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Shakespeare, Star Wars and Blocking.

To block or not to block? That is the question.

I know that some of you seasoned makers are looking at that question and thinking about how ridiculous it sounds. Trust me...there are thousands of knitters and crocheters who ask themselves that very question at the end of every project.

I am a lazy knitter. If you have watched our After Hours show or read any of the other posts I have written, we have more established that. In the early years of my knitting, I never blocked. Why block? It's just a scarf, a simple shawl...what's the big deal? If it was a sweater, maybe, but a Be Simple Shawl? No way.

But then, young Jedi, I became enlightened. The force of blocking became clear to me and I never looked back.

In Star Wars, the force is an unseen power that allows the manipulation of objects and mind tricks (among many other things). This pretty much sums up blocking. Blocking is magic, right before your eyes!

Your finished project may seem tight, slightly misshapen but then, you block it and BAM. The force is strong. Straight edges appear, softness rises up, drape suddenly comes out of nowhere, stitches decide to show off and're so thrilled with the result that you want to wear braided hair buns and call yourself commander.

So the next time you spend countless hours, with your needle or hook, working up a project with yarn that cost more than a million Galactic credits, take a little time to finish it right.

(In this post we are trying to convince you not teach you. To actually learn the ins and outs of blocking, which is simple, just click the Block it link above this line to get step-by-step instructions with pics).

Our team member and knitting guru, Susan, knit this gorgeous wrap. The first picture shows the wrap upon completion. There is no way that wearing it in that condition will show off all of your stunning hand work. The second picture is after the piece was blocked. Huge difference! Look at how the stitches are showing off and how flat and straight it has become. That means that when you put it on, it is going to lay beautifully, as shown in picture three. By the way, the pattern is Cozy Winter Shawl by Melanie Mielinger.

Note: To all my dear, sweet crochet friends. When I owned my yarn shop, crochet lovers were notorious for many things (you naughty hookers) but especially for not blocking. I personally think that blocking is even more important for your projects because of the

knot-like effect of your stitches.

Kim Weitkamp-Gum is the founder of The Secret Stitching Society and an avid gardener.

She is a creative soul and the guardian of a glorious thread and yarn stash that she likes to look at while drinking wine. Kim is also a writer and performer with 8 audio collections and an armload of awards. Her true passion is empowering others to find their creative selves.

Find out more at or on instagram @kimusic @kim_broidery

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From one lazy knitter to another:

Preach it, woman! I was Block Resistent for years, working on simple small projects. And then finally I finished my first shawl, mostly in garter stitch with just a few fiddly bit accents. It looked disappointingly amateurish. Kind of squinchy. It would be warm, but it wouldn't be a proud moment whenever I had to tell anybody who asked, "Yeah. I made this."

I kind of saw the point of blocking for an actual garment. But not for something that wasn't meant to fit. Until I did it. And my simple little shawl turned voluptuously drapey, the yarn-overs came out looking lacy, and the whole thing settled onto my body like it belongs there.…

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