Friday, December 7, 2007

Blocking adventures

At the time this post was conceived, MS3 looked like this:

I am using my amazing cheap-ass "blocking wires" (read: steel wire from the hardware store), tied to all sorts of heavy objects: the two crates containing my stash, a paint can, a desk.. I am proud of the fact that my stash fits into those two crates - I'll try to keep it that way as long as possible.

There is another object awaiting blocking, except that I'm not sure blocking this one will be as easy as wires and paint can:

Yes, I know, it looks like ... nothing. I haven't blogged about it at all because it's nearly impossible, for me at least, to take decent photographs of a yarn this dark. Still, a dark yarn will be perfect for this project: Jared Flood's Hemlock Ring Blanket!

The Cascade Eco was just what I needed after that awful Louet Gems experience: a wooly yarn, full of fiber and goodness and natural smells. No superwash here, and I do think it's the superwash treatment that rendered the Louet so lifeless and boring. I think the Eco stands for both ecological and economical, because pure heavy-worsted wool doesn't get any better than this! I was debating on the color at the yarn store: (a) darker yarns are harder to photograph, (b) more difficult to work with and (c) might not show the pattern as spectacularly as lighter yarns. (a) was solved by not bothering to show photos of the object in progress; have I mentioned that the blanket is finished?! It just needs a good blocking - I'll get to that in a second. (b) wasn't much of an issue either: this was TV knitting, and color isn't a factor in a dark room. Finally, (c) is a minor annoyance; it's nothing compared to the major annoyance that would be washing a blanket a bazillion times. So "chocolate" it was, and I'm glad for it - it's really a nice, warm color to curl up under in the winter.

The only problem right now is the blocking... I don't really have a blocking board (unless you count the omnipresent fluorescent green bedsheet) and I'm afraid the wires-and-paintcan method might not work on such a thick project. Moreover, this blanket really needs to be stretched; "severe blocking" I believe is the right term. Suggestions?

Edited to add: I've just returned from a fun evening out, I unpinned the shawl and I almost cried. After all my bitching and complaining and disliking the object in progress, this turned out to be the most beautiful thing I've ever made.