Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blocking Blues

I finally finished my Knit Swirl coat just before the three day holiday (Martin Luther King, Jr day). It was relatively warm for this time of the year, so I wanted to wash and block it over the weekend. I had hoped to have this seamed by the end of the weekend. (Yeah, best laid plans and all that.....)

I re-read Sandra McIver's instructions (the designer) on blocking this coat. I'm glad I did, because there was some pre-work in finding the center back and center edge points and marking them with a locking stitch marker.

I rinsed it several times in Soak, as there was some dye in the water. It took 2-3 soaks to get the water clear. Afterwards, I laid out my giant blocking boards that I had bought previously. I'm glad for them because it took ALL of my boards, which are 24" x 24" to block this coat.

Here's the coat laid out.
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I used blocking wires (which are AWESOME) to stretch out parts of it. Otherwise, I would have had to use a bajillion t-pins. I laid it out around 10:30 am. It took about 45 minutes to block it out correctly --- matching all of the center points and pinning to the schematic measurements. My metal yard stick came in extremely handy.
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I had hoped it would be dry by that evening, but I guess I didn't towel it dry enough, plus my itty bitty back patio doesn't get as much sun during the winter months. During the summer months, this area turns into one giant oven, which is suited to drying anything within an hour.

It was still damp by 6pm and the sun was no longer up. I didn't want to leave this outside for a number of reasons. Because this thing was so big, I didn't have adequate space inside the house where there would be no kittens helping.

Unlike previously when I laid it out on the floor:
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I solicited advice from my fibery friends on Facebook -- should I find room or use the no-heat option of my dryer to dry this sucker. The verdict? Let it air dry. One person suggested using the bed, locking the kittens out of the bedroom, and sleeping on the floor or couch. I was not about to do that, nor did I think the Viking would agree to such a thing.

I had an AHA! moment when I realized that the roof of my car (a MINI Cooper) is relatively flat, and the kittens are not allowed in the garage. With a bit of help from the Viking, we got the whole thing inside and on top of the roof of my car. (The sweater is slightly bigger than the width of my car hood. It amuses me.)

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Between the interlocking boards and the blocking wires, we could turn it almost sideways and nothing really came loose, save the sleeves, which weren't really tacked down.

By the time morning came, it was only slightly damp. We took it outside again, where it dried completely. Now, just to finish the sewing portion of it!