Gust came off the needles, and I came to the keen awareness that I needed blocking wires asap.
This is a rectangular scarf, and should have straight edges, with no ripples from pins.
After chatting with a few on line pals about it, I realized that there might be a less costly solution to the $25-$30 + shipping blocking wires kits.
My friend Lisa pointed me in the direction of Heartstring Blog, and I read about Stainless Steel Welding Rods.
Such a clever gal. thank you.
So fortified by my current mission, I braced myself to enter the testosterone charged environment called "Lowes" (bless them). I considered practicing my best pirate aargh sound to inflict on unconscious employees, but swiftly cast this errant thought aside. (they might well not appreciate my silly sense of humor)
On most occasions when going to Lowe's, I head straight for the garden section (which is blissfully outside) thus avoiding the high shelves lined with all sorts of boxes and contraptions designed to confound the non-mechanically inclined, humiliate the most astutely educated females among us, and mesmerize the male species of our planet.
I braced myself to enter this predominantly "male" domain, preparing to be totally ignored, avoided and generally treated like a second class citizen. I was pleasantly surprised.
I walked up to the customer service desk and asked - which isle has Steel welding rods? they directed me to isle 72... I hiked the seemingly endless steps across the entire building to isle 72, as I blithely ignored the ceiling high piles on boxes on my left, and searched on aisle 72 among heavy equipment (which all required hoods and torches and nothing even remotely like a 'rod') until finally a delightful gentleman of about 102 yrs old (grin) came along with a young crony of around 35 and they spoke with me. "What'cha need darlin?" the older gentleman asked sweetly (and not at all demeaning). I decided to courageously bare my knitterly need, and said... "well, I am knitting lace, and I need some long, thin strong tube-like things to hold it stretched while it dries... and someone suggested that I could buy stainless steel welding rods instead of spending $30+shipping to buy a blocking kit"
This kind older gentleman gave me an enormous grin (obviously comprehending what lace knitting and blocking was) - his wife must KNIT! he nodded wisely at me, and said.. "but of course! on isle 3, we have exactly what you need. Can you believe that anyone would pay so much for plain old steel rods? I hate it when they do that to women. Come with me, dearie, we'll get you fixed right up"
And indeed he did!
I bought 4 four foot stainless steel welding rods for a grand total of $11.72 ! woo hoo.
And while I might well need a thinner size in the future, I know exactly where I will go, and which kind gentleman I will look up to assist me once again. (hooey to it being a "male" domain! Lowe's is knitter friendly :-)
What never ceases to amaze me is how lace can go from this:
Now I just need a nice local knitter to show me an easier way to thread all those teensy stitches onto the blocking wires.. (grin) I actually had to get out my reading glasses to thread this onto the wires (hahahah)
Lisa's subtle color changes in her semi-solid hand dyed yarn are amazing. I love knitting with it.
one final curiosity now that I have pulled it off the blocking rods, is how do you avoid stretching the edging stitches? I have ended up with some small loops where flat stitches should be.. thoughts anyone?