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 General Technique Questions
 Steam or Damp Blocking?
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draymer
Permanent Resident

USA
1490 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2011 :  12:28:11 PM  Show Profile Send draymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use interlocking squares from Patternworks for Damp Blocking. But I am reading knitting books from the library that seem to prefer steam blocking. I have a roll-up blocking mat, also from Patterworks, that would work for steaming. Most of the items I make are wool.

When do you use steam, and when do you use damp blocking?

purlewe
Permanent Resident

1921 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2011 :  1:12:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlewe's Homepage Send purlewe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know this is gonna sound weird.. but I use damp blocking when I need something dry quicker. Say a present I finished the morning I am giving it? Tell me you never finish a present that morning and I will worship at your feet. I am always pulling a close one.

Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming. ~Myrna Loy
http://purlewe.typepad.com/
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draymer
Permanent Resident

USA
1490 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2011 :  2:02:26 PM  Show Profile Send draymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished a head band for skiing on the car ride up the mountain. Obviously, it was no suprise to my DH.

I must say, I don't know why damp blocking would dry faster. I read something about heat killing yarn, and that being good, in moderation. I suppose for lace shawls, so you don't have to block them everytime you wash them?
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Shalee
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USA
2046 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2011 :  8:37:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shalee's Homepage Send Shalee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a steamer for blocking. Yes, you can kill yarn if you touch the steamer to the yarn! I wash almost all of my projects and then roll them in a towel to get most of the water out. Then pin it out, with a small fan directed at it, to dry. I did make one acrylic shawl that would not block! Had to iron it, on lower setting, to get it to hold the blocking. Never again!

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!


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NutmegOwl
Gabber Extraordinaire

581 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2011 :  06:37:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit NutmegOwl's Homepage Send NutmegOwl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry to burst your bubble, Purlewe, dear, but I have never finished a present and gifted the same day. (I have given a present still OTN - once ;) I soak, blot/roll and pin out everything. I can think of only two or three pieces that I've ever steamed, mostly because after that process they were so inclined to roll/curl that only steaming would remove the energy from the wool/blend.

I know some folks prefer it for silks, but I haven't had to resort to it and avoid it if possible. (And never actually touch the steam source to the knitted object)

-----
Nutmeg Owl
Quaecumque sunt vera
http://www.owlwaysknitting.wordpress.com
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purlewe
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1921 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2011 :  07:56:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit purlewe's Homepage Send purlewe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe my version of steam blocking is different? I don't touch the heat source to the finished object. And my projects that I do that way are dry in about an hr or 2.

My usual method is soak, blot/roll, pin. That takes about 12-24 hrs to dry.

Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming. ~Myrna Loy
http://purlewe.typepad.com/
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draymer
Permanent Resident

USA
1490 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2011 :  08:44:13 AM  Show Profile Send draymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks all. I, too, am soak, roll, pin. Since steaming doesn't do a better job than damp blocking, I see no reason to take the risk of killing the yarn (I read you can do it without touching it, probably by concentrating on one part too long). Now I just have to finish something!
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
543 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2011 :  09:37:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always soak my hand-knit items (wool, silk, mohair, cashmere, mink, angora, all types of "luxury" fibers) with Eucalan if the yarn is labeled hand-wash at all. I roll them in towels and step on them to blot out as much moisture as possible, then either hand-shape or pin to shape, depending on what it is (or use sock blockers). Sometimes, when dry, it gets a quick tumble in a cool dryer to fluff it out. I want to know myself how this yarn performs so I can advise the recipient on its care.

And while I have, indeed, finished a gift at the last minute, it has always been something that "blocks" in the dryer!

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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Consuelo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2011 :  2:05:08 PM  Show Profile Send Consuelo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not only have I finished a gift on the same day I was to give it, I have gotten in the car to go to an event while still hemming the skirt I made. I don't like doint it but it happens!

Consuelo
"Perfect" is the enemy of good!
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draymer
Permanent Resident

USA
1490 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2011 :  12:43:59 PM  Show Profile Send draymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Consuelo, I love it (hemming the dress in the car). The last time I did that with sewing was in high school - my date was waiting in the living room while I hemed my prom dress. My mother said I would be late to my own funeral.
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