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How to Steam-Block Knitting or Crochet

Steam blocking is a gentle way to shape delicate knitted or crocheted pieces. When you steam block a piece of knitting or crochet, you steam it (instead of soak it) to coax it into its final shape.

  1. If you’re using blocking wires, weave in the wires along the edges.

    Blocking wires come with instructions on how best to do this.

  2. Gently lay your piece out on the blocking board.

    For a stockinette piece, lay it face down on the blocking board; for a textured or cabled sweater, lay it right side up. If your board has a cover with a grid, line up the centerlines of your pieces with the grid.

  3. Spread your piece out to the correct dimensions without distorting the direction of the stitches.

    Using your schematic for reference and the grid as a guide, start at the center.

  4. Pin and smooth all pieces.

    You need to pin in only a few places to keep the piece flat. Run your palms lightly over the piece to help keep everything smooth and even.

  5. Hold a steam iron over the piece about 1/2 inch away from the surface.

    You want the steam to penetrate the piece without the weight of the iron pressing down on it. If your knitting is cotton, you can let the iron touch the fabric very lightly, but keep it moving and don’t let the full weight of the iron lay on the surface.

  6. After steaming, let your piece rest and dry for at least 30 minutes.

    Make sure the piece is dry before working with it further.

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