Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another Walk around the Block

yesterday we talked about the Benefits of Blocking .. yes, i know .... the painful extra step ... just one more thing to have to do ... and yet, the difference really is night and day.  I wore my "Fancy Feathers" scarf to work yesterday and got many compliments on it ... and while i was checking out from Hobby Lobby (i needed more yarn for my trip!) the clerk very graciously commented on my scarf and even asked if that was the Feather and Fan pattern.  I replied with a gracious thank you and yes .. and then she asked what size needles i had used because it was so open and airey! .... When i told her size 5s she was a bit baffled .. but i'm convinced that it was because i had blocked it!

For years i used my ironing board because that was the longest, flattest surface i had .. but recently i created a homemade version of a HUGE blocking board ...  Here's a bit of inspiration .... but it also has a rather 'inspirational' price tag!  For my budget purposes, i found purchased one of those folded up/folded open pattern cutting boards that has grid marks all over it for around $7.  I bought a roll of quilt batting in a twin size so that i could fold it over doubled, and laid that on top of the opened pattern board.  I then used a coupon for 50% off and purchased a cover that looks very similar to the one in the picture.  It is made for craft tables and has a strong gathering cord that is sewn along the edges so that it can be cinched up to fit any size.  Now my version is not as rigid as the one pictured, but it more than suffices for my purposes.  It sits on top of my ironing board which is a perfect working height, and then i can slide it off the ironing board and allow things to dry, still pinned in place, as it rests on the top of the bed.  Total cost for my board:  less than $40!  which means ... more yarn!  :)

don't want something that large and cumbersome?  there are all kinds of sizes of ironing covers that will accommodate ... they even make one specifically for your ironing board!  There are also lace blocking WIRES that you can use to open UP your lace ... these wires provide rigidity and stability as your patterns are exposed and all that hard work and stitch counting is revealed!

Some people have found foam squares that can be interlocked to use for their blocking .... the options for length versus width are endless as the pieces can be rearranged for any size or shape! has then here, but why not visit the local thrift store, check in the toy section, and see what you might turn up, at a much more inexpensive investment!  (i would probably also invest in additional pins that i'd earmark only for my blocking, as using them in the foam may dull the points and then snag fabric if used again for sewing purposes) 

Regardless of your blocking space, the pertinent issue remains:  this really IS a step that will distinguish the work you've done ... it will turn things from "home made" looking into quality pieces of "hand made" works of heart ... because face it, attention to detail really IS what matters! And while "detail" is important, it is even more relevant to distinguish what is worth focusing on, and what it worth letting go!  There are times when i worked hard on a project and felt like my stitches were too uneven to continue .. and yet i found that once they had been moistened, pinned, steamed and blocked they were restored to a uniform consisitency and laid beautifully.  and isn't that the way the Lord works in my own life as well? 

He designed me a reflection of Him .. and yet the very stitches of my day often are quite wonky compared to the simplicity and purity of a life lived in accord with His will.  HOWEVER, when i yield to the Lace wires that He uses to highlight the patterns of my heart i soon find that i am even more closely linked to Him because i bear a resemblance to His character!  Rather than loosing perspective and focusing on things in my life i don't have ... on patterns that i am NOT, i should be wearing a heart of gratitude .... acknowledging the many blessings that fill my day, rather than complaining about the one thing that isn't the way i want it!  Kind of like Adam and Eve ... God gave them an entire Garden of PERFECT and she managed to hone in on the one tree that He asked them to avoid!  REALLY???  She wasn't a Glass half full or half empty kind of girl .... she wasn't even grateful for a CUP!!!!

Lord help me to find You in all the little things ... to see You in the beauty of the day, in the smile of a friend that passes by, in the laughter in the halls, in the colors of yarn that have been created from the very fluffy little sheep You shared .....  in the tears of a friend that is searching for You, in the hugs of a child that speaks volumes, in the quiet of a morning cup of coffee with Your word spread open for me .....  All of these little steps are like the pins in the blocking board of my day, anchoring me to You .... Help me to Walk in the Light of Your love ....  where else would i ever want to be!

But if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin!  (I John 1:7)

I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the name of the Lord.  (Ps. 116:17)

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