Monday, August 30, 2010

Making a Blocking Board

I’ve been putting off the task of finishing my Overshot with borders piece for some reason, I just can’t seem to get enthused at all. It took me several woven pieces to finally make an original overshot pattern that worked out perfectly square, with 45 degree angles. After I finished this one, I pulled it off the loom and walked away; I just couldn’t face fiddling around with it anymore.

Several weeks have passed and I kept getting a huge case of the guilt’s every time I walk past to see it sitting forlornly on my work table!

Yesterday I decided to pick it up and do the finishing…..and found that after a few weeks languishing, the width had taken up about an inch! Not a good thing as the cloth was woven to be square….so I needed to block it to get it back in shape.

I started looking around for something to pin it to and couldn’t find anything, so I decided to make a blocking board. My friend Susan uses a board like this to finish her scarves and shawls, so I used her idea and thought I’d share it with you.

My husband went to the hardware store and picked up a length of rigid insulation, it came in a 2 foot by 6 foot length. He cut off a piece 2 foot long for me to use.
I also borrowed his builders square for this job, a bit rusty but the only way I could keep everything even. I used the builders square lined up against the factory edge to keep my lines straight and using a ball point pen I scored lines about 1/16 of an inch deep. I then turned the board and did the same to make my grid.I didn’t want to take a chance on the ink or dirt coming off the board, so a good soaping with dish detergent ensured that I have a clean work surface. I pinned the Overshot piece every inch or so lengthwise along one of my lines. Lengthwise it was still the correct size, then using my laundry sprayer I soaked the piece and stretched it out to the desired width. It worked really well as the rigid insulation is about 1 inch deep and I can really push the pins in.
I will keep it pinned out for a few more days and lightly spray it a few more times to make sure the wool is properly stretched. I will then use my McSteamy and give it a good hard press to finish it completely.


dorothylochmaben said...

Hi there - I made a board like Susan's and I love it for finishing scarves and for blocking lace knitting. I took mine to the craft fair today and worked on some fringes with my twister - people were fascinated !! You just get such a good finish to things.
Hopefully your overshot will end up all square !
Funny - I thought that was my pot of pins in the picture, same pot, same yellow headed quilters pins !!

Good to get something finished when you've 'gone off it' !!

Susan said...

Those foam boards are great aren't they? My new one is a blue insulation board and softer than the pink and I think I prefer the pink better. All these weavers buying them will have the hardware stores scratching their heads as women walk out the door with foam boards tucked under their arms! :)

Your overshot piece is so lovely!