The SteamFast Fabric Steamer I ordered from Amazon.com arrived about five days earlier than estimated. This is why I love Amazon.com! I can rely on them! Not like other stores whom shall remain nameless (coughcoughwalcoughcoughmart).
When the package arrived, I ripped open the package and threw the box to the cats. They approached the box with as much glee as I did the steamer. These days I see myself excelling rapidly towards an Olympic Medal in Nerdom or some sort of Award of Accomplishment, at least. I've stopped trying to pretend I'm cool. I know I'm not. I get excited about steamers with wild abandonment. (If you're still reading, you must be one of my medal competitors.)
Interestingly, there is not a dial or anything that controls the volume of steam that this little guy creates. The water is added through the top...that dial looking thing is actually a screw top lid. The steamer also comes with a detachable brush. I tested it out on several different pieces of clothing, it seems there is no shortage of wrinkled clothing in my house, and found that the brush actually helped a lot.
Without even buying it dinner, this steamer puts out like you wouldn't believe. Within minutes, my bathroom mirror was dripping water. You can see the water boiling away inside through the little "windows" on the side. About five seconds after unplugging it (again, there is not a power button, this thing is operated soley by plugging and unplugging), the steam dissipates and the water stops boiling. I didn't notice the steamer itself getting too warm or hot too handle. The only obvious hot spot was directly in the path of the steam.
I've never blocked anything using steam. In fact, the only items I've blocked were felted items. Of course, they're already wet so I just tugged them into shape and let them sit out in the sun until they dried.
Anyway, I grabbed the back panel of Yaya's sweater and started steaming one half. In my excitement, I didn't get the exact shape it's supposed to be - I was just so amazed that the steaming was actually working! As you can see, the left half is still curling in. But the right half, even if not the correct shape, now lays down calmly like a regular piece of fabric. It's going to be a lot easier to sew this together now.
The only thing I didn't like about blocking it is the ribbing lost its elasticity. But I'm assuming this will reappear when I wash it. If not, I'll have to start knitting with elastic thread in the ribbing portion. I also thought it was interesting how steaming it made the stitches sort of separate. In the photo you can see the pink color behind the steamed side shows much more...I'm not sure if this is how it's supposed to be or if this too will go away when washed.
One thing I noticed is you really have to be careful with water spurting out inappropriately. I'm not exactly sure how this happens, but I think the steamer occassionally spits out water if you're not handling it smoothly. See, I got some water on the left side of the panel.
I can tell this was a good purchase! I can't wait to block everything in site!