Whoo hoo!! My February Lady sweater is laid out to dry on my sweater blocker! I hope to be able to sew on the buttons this evening and get some good pictures over the weekend.
As you can see, I use a hanging blocking/drying rack to lay out items like socks and sweaters.
This rack has two tiers, with the bottom tray capable of folding up into the top, where velcro attaches the two, so that it can serve as a larger capacity dryer if needed. I actually had some delicates drying on the top tier, overnight with the sweater on the bottom tier, then moved the sweater up to the top rack this morning... still damp and shape-able but much closer to dry. I bought this rack from Lillian Vernon several years ago and have been very happy with it.
I started liking it even better when DH rigged up a pulley so that I can hoist the dryer up into our 12 foot high ceiling where it can capture the heat from the fireplace (which is now a propane fireplace, putting out lots of BTUs). This pulley system holds a Coleman lantern, used during our several winter power outages, when the dryer isn't in use.
What do you do to block out a sweater? Socks? Lace? I actually use different methods for each of these, but all start the same way, with a nice, warm bath in my enamel basin. Then, the item gets rinsed and gently squeezed, then rolled in a thick towel to press out the excess water. If the item is large, I even stomp on the rolled-up towel to get as much drippage out as possible.
Then, lace gets severely pinned out on my blocking board, socks get blocked on wooden sock blockers the first time only, and hung to dry thereafter, and sweaters get laid out and patted to the form I want. As you can see, there is a bit of overhang, but I have managed to re-arrange a few times to make sure the shape I desire is the one that this sweater will dry into.
My lace students asked last week if you have to re-block your lace, and my answer was 'yes, whenever you decide to wash it', and the same is true with tops... I need to dry them flat and reshape them after each washing.
This week, I have also been swatching for the next large project...
The light was terrible in my kitchen this morning (it is grey and rainy yet again), and the color is more deep rust that dull orange as pictured. The variations in the yarn are sweet and not overly stripey. This lovely yarn that Ruinwin sent me will be a vest, but I haven't decided yet if I will use the Mendocino Vest pattern from Shear Spirit that this lacey, twisted pattern is based on, or go with stockinette... I did a large sample so that I could decide how I felt about working the pattern stitch, and the verdict is still out. You are welcome to weigh in your opinion in the comments!