Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dressed to Kill

As knitted stuff is "fulled" (not felted), lace is "dressed (not blocked). Dressing invoves some rather rigorous pulling tugging, and patience.

The shawl is finished. And it is gorgeous, but it really needed some finishing magic.

So I threaded some crochet cotton through the edge bumps. (I want blocking wires, but they'll have to wait for the ho oho holdays to be over.)

Then I soaked the whole thing in my salad spinner (yes, I do own one!) with some Mane and Tail (I'd like some Euchlan, too. See above.) and warm water.

I spun out the water and looked around for a suitable blocking surface.

Finding none (clean, flat, cat free), I spread this old navy sheet (navy as in blue, not "Navy" as in "U.S." or Navy as in "Old) on the livingroom carpet, racheted up the ceiling fan, and proceeded to pin out the lace.

The soak in warm water, then the yanking and pulling got it into nice shape.

The ceiling fan added enough of a breeze that it was dry in about 4 hours (good thing because I'm not sure how much longer I could have defended it from the furries).

There are two glaring (to me) errors in the lace. They will pass the galloping horse test, and as long as I don't point them out, I don't think anyone will be the wiser!

And this will be a "go along with":

You can get your own here.

And every time I hear someone ask "do I hafta block it?" I want to scream: Only if you care how it looks!

Here's the Irish Hiking Scarf (google it, or check the archives--I've posted the link already), post block. I gave it the same Mane and Tail/salad spinner treatment and patted it into shape on a towel. It took longer to dry than the shawl, but , it's a lot thicker and there's no fan over the pool table.

It's "real" wool and let me tell you, the "stuff" that washed out was pretty gaggy. Plus it softened up quite a bit (no, it's not next-to-skin soft, but it's a lot less scratchy than it was!)

Even ack benefits from a warm water soak. It gets the hand oils and sweat out, evens out the stitches a bit, and, well, makes the knitwear difference of ironing vs. not ironing a "wash and wear" dress shirt. 'nuff said. Do what makes you happy. I'll continue blocking.

Ooooo. Aaaah. So pretty. I did the Irish Hiking gauntlets, and they very much benefited from a lil wash too. But the feather and fan is just lovely.
I can't believe the difference that blocking makes! You've done a lovely job, btw.
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