Today, the steamer was my friend. I'm pretty lazy about blocking. This fact of life has been a big reason why I haven't ventured into making knitted garments - I stuck with hats, gloves, scarves, and blankets. This pattern changed my mind though. It's so darn cute! Because I was convinced it would look better, I decided to give it what it deserved and figure out how to block for real. Since I used acrylic yarn, steam blocking (or no blocking as many have said) seemed to be my only option according to Dr. Google, and I happen to have this great hand held steamer my mom sent me a while back. Perfect!
I don't have a blocking board, I just used my ironing board which has a super thick padded cover on it. I steamed enough to see the yarn change shape (acrylic morphing is pretty cool to watch!) but not so much that I soaked the piece through. This meant it was dry within about 10 or 15 minutes and I could move on to the next section (I did it in three: bottom, middle, hood).
What a difference blocking made! The ribbing in the front isn't curling up at the corners anymore, the sleeve caps are well behaved, and generally the whole thing is pleasantly drape-y. I think I'm a convert. No more laziness, the extra step is definitely worth it. Plus, it was so much easier with the steamer than with my iron!
I found a nice shanked gold button to put on it and crocheted a fastening loop for it. This little button and his companion (a clear button I put on the back to prevent the fabric from stretching too much) came out of an assortment of buttons I bought at Britex Fabric - four stories of fabric and notions! - in San Francisco. It kind of reminds me of a little hot air balloon.
Here's the finished product, front and back. I ended up using just under 2 skeins of Caron Simply Soft (persimmon... fantastic color!) for a size 6 vest. Hope Samara likes it!