Sunday, February 26, 2006

THE BLOCKING SAGA

I needed to block the pieces of the Effin' Wrap before I could proceed with finishing. But I wasn't really set up or ready for this. And I needed to block the shit out of the fabric, as it seemed to shrink into itself. (It's a midified 1x1 ribbing, so it really likes to squeeze inward.)

My Bitch, NancyKwik, told me about blocking wires, and not having time to order any, I decided to make my own. And all in all, I am pleased with the results. I didn't think the bed the best place to block the pieces, either, so I also had to make a blocking board! But, as I always say, where there's a will, there's a way!





I started by getting together all of the materials I would need. I bought a 2" thick piece of insulation board at Home Depot -- and the nice people in the cutting department were nice enough to cut it in half for me. Otherwise it would never have fit in my Honda Element.

















While I was at the Depot, I picked up a bundle of nifty, stiff wire. The wire was 6' long, so I had to cut them into more manageable 36" segments with wire cutters. I had some material left over from lining curtains, blocking pins, towels, and my iPod.













Guess who I listened to while working?












I covered the insulation board with fabric and stapled it in place.
















I soaked the wrap pieces and blotted them dry on towels.












The wire I bought is meant for use in hanging suspended cielings. (they only sell them in bundles of 50 -- so I'm set for quite a while!) I made certain to use the ends cut in the factory, as my wire cutters were sharp and craggy and would have snagged the wool. I inserted the smooth end into every border stitch, and, with a little fiddling, got everything to look right and got the stitches to line up well. It was really much easier than I thought it would be. The insulation board held the pins beautifully, and the wire, which I had been assured would not rust, did not. Whew!



So both pieces are blocked now. Next is the intimidating and frightening task of finishing. I feel even more pressure because the photo of the pattern in the Interweave book showed such horrible finishing, I've been obsessing about doing it better than they did in the book. Now it's to to stitch or get off the pot, and I'm anxious. I think I will ask my Bitch, NancyKwik, if she can help me. She keeps a cook head about her.

More pictures when I get the chance. I must say -- blocking the wrap pieces was easier than writing this blog entry!

ONE LAST ITEM: Now that the wrap is a wrap and the Olympics are over, I get to knit what I want! Yeah! It won't be felted clogs -- I am sick of counting short rows, so I can do without those for a while. And it won't be another Effin' wrap! So I picked up the sock I started before the olympics -- I hadn't knit on it since I knit on it during my foot surgery three weeks ago. I'm almost done with the first sock and will surely start the mate tomorrow. They are made from Cascade Fixation in a blueberry color, and they will be a gift for Norbert's trombone teacher.

I have approx. 1100 yards of natural Wool of the Andes left over. I'm thinking of Cool Aid dying it and maybe knitting Norbert a sweater for next winter. I'll have to check and see if 1100 yards is enough for an aran sweater for a 12 year old...I'l want to make it big on him so he can wear it two years.

Ta, dear friends.

2 comments:

bluecanary said...

Hey Aidan, can I buy some of those extra blocking wires off you at the next MCA SnB? I would love to have a set. Plus, I want pix of your clogfest!!! Good luck on the wrap finishing.

Elisabeth said...

Beautiful! You are soooooo going to do a better job finishing the effin' wrap than the the book did. I have total confidence in your abilities.

I wouldn't mind buying some wires from you if you don't feel like keeping all 50. Oh, and I was thinking, you could probably wrap tape around the ends you cut so they aren't jaggedy--just a thought.