Knitwear Designer//Pattern Drafter//Author//Teacher

part 2: the basics

One of the things I love about knitters is that they tend to be problem solvers.  However, blocking a hat can be tricky and cumbersome and many times, seemingly pointless (but it’s not.  do it!).

let’s get started…

here are the basic tools needed for any hat blocking project:

a variety of foam balls from the craft store (19” circumference is my go-to, but it’s wise to pick up a few sizes to see what works best for you)

*but be careful about your foam selection, too. the really hard foam will shed little fragments everywhere and need to be covered with fabric… on the up-side, it’s actually much easier to use than the pressed Styrofoam ones for this purpose*

thin, inexpensive fabric like muslin if needed as described above & sturdy string or twine to tie it

a 1/4 or 1/2” dowel (they sell them in packs pre-cut to about 18”)

a 5 ½ or 6” embroidery hoop (a wide variety of sizes will serve you here, & they’re cheap enough to stock) 

plates (paper, glass, ceramic - whatever you may have on hand), baking pans, lids from coffee cans, tupperware lids… (get creative!  you never know what will be the perfect size or shape)

a medium-sized cube of floral foam (optional)

to get your new “head” ready for blocking, jab the dowel into the foam ball and cover with fabric if you got the really good, crumbly kind.  next, jab the dowel with fabric-covered foam in place into the center of the floral foam (if you have it).

now you want to soak your hat.  dunk the hat in cold water and swish around gently.  when the hat is fully saturated, drain the water, press the hat against the side of the sink or basin to gently squeeze much of the water out, then lay flat on a clean towel.  roll the towel up like a jelly roll and press hard to remove much of the remaining water.  now you’re hat is ready, but what shape should it be!?

how to block a flat-topped hat

part 1: if it can be blocked, it should be blocked