Steam Blocking

Anyone do it?
It sounded good on Knit and Crochet Today so I bought a little steamer just for blocking.
I really don’t have enough horizontal real estate to be laying out pieces until they dry naturally.

I found out that it shrinks Moda Dea Lazy Daisy.
Knit and Crochet Today warned about blocking changing gauge and possibly color change but acted like steaming was no different. (In their defense they did say to test a swatch for blocking, I guess my swatch was 2 1/2 skeins worth with a neck hole.)
I can salvage the sweater, the pattern seemed small so I was figuring on a crochet edging anyway.

Short of wasting a swatch how do I know which fibers it will shrink?

Any other pitfalls I should know about? Any how-to tips at all?

I also need to know more about steaming. The woman I bought my knitting machine from does it on everything. She mostly uses good quality acrylic yarns. Did you pin your sweater pieces before steaming them?

I didn’t but I now gather that you’re supposed to. I did pull it into shape as I steamed sections.
I guess I’ll have to put my ironing board in a more easily accessed place so I can pin for future attempts.

Lazy Daisy is acrylic and nylon. Knit and Crochet Today said it works great on acrylic which is why I figured it would be safe.

I tried it on a Red Heart Super Saver hat (although it has already been through the washer) and it didn’t change anything.

I’ve steam-blocked acrylics using my iron…and usually a pressing cloth. Pin into shape, cover with cloth and just touch the cloth (no pressure) with the iron (wool setting). Make sure item gets sufficiently damp…allow to air dry. This has worked well on scarves.


I just finished (rather nervously) steaming the parts of a sweater before seaming. I just hovered the steam iron over the pieces which were laid on 2 heavy Turkish towels. I didn’t pin them; just used a steel tape measure to adjust the parts to the pattern dimensions. Left them to dry overnight and this morning they look fine! Now for the dreaded seaming. :wink:

I bought a steamer. My iron is probably from the '50s. I must’ve been given a very old hand me down when I went to college because I remember having steam when I ironed in highschool.
Any more I only use an iron when I’m sewing a bag out of duck cloth so I figured I’d have more use for an actual steamer.

Other than shrinking the stitches pretty tight having it blocked before seaming looks like it will be much easier staying on the same row of stitches.

There sure wasn’t any overnight drying with the steamer.

Mike, I was just looking through one of my knitting books and it had a section on blocking and I noticed it said not to steam anything but wool and cotton. Any blend with acrylic was not to be steamed as it could leave it limp. Just thought I would pass that along. I see from above that others have had a different experience, but that is what the book said. :slight_smile:

I’ve read that online too.
But the person on Knit and Crochet Today (Lily Chin) who said she worked in the garment industry since she was 13 said it works better on acrylic than wool. Seems to be a lot of conflicting information/opinions about steam.

Personally I want my stuff to be limp. The stiffness of acrylic would be the reason I would make a sweater out of natural fiber rather than acrylic.

I tried it on a swatch (I learned :slight_smile: ) of Lion Jiffy and yes it made it limp, but it also worked great. It flattened the stockinette stitch right out.
I may avoid putting the steam to the ribbing of that sweater, I’ll have to make a swatch (I guess the learning stuck :slight_smile: ) to see how it does on the ribbing.

I also tried it on the corner of a crocheted Red Heart SS afghan I’m doing (which is already limp enough that it really doesn’t need anything) and I couldn’t tell a difference.