I'm still knitting. Tetsu's vest is almost finished.
On Tuesday, Mrs. Ide (the knitting wizard!) brought over her iron to show me. Mrs. Ide has studied knitting (at a school!). She knows all these tricks and tips for making something extra nice. The one tip she says over and over again is
"Blocking the knitted piece is the most important part of knitting."
Now I don't understand that. I spend weeks knitting parts, put them all together, sew in the dangling yarn ends and give the whole thing a few tugs before wearing. A couple years later I may send it to the dry cleaners. But Mrs. Ide says that's all wrong. It is important to steam iron each piece before connecting them, it is important to steam seams open, it is important to steam set the ribbing. Once steam set, you never have to do it again... Ever!
Okay... I tried steaming Tetsu's vest... with my cute little pink plastic iron. It seems to spit steam AFTER I set it back in its cradle. And I don't see much difference even after I steam iron my knitted pieces (sorry Mrs. Ide). Is my iron bad or is it me?
Mrs. Ide's iron is one that she bought 35 years ago for a couple hundred dollars (for an iron 35 years ago that's pretty expensive!) She bought it for the specific purpose of using it on her knitted pieces. (She has another iron for patchwork and regular clothes ironing. It has no temperature adjustment, it has no buttons. It is just very heavy and steams (but you are NEVER are supposed to touch the iron to knitted pieces! Just the steam.) I thought the brand name was interesting. Bamboo Co. LTD.
Mrs. Ide demonstrated her steaming technique on another friend's Work In Progress and I must say that her iron does a better job of steaming than mine.
Anyway, I will finish Tetsu's vest this week AND STEAM IT!