DIY Knitting Accessories: Homemade Sock Blocker

Personally I don’t believe in sock blocking. Of course this isn’t the same sort of ‘not believing’ as not believing in ghosts. I do believe sock blocking exists, I’m just not convinced socks need blocking. After all, your freshly knitted sock is going to stretch to the shape of your foot when you put it on. On top of that, sock blockers are expensive and since a sock blocker is only suitable for a limited range of foot sizes, this can make sock blocking an even more expensive preoccupation.

Now I’ve said all that, I’m sure you won’t be surprise to hear that I don’t own a sock blocker. I do however like to give socks as presents and it’s much nicer  to give a present that looks like this…

Blocked Sock

than this….

Unblocked sock

Feeling a sock blocker or two would be jolly handy, but rather frivolous, I googled home made sock blockers. The tutorials I found suggested making feet shaped cardboard wrapped in sticky tape. I wasn’t keen on this idea, because I doubt they last long before water penetrates the sticky tape and creates a googey mess. It also takes quite bit of force to pull a wet sock onto anything, even when it’s held still by an ankle – so I doubted cardboard would last long if the tape did hold up.

Wondering what else I could use, I spotted this.

20160315_065602

Or to more precise this…

20160315_065540

Of course I wouldn’t dream of stealing Mr Hicks mat. I also remember the girls having place mats when they were small that were a bit thinker and spongier than Mr Hick’s mat.

I headed for the discount store, but unable to find anything similar, I visited a charity shop and found these…

20160314_181337
Smaller, but spongy like I remember the girl’s place mats were.

After handing over the grand sum of 25p, I went home, measured my foot and compared it with a shoe size chart. I also measured around my foot and found that although the shape changed a lot from my toes to my instep, the measurement didn’t change much.

I drew a foot blocker shape on a piece of paper two centimetres shorter and two centimetres less wide than my own foot. I figured this would block socks from my size down to two sizes smaller.

Template for homemade sock blocker
Yes, I know I have big feet.

I cut it out, added a bit to the ankle and used it as a template to draw a foot on one of the table mats…

Making DIY Sock Blocker The mat was surprisingly soft and easy to cut with an ordinary pair of scissors.

Homemade sock blocker

Et voila!

Sock on homemade sock blocker
I trimmed the ankle a little once the sock was on to stop it stretching out the ribbing.

As you can see, it’s not perfect. It needs to have a bigger angle between the foot and the leg. But since the mats only cost 6.25p each, I can afford to make another with a slightly wider angle.

Blocked Sock

Do you believe in blocking socks? Have you ever made your own sock blocker?

Bekki Hill

35 thoughts on “DIY Knitting Accessories: Homemade Sock Blocker

  1. Like you, I wouldn’t normally bother because it seems to me that a sock doesn’t look as ‘friendly’ when it has been blocked. However, I agree that a pair of smooth, straightened out socks look more ‘tidy’ if you’re giving as a gift. I won a pair of sock blockers in a competition and they are made from thin plastic printed with raspberries – might even have been cut from a placemat rather like the one used by Mr. Hicks 😉

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    1. Interesting about your raspberry patterned blockers – I might keep an eye out for other more attractive mats. The bigger size the kids had would also be easier to cut that bigger angle I need, when my feet are so huge!

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  2. Like you, I believe they exist, in fact I think one of my customers/friends brought hers into the shop one day. However, like you I don’t believe that socks need to be blocked. Unfortunately I don’t get enough time to make socks as gifts (well not so as they need fancied up anyway) but I can see why you might want to block them to make them look nice for that reason. Couldn’t you have just pressed them though? Would that have sufficed?

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    1. I think you’re right, a good steam pressing/blocking might work with some knitted socks or washing and pinning out, but that heel was making a real baggy mess. So I think it did need a blocker. I’m going to write the heel up when I’ve finished the second sock. Doesn’t the blue goomy look wonderful! Even LH commented on it unasked!

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  3. It looks super. The Goomy 50 is my favourite sock yarn for actually wearing too. I have others (many!!) knitted in hand dyed sock yarn but Bergere’s Goomy definitely washes and wears the best!!
    Did you make them to match? I never bother to try and get the stripes to match but I know some people do. I guess they might have come out the same anyway.

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  4. Great idea! And it occurs to me that if you put the sock on the blocker DRY, then soak it, it gets easier to manage. Of course, like you used to do before this adventure, I block my socks on my feet. 🙂

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  5. Loved this post. Puts a smile on my face. I do have blockers, but hardly use them. I do cut thin plastic or table mats though when they are gifts, just to put inside and keep the sock in a nice shape. I always think the person receiving the socks will wear them to the shape of their feet. 🙂

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  6. I don’t block socks but love the way they look when flat. In fact, I have to own up to pairing my normal socks the usual way but laying out flat my knitted ones just so I can look at them in the drawer…..

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  7. Hahaha this is brilliant! I’m like you, they always seemed a weird waste of money to me, and I always fold socks flat from the top rather than the side to give as gifts as they wrap so much easier as a nice little cube 🙂 and I do like wrapping little cubes! 🙂 love your ingenuity.

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  8. Your ‘cheapo’ sock blocker seemed to do the trick nicely Bekki . . . very resourceful of you, as always. Your blue-banded socks look lovely, and blocking does appear to have improved its shape. I’ve never knitted socks, so I’m taking all this in for future reference.

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    1. Thank you. You may have seen from the comments above that Ali at Thimbelina has talked me into running a beginner sockalong in June, so maybe you’ll have finished your intense writing period and be able to join in?

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