you want to make sure that you squeeze out all excess water. Rolling up the wet mitten in a towel and gently stepping on it will give you a nice, moist fabric that won’t wrinkle the cardboard too much when drying.

You may want to cut out a thumb, too. Just remember that it'll have to be separated from the mitten body; otherwise it'll be impossible to pull the mitten on. After you've inserted the mitten template, carefully insert the thumb template into the knitted thumb.


Now, I've done some measuring and drawing in Illustrator, and I've made a template that you can download and print out, and it'll have the exact width of 3½''.

Click here to view and download the template now!

Simply print out the template, cut along the edges, and transfer the paper template onto a hard piece of cardboard. Happy blocking!

4 comments:

  1. Thats awesome thanks! I'm downloading it now. You should have seen my disaster blocking my white voluminosa mittens. I accidentally used orange cardboard and the colour seeped out. Oops! A few more washes should fix them I hope!

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  2. Thanks, this is very helpful! I've been planning to make some mittens with some leftover yarn and didn't really think about blocking. But I guess that's solved now.

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  3. Hi! I would really love to download your mitten template, but when I click on your download link, it says I don't have access to that file. Is the link corrupt, or am I doing something wrong? Thanks for your help!

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    1. Hi Aja! I'll make sure the link works asap, so check back on this blog post again soon! Or leave me an email address or a Ravelry ID and I'll get back to you!

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