Thursday, August 13, 2015

Block Party

How many crochet and knitting blog entries do you think have been written titled "Block Party"?  ;o)

Ok, so it's probably not that original.  It's still accurate!  Yesterday afternoon, I threw a little block party.

Some time ago (and I do mean some time), I saw some knitters somewhere (over on Knitting Paradise?) discussing affordable alternatives to the special foam mats sold specifically for blocking knitted or crocheted objects.  Someone mentioned that Harbor Freight sells four-packs of large (25in²) foam mats that interlock to create either a large square or a long strip (depending on what you're blocking).

Here's a link, if you're interested:  Anti-Fatigue Foam Mat Set.
At the moment, they're on sale for just under $10.  You can use a coupon on them and get them even cheaper-- which is what I did.

Yesterday was my first time giving them a try, and I'm very happy with the results.

A few things you might want to know, if you're in the market for your own set of foam mats:

--When you first open them, they will stink.  To high heaven, I mean.  We are talking a serious P-U factor.  They smell unpleasantly of new plastic.  If you have a garage or some other out-of-the-way spot, I'd recommend letting them sit and "off-gas" for a while.  Definitely don't think that you'll be able to use them the day you bring them home.  I mean, I guess you could, but I wouldn't, for fear that the plastic stinkiness would transfer over into the fibers of the finished object.

--There are three different products/product numbers on the Harbor Freight website, and they all look like the same thing, but apparently some of them have different "puzzle edges" and won't work interchangeably (based on a review comment).  This should only matter if you buy one set, then go back and buy another set, expecting them to all work together.  (I have no idea which product number my own are.)

--These mats are half an inch thick.  That's thicker than some smaller (1-foot square) interlocking foam mats I'd tried previously.  Those were the kind made for kids to play on, and I was never satisfied with them.  For one thing, they were too thin.  Also, the smaller size made them messier to use, in my opinion.  These bigger ones seem like a denser material, which is nice, and each mat is large enough to handle a pretty big doily.  (I'll use the kiddie mats for something else... Maybe as garden kneeling pads.)


Okay, enough of that!
On to the doily photos!

The first is a doily I crocheted back in 2012:  Lemondrop Doily.  (Yes, you read that right.  Well!  My usual doily blocking thing-um wasn't big enough.  ...And yes, I am ashamed.)

The pattern is a freebie: Double Pineapple Doily.
It's supposed to have eight repeats, but I accidentally only worked seven.  It seems to have worked out fairly well, all the same.

It came out to about 23" in diameter.

Lemondrop Doily

Lemondrop Doily

Lemondrop Doily

Lemondrop Doily

Lemondrop Doily

Lemondrop Doily

The second doily is more recent, since I started it "only" almost a year ago:  Lacy Scallops Doily.

I'm not sure where this pattern came from... I think it was a charted pattern, but other than that, I'm not sure.

This one's about 21 inches across.

Lacy Scallops Doily

Lacy Scallops Doily

Lacy Scallops Doily

Lacy Scallops Doily

Lacy Scallops Doily

Lacy Scallops Doily

I also bound off the latest Meret, yesterday.  The ends have to be hidden, and then there's blocking.  (Actually, I haven't blocked either of the two previous Merets, either.  Time for another block party...)

I'm trying to decide what to work on next.  I'm thinking of starting Wisp in "Tranquil" (aqua) Aloft.

Our miserable summer may be relenting for a few days.  It's still too hot for anything approaching comfort, but for an hour this morning, the weather was blissfully cooler and drier.  Sure, I broke a sweat just watering a few plants and tying the rose to the arbor, but I could breathe.  The humidity was at a much more reasonable level than it has been for weeks (if not months), and there was a hint of smoke in the air that could almost have fooled me into thinking of autumn.  (Dare one even dream of it, in mid-August's heat?)

...All that to say that it's still going to be summer here for another several weeks, so a lightweight project is likely best.