Socks: to Block or Not to Block...

Do you block socks after you knit them? 
 
I have a confession: if the socks I knit are for me, the Husbeast or one of the kidlets, I do not block them (gasp!) 
 
My reasoning is that socks are self blocking - they will mold themselves to the shape of the wearer's feet.  Thinking about it, this is probably true about most knitted items that are worn with negative ease (especially hats). 
 
I block socks if one or both of the following conditions apply:
  1. The socks will be photographed
  2. The socks are a gift
There is no denying that blocking makes handknits extra beautiful.  Here is a photo of my Gitter socks before blocking:
They kind of look like a crumpled mess; like they have been scrunched up in a bag for a while (which they have since they live in a project bag while I am making them). 
 
Here they are after blocking:
Blocking has opened up the pattern and evened out the stitches.  You can see the garter stitch lattice stitch pattern and the colour variegations in the yarn.  They are much prettier after they have been blocked. 
 
Blocking socks is easy, first I bathe them in a sink of warm water with a few drops of either Soak or Eucalan:
Then I gently squeeze the excess moisture out of them and hang them on sock blockers to dry.  If you do not have sock blockers, you can shape them by hand and use blocking mats and pins to block them. 

If you are into DIY, here is a link to a tutorial for making sock blockers using dollar store placemats (the vinyl ones).  Making a few of these is on my to-do list for 2016. 

Happy Knitting!