Thursday, October 29, 2009

Arts & Crafts & Blocking

So it's Thursday and I've been home all week with sick child #1, then sick me, then sick child #2. Fun fun! The good news is that Sophie recovered early in the week and has been back at school since. More good news, I was pronounced flu-strep-pneumonia-H1N1 FREE on Tuesday. I still have an awful cold, but I'll take it as good news. Then bad news, child #2 Helen got a fever yesterday morning and will miss the rest of the week.

Our couch has turned into a sick bed. This was days ago:
This is today:
The only ones excited about all of this sickness are the cats! They like having warm bodies to snuggle with in the middle of the day.

I tried to cheer Helen up today with a French manicure. Let's just say it's a good thing I didn't go into that line of work. Fortunately she's quite happy with it, so that's all that matters.
After playing "nail salon", I was feeling so crafty that I decided to block my Lace Beret (from Vogue Knitting Magazine Holiday Issue). I finished it last night and I love it! However it does need light blocking at the top. It's hard to block hats, and berets can be more difficult. So I got out some supplies: a piece of cardboard, a pair of scissors, a Sharpie, a plastic bag (thanks to all my trips to the drugstore this week, I have plenty of those!) and a washcloth. I drew a circle on the cardboard just slightly bigger than the hat. I cut it out and covered the cardboard with the plastic bag. Then I gently slipped the hat onto this handmade blocking aid.
I saturated the washcloth with lukewarm water and laid it on top of the beret. I used both hands to press down for several minutes and removed it. By tomorrow, it will be dry.
Now I'm off to figure out our new electric ball winder!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that very good tip
about blocking a beret. I have
never made a beret, but when I
make a regular hat sometimes I
put it over a bowl and then spritz
the life out of it. It seems to
work also.

Jill said...

A bowl is a great idea! I have also used a new roll of paper towels (still in plastic!) for hats. Whatever it takes!

Lisa said...

Thanks for the blocking tips. Good to know!

Jocelyn said...

Just wondering why you didn't saturate the beret first instead of applying the wet washcloth? I'm almost done with Selbu Modern, and I'm already thinking about blocking...The other thing I was thinking was that I could wrap the cardboard in plastic since I don't have too many plastic bags around.

Jill said...

I don't always saturate items when I am blocking them. It depends on the project. This lace pattern has a nice texture and I didn't want to flatten it out too much. The puckering at the top was the only part I wanted to flatten at this point. I can always block it further if I find it needs it after the top dries.

choo choo knits said...

I've heard that you can also use a plate (depending on the size) and I would probably try one of our thin pyrex-type ones if I made this.

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about the electric ball winder - can't wait to hear what you think! Although, with kids, our table top manual one is just fine!