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May 22, 2008

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Jennifer

I just bought the wires for 25$ but I got 8 and a yardstick and a case. Yours are longer but they are going to jump out of wherever and stick you in the foot when you least expect it. I did go to Home Depot once looking but ours has no friendly knowledgeable gnomes. I dabbed my edge stitches a little and pushed them into place, redried. You could also do careful steam.

Ruinwen

Your scarf looks lovely! I'm glad the wires did the trick. I have the Knitpicks kit but I haven't used them yet. :)

Kathleen C.

I have to admit it... I *love* hardware stores! I could wander among the various bits and pieces and nibs and knobs and doohickey aisles happily for hours.
That could be partly because as a costume designer I am used to looking for items to use in ways the manufacturers never intended. And I think that tickles the imagination of the hardware workers.
Once, I needed a long braid for the Rapunzel for the Prince to clomb up. The Lowes guys had a great time helping me pick out just the right yellow rope that could have hair glued to it and be braided.
Then there was the time I needed something light weight but stiff to act as the edges in mouse ears and inside the tails. They went through trying out the various foam tubes and flexible plastic piping until we found just the right one.
I think they love it when someone uses their stuff in weird and wacky ways!

Carole

I have a regular blocking kit but I'm glad you found a solution.

Amelia G.

That's clever ... and what a lovely lace pattern!

If you'd like to join in, I've tagged you for a meme :-) see here:
http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/2008/05/me-me-me-me-me-meme-of-course-about-me.html

Chris

You were very lucky indeed in Lowe's, and with such lovely results!

loribird

So what you're saying is... my knitting habit will make my husband fully employable into his elder-years? Cause the man is going to need a hobby, I can tell that already.

The lace looks great. I don't know about the little loops, I imagine they may "vanish" with normal wear or be completely indiscernible to the normal observer.

Leah

I'm one of the suckers that bought a blocking kit before I found out about the wires. Oh well.

The stole is gorgeous. Can't wait to see it modeled. From this angle, it looks just like waves on the sea. Sooo pretty!

vanessa

i hate to tell you, but there is no easier way to thread the wires ;-)

another hardware store lover here.

Dicentra

Now I know where to go to get my blocking wires! I just got some Lowes coupons in the mail too! I also like shopping in hardware stores.

Susan

Could you steam the loops back into place? Interesting problem...does that mean the wires are too big in diameter? Or just that any tension on the edge stitches would cause that maybe.

Cybèle

Your description of hardware stores cracked me up - o the hours I have to endure in there, feigning interest or even worse, comprehension, when my partner decides that he *needs* something that weekend which can't wait till Monday... And his inability to comprehend that my idea of a blissfull weekend is not browsing aisle after aisle of nuts, bolts and screws... How come I'd never dream of taking him to a wool shop?!
(the shawl is lovely by the way. I've never knitted much lace before. At the moment I'm so busy with work that I'm in awe of anyone actually finding the time to knit, let alone finish things)

Wool Winder

I haven't had the need for blocking wires yet, but I'll keep this solution in mind. Thanks!

Cheryl

I use welding rods too (I just grab them from the welding room here at work) and I've found that the 1/16" dia ones make the stitches less stretched out. As for threading the stitches on, that's never any fun. I try to do them at the widest intervals I can without getting distortion, so at least there's a few less to get on there.

jackie

I am amazed at how such a small ball of yarn can turn into a beautiful shawl! And I have absolutely no experience with blocking lace, but would it work if you lashed or whip stitched the edges on to the blocking rods?

heatherly

awesome!
it looks so beautiful!

Sarah

How clever! I've been thinking about getting a set of blocking wires, now I know where to go. Also, your Gust looks beautiful -- that's a perfect shade of blue for a shawl with that kind of name!

Lorette

Dear, there is no easy way to get that wad of wet lace onto those wires. I bought welding rods for blocking, too, except I went to Airgas, which is a welding shop. Talk about testosterone. The guy behind the counter thought it was a hoot though, and said that his wife was a knitter. The little peaky things along the edges disappear, or you can use a steamer and push them into place. I have a small hand-held steamer (Rowenta) that works great.

anne

wow, can't wait to see it unpinned!
i agree, there is no easy way to thread the wires through fine, wet fabric; you do have to be patient. blocking wires are not necessarily faster than pins, but i do like the finish a little better. and you CAN set the wires in further from the edge to avoid those stretched loops (the heartstrings blog page you linked to has a photo of that)

Mom

What a gorgeous scarf and so much work! I, too, loved your description about Lowes and have spent many hours watching your Dad hunt for just the right bolt or screw. Clever girl to find the kindly gentleman. if you go back, give him a smile or hug from me. Once more I am amazed at my daughter. Love and more love, Mom

Lucia

Brilliant! I've been thinking about buying a set of wires, but now I know where to go instead. I too love hardware stores. When I bought my used Matchless its lazy kate had two broken rods, and I gave them to Dave Paul to make me some new ones, knowing that he'd play fair on the price (I <3 Dave!). Only problem was, I wouldn't see him until the next festival, so I went down to the hardware store to see if I could find a reasonable stopgap. One long 1/4-inch dowel rod, two wooden beads and about $2.50 later, I was set to go. (The Schacht rods are milled a bit where they go through the holes, but this turns out to be entirely unnecessary and to make them break far too easily.)

Your jasper is gorgeous! I should have known you would have the real thing.

KarenK

I avoid the loops (and the wire-threading problems) by using sturdy crochet cotton thread instead. Thread a needle with a long piece of crochet cotton thread, weave the thread through the edge stitches on both sides, while the lace is dry. Leave at least 12 inches or so of thread hanging out at each end. Then wet the yarn and the thread.

Now comes the fun part. You need a floor where you can drive in little nails, or some surface where you can drive in really sturdy pins, firmly. Drive in the nails, or set the pins, at an appropriate distance, then anchor the thread at each end on both sides, stretching the thread tight between the nails/pins. Then you can anchor T-pins at the edges to pull the thread out a bit to make the sides straight.

This method is easier because you can "sew" the thread through the edge stitches while the lace is dry. NO struggling to poke long stiff wires through wet stubborn lace. And you can sew the thread through the spaces in the edge stitches at closer intervals, which helps do away with the "loopiness" at the edge.

Beautiful lace - hope this hint helps.

Laurie

I wish I had known about the Lowe's wires before I bought the blocking kit.

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