WIP Wednesday: Experiments in blocking

My mother-in-law asked me last week if I would make a baby blanket for her cousin, who is about 6 months pregnant. My previous attempts to make a blanket have been unsuccessful. I tend to like smaller projects that finish up more quickly, and I also like projects that have a lot of variety. However, I have been wanting to make the Klimtchen blanket (also known as the Babette) for a long time, and I thought that, if someone else would (gently) be holding me accountable, this would be the best time to do it.

Another hurdle that has previously given me pause with a lot of projects is that some require blocking, and I have never had adequate supplies for it. I finally caved and bought a foam blocking mat and some rust-proof pins. I also found this great tutorial on steam blocking acrylic yarn projects. Steam blocking has the benefits of both speed and softening the fabric, and holy crap have I become addicted to the process. It is SO SATISFYING to see the patches go from scrunched up messes to flat, soft, perfect squares.

So far I am having a blast with this blanket. The colors are definitely all over the board, but it’s keeping things interesting for me, and babies like bright colors anyway.

Apollo is a big fan of the blanket so far.

 

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Mondrian-inspired scarf

16056954159_62f8e9e9af_z I must confess that, prior to making this scarf, I was pretty ambivalent to Piet Mondrian and De Stijl (the group in which Mondrian was one of the founding members) in general. At a first glance, Mondrian’s signature style– using the primary three colors (red, yellow, and blue) and primary values (white, black, and gray) in patterns of squares, rectangles, and straight lines– appears almost too simplistic. However, as I worked my way through the scarf, I grew to appreciate the purity of the colors and values, the geometry of the shapes, and the vertical and horizontal lines. But before I get to ahead of myself, the questions that must first be asked are: Who was Piet Mondrian, and what is De Stijl?  Continue reading