Published: 22 January 2014

Blocking hats, gloves and socks

These items were for sale at recycling centre These items were for sale at recycling centre I am often surprised - and delighted - by what I notice in the recycling centre near where I live. I had to go home for my camera the day I found several hat, glove and mitten boards for sale. I really did not need any more but a hat board and mitten boards found their way home. It is good that someone had the sense to donate these as it was a pleasure to see, and almost all sold.

The square scarves on the left of the photo were handwoven in Voe, Shetland. The blue/grey one now belongs to me.

I have no memory of anything other than a dinner plate of an appropriate size being used to dress (block) berets but obviously some people had wooden ones in different sizes. The holes made drying a bit faster. I am not sure if the smallest ones are big enough for hats but no-one has suggested what other use they had.

To prepare a beret for dressing, use a blunt needle to pass a strong cotton thread through the cast on stitches. Wash the beret, pull it over the board, straighten it, then pull the cotton thread tight and tie in a bow. When the beret is dry, remove the cotton thread and it is ready to wear.

I seldom knit berets but do knit hats (for example Acht hat on my pattern pages) which I put on a cylindrical food container, diameter very slightly bigger than the finished size you need.

Gloves, mittens and socks all had specially made wooden boards. Sometimes there was a wooden piece for the thumbs but we always used the handle of a knife.

Buy Knitting Patterns



Cushion Cover



Cushion Cover

Subscribe for Updates

Enter your email address to receive updates from in your inbox...

About Shetland


Shetland is the most northerly group of Scottish islands. Apart from mainland Scotland, the other near neighbours are Norway to the east and the Faroe Islands to the north west.