How to Block a Cowl

By Ann Jones ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Wool wash
  • Bath towel
  • Needles, size 19 or larger
  • T-pins
  • Cardboard
Use large knitting needles to stretch a cowl for blocking.

Cowls are knitted tubes you wear around your neck in place of a scarf. Some cowls are short, reaching only from your collarbones to your chin, while others are long and can be pulled up over your head to keep your ears warm. When you finish knitting a cowl, particularly a lacy one with points on the edges, you must block it into shape. Whether your cowl is a simple tube or a twisted Moebius pattern, a pair of large knitting needles will help considerably with blocking.

Soak your cowl in a sink full of cold water. Add wool wash according to the package directions. After soaking, rinse the cowl in more cold water.

Lay the cowl on a bath towel, and roll the towel up like a jelly roll. Press on the outside of the towel to soak as much water out of the cowl as possible.

Lay a piece of cardboard on a flat surface. The cardboard can be any size as long as it is larger than the cowl and thick enough to stick pins into. A flattened cardboard box works well.

Insert two knitting needles into the middle of the cowl so that the pointed ends stick out of the top.

Lay the cowl, with the needles still in it, on the cardboard. Pull the needles apart slightly to stretch the cowl taut, and hold the top layer away from the bottom layer. This will allow air to flow through the cowl as it dries.

Stick T-pins through the top and bottom edges of the cowl to hold it in place and stretch out any points, as in the case of a picot edge. Stick the pins just far enough into the cardboard to hold the knitting in place without flattening the cowl.

About the Author

Ann Jones has been writing since 1998. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies. Her journalistic work can be found in major magazines and newspapers. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.