Monday, July 14, 2008

DIY Goes Dotty

For every trade there is a tool. And, as I wrote last February, knitting is no different. For every tool there is a price, as well as quality range. The trick is knowing where to spend and how to save. In my original post on the topic, Go Go Gadget, I covered ball winders, swifts, needle protectors, blocking boards and a set of DIY sock blockers made of metal hangers. Because while we all want the best, there's nothing like a cheap alternative to bring a smile to somebody's face.

Those blockers have been good to me. But not great. I needed something better and here are two reasons why:
First, a wire hanger has a limited amount of wire that can be used. The larger and wider the foot, the less length you're going to get. In my case this meant the cuff was often curving around the top of the blocker, not giving the greatest shape.
Second, as you can see by the next photo, it's very hard to get a smooth line when you are reshaping the thickish wire.

And then I found this tutorial from Little Sesame Knits, for making sock blockers out of plastic place mats and knew I had to make some. I also knew exactly which place mats I wanted to use. I had just bought a few from Target and thought they'd be perfect.

The tutorial from Little Sesame Knits includes a downloadable template but it's small and I had no easy way to blow it up so I did the next best thing. I traced a sock that had already been blocked, the completed sock 1 of Monkey.

Remember, I wear a size 10 shoe and have widish feet. The letter size paper isn't tall enough to give any height, but I used this as a guide.

First I cut out the template,

then I taped it down,

making sure the dots were pretty centered.

Then I added some height, and cut them out.

Ta da...
The size is perfect.
Why did I used my Monkey? Because with 1.5 repeats left on sock 2, I'm hoping my new blockers will inspire me to finish up tonight.

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