Monday, February 15, 2016

HAPPY 200th! HAPPY President's Day! HAPPY Valentine's Day!

So I have lots happy's today!  Happy 200th Post!!! Happy President's Day!! Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day and are now enjoying President's Day today.  Darlene's daughter and grand daughter made the cutest Valentine's....they melted crayons into heart shapes...I can really color with this crayon!  Thank you Shyla and Peyton!

I got beautiful flowers from Jaime and chocolates from Paige and Antonio.  Jaime and I were supposed to go to Fredericksburg, TX for Satruday and Sunday....but Paige called Friday night so we cancelled and I hung out with Antonio most of the weekend....Jaime grilled us some fajitas, chicken wings, and ribs on Sunday evening.  It was a great Valentine's Day!

I am gonna jump right into the knitting....because I have a small tutorial I want to do today at the end of the post.....the tutorial is on blocking!

I have been plugging away at my Citadel day last week I had just finished a row where I was supposed to decrease for the waist and I realized I forgot to decrease.  So, I was thinking the row and I dropped a stitch in one of the cable took me forever to fix (maybe I should have just frogged and re-knit), but I FIXED IT!  I was so proud of myself!

Here is more of my progress:

I knit a little on my February Socks:

I also finished my Karee Shawl....I am going to use it as an example of how I block my shawls.  I had the sweetest lady named Inca contact me via email and told me she loved my blog and wondered if I had any blocking tutorials......I did not, so I told her I would try to make one.  Now, this is not the only way to block items....this is just how I do it.  I have not taken and special classes or read any books....I just kind of self taught myself by figuring out how I could best shape out my shawls.  In a previous post, I have already shared my blocking board that a friend made me.

Once my item is finished, I usually weave in all the ends (except the last one from the bind off).  Then I fill my sink with warm water and add some sort of soak to it.  Lately I have been using a soak called wrapture that I posted about here (I LOVE THIS SCENT)!

After approx 15-20 min I pull out my hand knit item and squeeze out as much water as I can.  I do not soak for too long because the item will bleed it's colors and sometimes if you have more than one color, the lighter colors can start to dye from the darker colors.

Once I squeeze out as much water as I can, I place the item on a towel.

Then I roll up the towel like a tootsie roll.

Once I have it as a tootsie roll in a towel, I stand and walk on the towel to get the towel to soak up more water in the shawl.

Now, I have a set of blocking wires I got from knit picks...these wires are old and some are even bent (Antonio loves to play with them).  You can get any 15 gauge wire (or somewhere around that size) and I am sure it will work.  I take this wire and I weave it in and out of the longest straight edge of my shawl.  There is no set scientific way I weave this wire in and out....I just weave it in and out of holes I see or holes that seem to be easy to make.....

Once I have the wires all across the straight part, I lay it out on my blocking mat and I start pining the wires down with T Pins....I stretch my hand knit item across this wire to stretch as much as I can.  Once I have all the wires (this shawl took 4 wires) blocked across the top, I pull down on the bottom of the shawl at the middle section and stretch as much as I can (sometimes the sides will pull in and I just adjust previously placed T Pins)...and shape the shawl the way it was meant to be shaped...I do all of this with my blocking board flat on the ground (as I crawl all over my blocking board)....once all pinned out, I stand up the blocking board so the item can dry (and my dogs do not walk all over the board).

The gingham checkers on my board are not perfect inches...but I do use the lines of the checkers to try to keep the edges straight.

That is it.....once dry, I un-pin it, and lay out the item to take a picture or put it on my wire body form to take a picture.

So, I know this is not the greatest tutorial...I tried to video some of it, but videoing on my own without a stand or anything (and not having more than two hands) was very difficult.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I will answer as best as I can.

Inca, I do hope this helped you a little bit.

I leave you with a couple of pics of Antonio (since we hung out all weekend).

Here he is with his car track he made all by himself!

And here he is hanging out with Uncle Jacob (Jaime's oldest son)....they had a great time.

That is all I have....have a great week....and thank you for a great 200 posts.....I hope to have 200 more!

Happy Happy Happy Knitting

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