A key part of knitting is blocking, which involves refining the shape of your finished piece so it’s exactly the right size and every stitch looks nice and even. You can keep your pieces properly tensioned using T-pins, but blockers are a wonderful alternative. Featuring multiple pins attached to a handle, these allow you to pin down more of your work in less time while maintaining straighter, more defined edges. They’re also much harder to lose. Once you’ve experienced the convenience of blockers, also known as blocking combs, you’ll probably never go back to using just T-pins and a ruler. Most blockers are sold in sets and in two standard sizes: eight pins and four pins. We’ve rounded up our five favorites to help you make your choice.
1. Knitter’s Pride Rainbow Knit Blockers
Knitter’s Pride (whose products are sold outside North America under the name KnitPro) has been in business since 2011, and it has quickly established itself as a reliable source for knitting tools. These pins are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, with plastic bodies in bright colors such as green, purple, and red. This also makes them easier to spy among other tools and stand out against neutral fabrics. Their exposed ends are consistently sharp and sturdy to resist bending when pushed through thicker fabrics and blocking mats. They’re also rust resistant so they can stand up to steam blocking, and the plastic edges are rounded so you don’t accidentally jab yourself while working.
2. Red Suricata Adjustable Size Sock Blockers
If you frequently knit socks, make your life easier with a sock blocker. Simply slip your creations over this acrylic foundation to keep them taut and firmly in place as you block them. You can adjust it to fit all adult sizes by moving the sliding “toe” piece along a seven-position scale. The sock blocker is finished with a hook so you can hang your completed work up to dry, and it’s available for purchase in one or two pairs. Scale markings indicate men’s and women’s sizes, both American and European.
3. Hope & Zach Knit Blockers
Those just starting to learn needlework might want to consider this option, which comes with lots of combs as well as a few other materials, namely 150 T-pins, 50 colorful stitch markers, and nine crochet hooks. You get more blockers than in standard sets—27 in total, comprising 15 eight-pins and 12 four-pins. Like the competition, these feature pins made of stainless steel, but they are less durable and slightly less sharp than others on our list.
4. Knitter’s Pride Knit Blockers
Equivalent in performance and feel as to the Knitter’s Pride rainbow set of blockers, these handy blockers consist of stainless steel pins firmly embedded in a tough white plastic rectangle. They are pleasingly pointy and uniform from block to block. Slightly less expensive than the rainbow set, this one offers a clean and classic aesthetic that some knitters might find less distracting, especially if working with very bold fabrics. They’re also easy to find in many stores if you want to buy more.
5. Red Suricata Knit Blocking Combs
If you know you’ll need a lot of blockers, a more economical choice would be to pick up a big set from this Australian company, which specializes mainly in outdoor gear (like beach canopies and bags) but curiously also offers a line of knitting and crocheting accessories. Among those is this two-box set of blocking combs, which includes a total of 30 eight-pin blocks and 20 four-pin blocks. That’s the largest bulk pack we can currently find. Made of stainless steel, the pins are rigid and burr-free, set evenly apart, and remain stable and upright even after frequent use.