steam blocking miracle, or I <3 my iron

A while back I finished and blocked this hat, using the soak and lay out to dry approach:


I wasn’t super happy with the results–my stitches still looked uneven and bumpy. I did another round of wet blocking and the result was the same…uneven, lumpy looking knitting. So frustrating! I knew this hat could be gorgeous, it just needed to start behaving itself first.

So, I broke out the big guns:


Yes, it was time to steam block. Historically, I have been a huge fan of steam blocking, but in recent years I have gravitated more to wet blocking. My line of reasoning is that wet blocking is going to happen anyway (when you wash the piece), so with pieces that are design samples, it’s important to check how the piece will look after a wash, and to represent it that way in photos. Also, I’ve had a few near misses with singing pieces, and that’s tempered my enthusiasm for steam blocking. But sometimes, it really does the trick. Here’s an after photo of the hat:


See how much smoother the stitches are? It looks really even and professional now, right? And if you’re still feeling dubious, here’s a closeup:

(yes, I realize the colors aren’t so great on this one)

So, lesson learned! If wet blocking is not producing desired results, try a little steam. Now I just need to schedule myself a proper photoshoot to show off what this hat looks like on!

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