I blocked three scarf/shawlish things of various sizes today.
I rarely block, partly because of the types of projects I've done in the past and partly due to laziness, so I still feel like a neophyte blocker.
The foam squares do make the process simpler. They give a surface with traction that eliminates pinning in heavier, less severely blocked things like my giant head wrap scarf thing. I don't worry about getting them wet or sticking pins in them. Despite the solid surface, pieces dry pretty quickly. And the blocks store easily in comparison to a giant blocking board.
The best part, though, is that I already had these. I do exercise videos and other home workouts, so have used them for their original purpose. I had two unopened packages bought at Home Depot.
The foam blocks do have one flaw for blocking knitting -- they attract dust and cat hair like mad.
Speaking of cats, Talitha deeply resented the closure of the door to her window seat. She's been living in that patch of sun for the last couple of days, but I needed to borrow it.
The Silk Dream mini-shawl blocked out from 10"x36" to 15"x47" -- a perfect size for it's intended use of Symphony Hall air conditioning protection. I used waste yarn to straighten the ends, blocking wires on the long sides, and a few T-pins to hold things down until dry.
The waste yarn got tested for color fastness, then threaded through the shawl before soaking in warm water and Eucalon for about 15 minutes. I gently squished out much of the water while the thing was still in the sink, then rolled in a towel and stomped. If you look closely, the fuzz of the yarn increased just noticeably; not bad for a soft yarn.
I believe this counts as my first finished and blocked lace. I knit a lace scarf in Jo Sharp DK based on a shawl from Interweave Knits in, oh, I think Summer of 2003. There were a few mistakes and it really needed to be longer. Recently I looked for it but only found the extra yarn I got for the lengthening neatly stashed with left-over yarns. I think I may have trashed the piece in an organizational frenzy I went through a couple of years ago.
The other piece is a "scarf" I did in March/April when I had just picked up knitting again after almost two years waylaid by other things. I had caught a virus that went around here this Spring with the most prominent symptom being complete fog-brainification. Even on this simple piece, I dropped a stitch and didn't notice for a few rows three different times. Also, I have an extra YOK2tog about half way through the thing that I sewed up such that it's not too obvious. That I didn't catch until halfway through the edging, so too late to correct.
Last winter we had several periods of freezing and below temperatures -- more than usual in Seattle. Since I now live downtown and walk most places, my one big heavy shawl worked overtime as a large head and shoulders wrap over my down jacket. This piece makes another choice ready before the next such cold snap -- probably not for three years as I'm now prepared.
This is Tahki Bunny Paint with Classic Elite's Montera llama and wool blend for the crocheted edge. I just steam ironed it right on the foam until it was well enough straightened and flattened, then let it dry.
My Koigu Moebius got blocked on the ironing board as Cat recommends. Actually, it's still blocking, on it's sixth and last reposition. I didn't go for a severe block as I want this drapey and casual. I can reblock if it needs more. The folding-over of the edge does seem cured.
I now feel both virtuous and Knitterly-with-a-capital-K. I'll do yarn reviews of these projects over the next couple of days.