It was a Block Party at the Knitters’ Guild meeting yesterday. The program chair assisted by one of the members presented an informative program on blocking your knitting, particularly lace items.
Between the two of them, they demonstrated using blocking wires, pinning out a scarf, using a spray water bottle to assist in the process, what kind of pins to use, etc. Lots of knitters skip the blocking step. This program underscored the need for blocking items to give them that finished look. It opens up lace so its beauty can be readily seen. A sweater knit in pieces will be easier to assemble if you block the pieces first.
Just like knitting a swatch before you start your project, blocking it once it is knitted is part of the overall process. Neglecting either one can lead to a less-then-satisfactory outcome.
I think the reason a lot of people skip blocking their knitted items is they don’t know how to do it. If they were at the program yesterday, they can no longer use that excuse.