OK, I'm going to bore you to death but hopefully it will be brief!
As you know by now I've become a somewhat obsessive knitter of socks. Normally they come off the needles and go straight onto my feet, but yesterday I finished a pair that are a gift for a friend and I decided I would block them to make them look more professional.
Blocking basically means wetting and pinning into shape a newly knit item. When it's dry it will be transformed. For socks the process is slightly different but much easier. It involves a pair of Sock Blockers which are either thin wood or hard plastic cut into the shape of a flat sock. They come in various sizes and you can make your own easily enough.
To illustrate the difference blocking makes I took the following photos. In order they are the two socks freshly knitted - the one on the right has been on the blocker whilst I knitted the second one (which is pictured fresh off the needles); however, it was not wet so it hasn't really changed shape.
The second photo is after they were put on the blockers wet and left to dry overnight. Different? I'll say!
I wish I'd taken a close up but you can see the different shape.