OK, now we’re getting somewhere! The rain is actually doing something useful though we still watered everything yesterday anyhow. It’s a great excuse to take a break indoors for a change. It’s cold in here! The furnace is off for the summer so it’s only 17C (63F) in here and I’m wearing heavy sweatpants and a sweater and two pairs of socks. What a change from just a couple of days ago when my eyeballs were melting while wearing nothing but a camisole and shorts.
So I’d like to answer a couple of questions that Anne left in my comments yesterday. The blocking mats are actually an interlocking mat system for utility rooms from either Rona or Home Depot. (Sorry I can’t remember which now.) Alternatives might be the play mats for kids that come in bright colours. I’m using the smoother underside because the top has a pebbled traction surface. The wires are welders’ TIG stainless steel rods from KMS Tools. Any welder supply should carry them. I got mostly 1/16” that are a little flexible and a few 1/8” that are stiffer in case I need those features. I just use regular ball-headed dressmaker pins to pin the wires out. The mat is in six 2-foot square segments so they can be combined in different configurations if necessary and then taken apart to store in a smaller space. Works a treat!
Anne also asks if this setup would work for non-lace garments. I think the wires wouldn’t be quite so useful since it’s much harder to thread them through solid knitting. Though I suppose you could do that if you were patient. And careful not to snag. They also don’t bend for tight curves, not if you want them to straighten out again. But you could designate some wires for special uses and shape them however you like, cut them shorter or whatever. They are cheap enough.
The mats are a perfect place to pin anything out and you could probably get all or most of a sweater’s parts on it, depending on size. The only other thing I could wish for is a measured grid pattern printed on the mats! I suppose I could buy some gingham or plaid fabric and spread that over the mats under the item if that was important enough to me. Maybe next time I go to a fabric store I’ll look for something cheap and appropriate. Unfortunately there aren’t any fabric stores near me so it’s a trip on the bus to find one. I thought about using a Sharpie pen and ruler to draw the grid on but sometimes the ink isn’t as permanent as you’d like. I’d worry about transfer to my precious lace. Meanwhile I just eyeball it or use a measuring tape and ruler for more accuracy.
I’m really glad I picked about 2/3 of the coreopsis flowers yesterday and deadheaded the marigolds before the rain set in. The marigolds are in the freezer (easier than drying them) and the coreopsis are attempting to dry on mats in the kitchen. They may have to wait until the sun comes out again to dry properly though. Meanwhile I’m stirring them often to prevent mould.
Still too dark to take photos. I have the lights on in the house to see what I’m working on! Now that I’m up to the lacy parts of the Bam-Boo-Bel Scarf (aka Ishbel by Ysolda Teague) it’s going much better than the plain section. It’s quite a holiday to knit lace with something as thick as sock yarn, I must say. I just might have to make more than one of these since they go fast.
Unfortunately nothing else is getting done around here. I have to babysit the grand-beasties yet again tomorrow. Their mom is in England visiting her grandparents and their dad seems to not be able to stay away from his store in the meanwhile. Funny that. Besides 4 days of the camping trip last week where all the available adults were sharing the duty of watching them, this will be the third time babysitting in a week. I have been well-reminded how exhausting a 2-year-old can be! This poor tired Granny hopes to switch off to their maternal Grandma in mid-afternoon. Before I collapse under toy tire treads and dancing doll footprints.