September 17, 2003

Seaming, swatching, and how to make your own damn blocking board.

Why, it's a seaming party! [Breaks open a piņata.]

That's right. I'm finally blocking and seaming the pieces of my pretty cotton jacket. I do believe I won't have to wait until next spring to wear it! The weather has gone from rainy to sunny, with a bit of coolness in the morning. Definitely cotton jacket weather.

Things got a bit close for a while there, though. As I knit the second sleeve [check it out...doesn't that little piece at the top of the sleeve cap look funky?] I realized that I was coming perilously close to running out of yarn. So close, that I actually ripped out my swatches and started using the yarn from them. My, it's funny how one's Catholic upbringing makes a big appearance as one encounters the "I don't think I'll have enough yarn to finish this project" problem. I found myself praying to the yarn saints repeatedly as I knit that sleeve cap. Thankfully, I was left with the yarn pictured to the right of the sleeve. However, it does seem like a tiny bit for a neckband in 2/2 rib. Fervent praying to the yarn saints will take place as I knit the neckband.

Now that I'm in the process of blocking and seaming the pieces of the pretty cotton jacket, I am now entitled to start swatching for future projects. Behold the swatches I've just knit, washed and blocked, as they sit nicely on my "blocking board". Those are swatches of Bouton d'Or Balzane, Phildar Frimas and Phildar Coton Microfibres. Yarn that is just waiting to be knit into...something ;-)

As you can see, my "blocking board" is nothing fancy. I came up with it after I found the floor to be a dangerous place for knits when one has a toddler who likes to ride his trike all over the apartment. And this one works so much better. Here's how you can make your own damn blocking board, too:

1) Get an old folding card table salvaged from the in-laws.

2) Place in a spare room where there is no humidity.

3) Unfold a large cardboard box, and place flat on the table.

4) Place large sheet of plastic (I use plastic recycled from the clothes coverings provided by dry cleaners) on top of the cardboard.

5) Place easy-to-dry fabric on top of the cardboard. (I use a smooth white towel, which I discovered allows me to see if any of the yarn colors bleed when wet, but I might change to a plaid or checked pattern to make measuring easier.)

Voilā! D.I.Y. blocking board. I plan on getting a staple gun so I can really go to town with the crafty stuff. (Okay, I'm kidding. But a staple gun would be a fun thing to have.)

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