Steam Blocking

I have always been a great fan of the transformative powers of wet blocking for knitted items.  It really does ‘hide a multitude of sins’ as my mother would have said, as it has a lovely regulatory effect on the fabric that you’ve created.  The wool just organises itself into lovely evenly distributed stitches – nice of it really. 

This weekend I’ve been blocking a cowl that I’ve done using acrylic yarn. This is a commission, so can’t give too much away or post any photos but it really is quite an experience. Having done a lot of research it seems that wet blocking doesn’t have the same effect and the best results are from using steam. All the various sites have dire warnings about the danger of ‘killing’ your fibre.  In a nutshell this essentially means – melting it.  I certainly have some well remembered occasions when I’ve inadvertently ‘killed’ a synthetic blouse or t-shirt on the ironing board.  So armed with my blocking wires and the steam iron I set to.  The cowl is worked flat on non-circular needles so I threaded the four sides onto the wires and pinned them out.  So far so good. 

Image courtesy of WiseGeek.com

The iron did its thing with the steam as I held it above the knitting and allowed it to push the lovely warm wetness into the fabric.  It worked really well.  I also got the shakes as I held the iron just above the knitting as I was terrified of touching it with the iron. It’s mainly stockinette so it has a very strong urge to curl, so I left it overnight then removed the wires and pins this morning and then gave it a bit longer under a couple of heavy books.  So far so  good. 

I’m going to do the seam later today so I can post it off in the morning.  Fingers crossed that it meets with approval!

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