Emily Explains: Steam Blocking
Steaming is a great and gentle way to finish your knitted garment or accessory. Just like wet blocking, steaming allows your stitches to bloom and the fabric to even. The benefit to steaming is that it takes less time to dry! You can block, steam and throw on your fabulous garment or accessory in no time at all.
What you need is a flat space large enough to lay out your piece. Many people use a foam board or blocking board to pin their knitting to the desired dimensions. At home, I like to use a fluffy beach towel or two depending on the size of my piece and my living room floor. If I use pins I just pin the fabric carefully into my towel and lay flat.
Next all you need is an iron with a steam setting (many irons have this). Pour water in and set your iron to steam. On my iron, the higher numbers are steam and there is a little cloud to symbolize it.
Hover over your knitting, far enough away that you are not directly touching the knitting but still getting the fibers damp from the steam. You will see your knitting relax before your eyes! This is a nice way to block a knitted piece with beautiful dimension.
Another way to steam your knits is with a damp cloth and an iron set on high heat. Lay your knitting out just the way you would like it to be, then place your damp cloth over it. Take your iron on high heat and iron over the damp cloth. The goal with this is to heat the damp cloth ultimately steaming the knitting that is underneath.
Whether you decide to wet block or steam, it’s always nice to take the time to do this finishing step with your knitting. You’ll be glad you did!