Monday, August 10, 2009
De-Slouching the Octopus - The Knitter Strikes Back
Last week, I sent an email to Jared Flood, detailing my difficulties in blocking the Hemlock Ring Throw (http://thestraightmaleknitter.blogspot.com/2009/08/blocking-slouching-octopus.html). This weekend, I got a very nice response from Jared. Frankly, simply getting a response from Jared was exciting, as he's a bit of a Jedi-Master in the knitting world (and he's coming to teach a class at my LYS in the fall - very exciting as well). Master Jared suggested that I should be fairly heavy handed with the throw during the blocking process. In fact, he mentioned blocking it into submission.
Thinking back on my earlier attempts at blocking The Octopus, and considering his advice in the email, I think I was indeed far too tentative with my blocking. I'm used to blocking lightweight lace projects (and typically use blocking wires for those pieces) but The Octopus isn't exactly made with lightweight wool.
So, I decided to attack again. I drowned The Octopus in warm water, making sure that it completely soaked the piece. After pressing out the water (Master Jared actually used the word "wring" although that made me a bit nervous), I set The Octopus onto what would become the site of its comeuppance - a 4X8 sheet of plywood. Armed with a large quantity of nails and a small hammer, I advanced upon the beast. It put up quite a fight, but after the better part of an hour, and 143 nails, I finally got the upper hand.
That was Saturday morning. This morning, The Octopus is still fighting back. It is still damp and refusing to dry fully. Master Jared said I mustn't release it from the blocking until it is "bone dry". At The Octopus' current rate of dessication, that may take a few more days. Hopefully, not too much longer, however, as the plywood-bound Octopus is sitting on Mrs. TSMK's dining room table. - TSMK
The Octopus - shortly after nailing: