Sunday, April 29, 2007

Super Easy DIY Sock Blockers (Tutorial)

I've always wanted some sock blockers, but was a bit skeptical about paying $20-30 for one... If you're like me, try these... they are really easy to make and cost me a dollar. Oh, just why did it took me so long to get inspired....

ETA 5/5/07: I'm absolutely thrilled to learned that this tutorial has been featured on Craftzine. Thanks Natalie, and also Erin for forwarding me the link. Yay!

Materials:

  • a piece of plastic placemat or any thick-ish plastics sheet. The piece of placemat that I used measured 11.5" x 17" x 0.7mm thick, and was just enough for a pair of women's small size.
  • A piece of cardboard (a cereal box will do the job)
  • A pair of sharp kitchen scissors
  • Some papers, a pencil and a ruler

Step-by-step instructions:

1. With a pencil, draw out the desired shape of your sock blocker on a piece of paper. Cut and trace it on your cardboard.

ETA 7/5/07: A few people were asking about my sketch/template, so I've uploaded it here for your easy access. It has been shrunk to fit into a letter/A4 page, but you can always resize it by drawing or with a photocopier.



2. Cut and try your cardboard blocker on a pair of socks. Make any adjustments and redo Step 1-2 if necessary.

3. Now layout both your cardboard and paper version on your placemat/plastic sheet, and secure the cardboard version to the your placemat/plastic sheet with a double-sided tape.


4. Cut along slowly and carefully with a pair of sharp kitchen scissors. Repeat.

5. Smooth out the edges of your blocker to avoid possible snags, and ya, I told you it's really easy!


60 comments:

sue said...

What a fantastic idea. I love it, and will have to try to make some small ones for my kids if their feet stop growing for 5 seconds. You make it look so easy too.

Siow Chin said...

This is so cool!

opportunityknits said...

Thanks for the tutorial! Super idea to use the placemats :)

handknit168 said...

You are so clever. I agreed with you that DIY always save money. I always make some DIY at home.

Peggy said...

Thanks for the tutorial! Now it has inspired me with a new idea - instead of using plastic placemats, how about using those plastic tile mats for protecting lining kids floors?

Danielle said...

Very cool! Thank you I would not have thought of this.

Jennie said...

Very cool idea. Thanks for sharing!

Sandykins57 said...

I'm going to try it myself! Thanks bunches!

Julie said...

Excellent!!! Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

i may be totally stupid, but what do you use a sock stopper for?
-Norwegian

Deborah said...

Hello, I've finally returned from the dead zone. I still want to try our little swap. Let's plan it soon!

AuntieAnn said...

That's pretty cool! Did you use one of your socks to get the shape of the sock blocker?

mindy said...

You're my kinda gal, so crafty!

debbie said...

what a cool idea! i have a pair of wooden blockers, but always go back to my cardboard ones - i like your idea of using the plastic placemats though, and will definitely try it!

Wendy said...

I agree with the anonymous Norwegian, as I am a Belgian - why do you use a sock blocker? What is it's purpose?

To show socks in a sock-shop?

????????????

Rebecca said...

To the people wondering about the purpose: If you knit or crochet anything, you want to block it when you're done so that it will take the correct shape.

This is especially useful if you're like me, and your knit socks seem to end up two slightly different sizes. ;-) Blocking them when they're wet makes them dry to the same shape and size.

Anyway, thanks for the great tutorial!

Little Sesame said...

Oh thanks to Rebecca for helping with the answers. It's been great pleasure sharing this with all of you.

Elli said...

That's brilliant! Thanks for such a great idea.

Lynn said...

Brilliant. I tried making some with bent-up wire clothes hangers once, but they didn't work nearly as well as I suspect these will.

Patti said...

what a great idea. so very clever. thanks a bunch.

g-girl said...

these are so cool!!

Sally said...

Hi!
Just found your tutorial and will definitely give it a go at making my own Like you I couldn't bring myself to pay so much for a pair too. Thanks!

Put a Sock in it said...

I was way too cheap to buy ready-made sock blockers, but wanted some nonetheless. Thanks to your fab idea, and a trip to Ikea, I'm now the proud owner of 3 sets. :D

Total cost for all three? CDN$2.97!

Many thanks.

Put a Sock in it

Janey said...

Fantastic idea, off to get placemats today!!

Anonymous said...

I just made these and they work great! It took some fine-tuning to get them the right size. They seem to work best when they're slightly smaller than my actual foot size.

Obsidian Knitter said...

THANK YOU! My wire ones haven't worked well for me so I'm going to give this a try.

Jan-Knit said...

So smart!!! Thank you for sharing!!

AuntieAnn said...

I made one sock blocker (I have bigger feet, I guess) from a thin cutting board and posted about it here: http://auntieannknits.blogspot.com/2007/08/high-anxiety-socks.html

I linked to you, I hope that's OK.

Thanks for the tutorial!

knitty, witty, woo said...

I had the same idea but used vinyl floor tiles.
They work great too.

WonderMike said...

Wow!!!!! That's RAD. We have these old placemats that I will be cutting up. KEWL.

Prunila said...

Thanks for sharing this great idea with us!
I wonder ... how did you do the drawing? Did you "copy" it from a sock you bought? I want to make it but I was not sure how to make the different sizes. Specially now I'm doing the first sock for man, veeery long feet and I would like to block it perfect to give them as a present.

Brown Berry said...

Brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

I used some left over vinyl house siding and it worked great. I also punched a hole in the top of the forms and used shower curtain hooks as hangers. Thanks for the great ideas. Arlene

Ursula said...

Hi =) I find your blog when I was looking for Sock Blockers. Thank you very much!!! Now I must reed it more. Best wishes from Finland
Ursula
ps. You are welcome to look my blog;

Gnat said...

This may be a stupid questions but I've never owned sock blockers and want to make these but how do you know what is the right size?? HELP!!

Thank you for this tutorial...that is so great!!

b4knitting said...

Kool!! who would of thought... Mmm I will be trying your DIY sock blockers for sure. The wire ones are too small. I would have to use plyers and cutters :( Thanks a bunch.

sienna said...

Very cool!! Thanks so much. I'll try it out next weekend (or when I find some interesting placemats!)

Anonymous said...

hallo maryanne, iam marianne from sweden, you are a geni
regards from marianne lundholm sweden

Kris said...

Thank you so much for posting this tutorial. I was so frustrated in thinking I would have to shell out tons of money for blockers...and now I can personalize my own.

I just posted about my own experience and am excited to knit more socks because of this.

Cheers!

carcarffm said...

thanks so much for the tutorial. these are my sock blockers. and they only cost me less then 1€ *weheeeeew*
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cazcrafts/2326650817/

knitting knut said...

Great idea!! I used your tutorial to make these yesterday. I didn't have any placemats, but I did have sheets of fun foam (double thick) that worked like a dream!!
Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

wow! what an original thought! great idea!

kelleni said...

Wonderful and economic idea! I would suggest using a hole puncher to punch random, scattered holes in the blockers. This would allow air to circulate more freely and allow the socks to dry faster.

Joanne said...

This is a great idea. Now I need to find something plastic in the house because I want to make them now

Thanks.

salenamason said...

Hi! I, too, found your tutorial after getting s REAL sticker shock when I saw the price of sock blockers!!! Geesh! I'm all for free enterprise, but REALLY!!!

I'm brand new to knitting socks and just setting up materials. I LOVE the look my knitted pieces get when they're properly blocked - so professional looking - especially after all the hard work that goes into making the pieces.

Recently I found out there's such a thing as blocking wires (for sweaters, afgans, etc) for blocking large pieces with straight edges. The kits run about $25+ an you only get 6 36" wires. I called a weldiing supply shop and found that I could get a whole tube (about 30 pieces) of 36" long, 1/4" thick stainless steel rods for under $16. Gonna pick those up this week and try them out on my afgans. Those kids carpet blocks make a wonderful surface for pinning into and they can be taken apart and stored.

Thanks SO MUCH for the tutorial on the sock blockers. Now I'll be set to block whatever I knit!!!

Salena

Beatriz said...

I just found your tutorial for sock blockers...thank you so much for sharing! There are a few things about knitting that don't have to be expensive...this is one of them. I appreciate the template you set up as well. Hope you don't mind me sending some sock knitters your way.

Barbara said...

Great idea! Thanks:)

fear of pop said...

I googled "sock blockers" and found this wonderful tutorial. Love it and can't wait to try it out! I linked to it on my blog :)

Maharetina said...

Thanks so much for the template!

Limey Di said...

Better late than never ... I too found this nifty idea after getting sticker shock from Googling wooden sock blockers. I have some old place mats and I am off to follow suit. Thanks for your ingenuity!

Katja said...

Thank you for this amazing idea. I've been hunting sock blockers for ages (okay, maybe a year) and now I can ask my (future) husband to make me these! (wooden, though) Or if he doesn't want to, I can do them myself :) Thank you again!

RedScot said...

Brilliant! Thanks for posting this! Could you give an idea how much the template has been reduced for the A4 page, please? I can't find anywhere else on the web that gives measurements!

Again, thanks for this great post! (It's a shame there's so much spam in the comments though, but I guess that goes to show how popular this is!)

Kaur said...

Hurray! Just what I was looking for! Thanks!

Crystal said...

Thank you so much for sharing your idea. I was happy to find this tutorial since I can't afford $30 for a pair of sock blockers. Best of all this tutorial looks super easy like the title says. Thanks again!

ltschoolster said...

THANK YOU!THANK YOU!THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a very clever idea! Very easy to understand and very simple to do.

Heather said...

Almost bought some today for $35! Glad I didn't. I will be making these tomorrow. Thanks!

dani said...

Thanks a lot...
I was going to buy some socks bloker for $ 50 plus shipping for Italy 25 $....
Luckily I found your blog, with € 4 (6 $ approx) I will do 3 pairs!
Many many thanks (^_^)
Daniela

☆Teskedsmamman☆ said...

Thank you!

Rich-in-NFPA said...

Another suggestion. You can usually find sheets of clear Plexiglass (or its equivalent) at a hardware store. It can be cut with a saber saw and the edges smoothed with fine sandpaper or emory cloth. Being much stiffer than placemats, the interior of the blocker could be cut out to let air pass through and dry the socks quicker. Look at some of the plastic ones for sale on the Internet and try to duplicate that look.

I plan on only cutting out the cuff portion and the foot portion. That leaves a solid rib or bridge from the bend of the ankle to the heel. That should keep everything stiff enough not to worry about cracking.

I swore I was going to make my next set of sock blockers when I saw what you get from some websites. If I had seen them in "real life" I never would have shelled out that much money!