Saturday, February 21 / 8:31 a.m.

Steam blocking vs. Wet Blocking
So I finished knitting Shona's sleeves last night, and this afternoon I steam blocked all the pieces. It was the first time I'd tried it, and as usual my research turned up contradicting advice. "Lightly press the pieces." "Never press the pieces." That sort of thing. Seems to happen often in the knitting world.

Anyhoo, I'd say the biggest benefit of steam blocking is that it's instant! Started sewing up the seams this afternoon, too. No need to wait three days for pieces to dry (v. good since I don't have much blocking space). However, I don't think I'd use it if the garment required major smoothing/adjusting - the steam makes the fabric ouchy hot and doesn't soak in enough to make it really pliable and mushy like wet blocking does. Also, you definitely have to use pins to steam block: you have to pin the garment out to the required size before steaming, whereas with wet blocking (especially if you don't need to be hugely precise) you can just slop it down on a sticky towel and stretch it out.

I'm not a complete convert, but I'll continue to use steam blocking for instant gratification on simple projects.

No photos today, because my computer's been hit with a stupid virus that crashes Explorer every 2 seconds. Sending this from the library, where I'm supposed to be reading State, Power and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East, because I've got a book review due Monday.

"And she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head."
-- Lou Reed,
Take a Walk on the Wild Side.