How to steam block
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You've invested countless hours into knitting a garment and you're super keen to start wearing it! But there's one more step to consider first.
Steam blocking isn't crucial, but it does work magic on the finished surface. It evens out stitches, relaxes lace, smoothes cables and opens up eyelets, giving you a more professional finish. When I first learnt to knit, my more experienced friend would often reassure me "don't worry, blocking will fix that". She was right. Blocking is the magic that makes everything better.
"Steam blocking" is the fun-loving little sister to the more serious "wet blocking" option. We have a post about wet blocking coming soon (the minute I finish the next jumper) but that's when you fully submerge a garment in water and then painstakingly shape it to dry flat. Steam blocking is less intense. You simply lay the dry garment on an ironing board, turn your iron onto a medium setting with the steam function on and gently hover the iron (don't let it touch your work!) over the garment, letting the steam infuse the yarn. If you need more of a boost, you can lay a damp tea towel over your work and gently press the steaming iron on the surface. The tea towel acts as a buffer, so it shouldn't damage your work.
But quick warning: it's important to always read the care instructions on your yarn label before you block or wash your knitting. It's like the fabric care instructions on your favourite clothes.