Blocking makes more of a difference than you might think. Almost always wet blocking isn’t enough. Blocking with a steam iron gives the polish your hand knits want and deserve. I gave a hat recipe in Thursday’s newsletter. The photos in today’s blog are the hats I made using the recipe. These are hats without any shaping and two are destined as a baby shower gift. Gender neutral, and at this point, without planned embellishments.
This is super wash merino, so I washed it and then put it into the dryer at low/knits. When it comes out it is always kind of scrunchy and sad looking. With super wash, if you don’t put it into the dryer–at least for a few minutes, it doesn’t have its original body. Blocking tells you what the final fabric is going to be. Wet blocking allows shrinkage or relaxing of the fabric. Although the fabric looked great before wet blocking, I want the hat to be wearable on arrival.
It is likely this is the only time the hat will get steamed, but I want to give it a good start! You should know that I quickly iron most of my knit tops. The difference in how the fabric looks makes the effort worthwhile in my eyes. I brought out the counter-top, collapsible ironing board and I hunted down my Dritz EZ Hem and the tailor’s press.
The EZ hem allowed me to shoot steam into the fabric on a smooth surface–so I could smooth it out. I also got a sharper edge to the hat. The point press let me get a really great corner and top. These are things I have. If I had to buy one, I’d start with the EZ hem because of price and variety of uses. I never touched the iron or put any steam into to the 1×1 rib.
I might lightly touch the iron to the fabric, but mostly I just shoot steam and smooth with my hands. The EZ Hem allows a little moisture to enter the fibers, so it will need to dry after doing this. The steam opened up the rows and gave a little more definition to the stitches–and in this case the colors in the yarn.
The hat is all ready for embellishing. The embellishments will be done in a felted tweed so I will steam block them on completion. I need to get this project in the mail!