Kelley is currently knitting Baubles by Andrea Mowry in Berroco Comfort Sock, which is an acrylic & nylon yarn. The Baubles Shawl uses a variety of techniques including brioche and lace – both of which need a good blocking when you're done. So how does one block acrylic yarn without ruining it? Steam blocking! In this week's Technique Tuesday, Kelley shared how she steam blocks acrylic yarn without a steamer.
Kelley used an iron and washcloth to steam block her shawl – that's it! You don't need to buy a steamer, but you can get an iron that shoots out steam in the same way – and in that case, you don't need the washcloth.
Kelley first soaked the shawl to get it slightly wet. You can also use a spray bottle to mist your work instead of soaking. Then she soaked a washcloth and placed it between the shawl and iron, and lightly held the iron over it to produce steam. She held the full weight of the iron, she didn't press the iron to the wash cloth at all.
With a steam iron that shoots out steam like a steamer, you wouldn't touch the iron to the work or need a washcloth – just use the steam function to mist the shawl.
After working with the iron, pull or pin the piece into the shape you want! You can pin before ironing, but be sure to use rust-proof pins.
Be sure to start slowly and carefully – don't let the iron linger too long in the same place. Acrylic will melt if you aren't careful – and we want to leave the yarn completely intact.
Join us next week for Technique Tuesday as we wrap up knitting Baubles by Andrea Mowry!