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Emily Wessel

Hi! I’m Emily Wessel, I design fun-to-knit patterns and helpful technique tutorials. I live in Edinburgh, Scotland with my husband and two kids, where I like to run, knit, learn languages, and hang out with friends. I am co-founder and designer at Tin Can Knits -


  1. Jessica Bright
    November 7, 2021 @ 12:28 pm

    If you don’t have the foamy things, will it work to pin to a towel? Or what can you pin it to if you are blocking for first time. I don’t think cardboard…? If pinning to towel, how does the towel dry? Would blowing a cool fam in it make it dry faster?

    • Emily Wessel
      November 8, 2021 @ 4:18 am

      There are a number of things I’ve pinned to which worked: a bed, a carpeted bit of floor, a big piece of cardboard. You could put a towel underneath if you like. The best way to make it go faster is to just wait (haha…). Actually, if you can get it dryer before you pin it out, that will make it faster. So if you use two towels, getting it so it’s just barely damp before you pin it, that’ll help it dry faster.

  2. Margaret
    September 22, 2021 @ 1:18 pm

    Thank you very much details and photos of lace shawl blocking. Explanations only go so far. And I’m sure you are correct that the plaid jammy pants improve the outcome. And I have lots and lots of pins (will probably never buy the rods.) Thank you again.

  3. luv2knt
    January 15, 2021 @ 10:08 am

    Thank you for this helpful guide. I just completed my first shawl that has points and needed this information. Your visual guide is very effective with the explanations. I love your patterns but tutorials as well.

  4. Ann
    October 20, 2020 @ 12:52 pm

    for a low cost alternative, you can try stainless steel welding rods. you need to clean them off with 0000 steel wool and grind the tips blunt, but save more than 80% of the cost of the cheapest set i could find. and you can pick them up ine at a time at a decent hardware store.

    • Whatshername in PDX
      April 16, 2021 @ 1:28 pm

      Or you can use powder coated plant support stakes from the garden center. They are cheap, too and less likely to stain the fabric.

      PS. I started using my spin cycle in the washing machine to squish out water better than a towel can.

  5. Dana
    April 23, 2018 @ 2:57 pm

    Hi. How do you know how MUCH to block something? Is there a ratio or formula (i.e. 1/2 again it’s unblocked measurements… or twice…)? If you stretch aggressively one direction (say along the top edge of the shawl, or down the center line of a triangular shawl) it affects how much you can stretch it in the other direction. So how do you figure out exactly how much to stretch one direction so you get a comparable stretch the other direction?

    • alexaludeman
      April 25, 2018 @ 10:37 am

      Hi Dana – great question, but I have a rather unsatisfying answer: when it comes to lace it’s all how much you like it. I like a pretty hard block for my lace, to really show it off, but you might prefer a little less. You don’t want to block your shawl so it’s too big to wear, for example.

  6. KIM
    February 13, 2018 @ 3:00 pm

    This was extremely happy with this info. I am knitting my first wrap (shawl) and it has straight edges, which now it’s about 2 metres long, are folding inwards. Can’t wait to finish and try ‘blocking’ for the first time. I’ve been knitting for over 30 years, and still learning new tecniques.

  7. marlen
    November 21, 2017 @ 4:13 pm

    Hiya, I am currently knitting a lace scarf that consists of two pieces. They are supposed to be either grafted together or bind off separately and then sewn together AND THEN blocked. But in my mind, it would make more sense to block the two pieces separately and then sew them together. I just worry that the seam won’t be elastic enough for the blocking. How would you do it? I feel a bit lost atm :( Thanks you

    • alexaludeman
      November 22, 2017 @ 9:28 am

      Hi – It depends on how you seam it. If you use a kitchener stitch it should be pretty stretchy. I might block the pieces first and them seam them though.

  8. LG Surgeson
    November 11, 2017 @ 8:17 am

    Currently blocking the shawl I’ve made for my wedding outfit. Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial!

  9. Alison Ellis
    November 1, 2016 @ 8:15 am

    Best tutorial I’ve seen. I’m off now to put it into practice!

  10. hennamuse
    October 27, 2016 @ 7:28 am

    I use guitar strings as blocking wire!

    • Cat W
      May 10, 2018 @ 9:53 am

      That’s brilliant!

  11. JeannieMacaroni
    June 15, 2016 @ 2:23 am

    Thank you for this great tutorial. I have some strong (unused :)) fishing line that I think I might be able to use in place of the blocking wires. I have not blocked using wires before so it’ll be interesting to see how this works.

  12. marnen
    June 2, 2016 @ 9:34 pm

    String for hedge trimmers makes great blocking wires. Get the kind with a round cross-section, in a moderate weight.

  13. Tani
    January 6, 2016 @ 5:10 pm

    This may sound very silly…but can you use jewellery wire instead of blocking wire or will it tear/split the yarn?

    • alexaludeman
      January 6, 2016 @ 7:45 pm

      I think you would want something thicker than jewellery wire, so it will hold taut (although I don’t know that much about jewellery wire so I could be wrong)

  14. Sara
    November 1, 2014 @ 1:34 pm

    Thank you for the great tutorial. I have been knitting for years but this is my first lace project. Even though I have blocked many garments, it was good to be reminded.

  15. Cindy
    July 3, 2014 @ 8:19 pm

    This is very helpful! Thank you!

  16. Mary
    July 1, 2014 @ 4:55 am

    Very timely, my first shawl is almost finished! Thank you.

  17. miss agnes
    June 27, 2014 @ 2:30 pm

    Thanks for this detailed tutorial, a great reference for lace beginners. The first shaw I blocked was Estuary, and I did not do a great job because I was afraid to pull hard on the yarn. I have improved since but still find blocking a difficult process, and quite lengthy. But it does make a world of difference, and so worth the time and efforts spent.

  18. Tiara
    June 27, 2014 @ 11:17 am

    In a pinch, I’ve used 14″ long straight needles as blocking wires for smaller sections.

    • Emily Wessel
      June 28, 2014 @ 11:35 pm

      That’s a great idea, especially for the ends of scarves or stoles!

  19. V
    June 27, 2014 @ 2:30 am

    thanks for this amazing tutorial !!

  20. dhender746
    June 26, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

    Would you please let me know when your doing a tutorial for blocking a top down cardgian sweater or pullover. Thank You

    • Emily Wessel
      June 28, 2014 @ 11:36 pm

      We do have a sweater blocking tutorial planned for the future… Get our email updates and you’ll be notified when it is online!