We live in Wisconsin and we know about winter: cold, ice, black ice, snow drifts, frozen lakes and snow days. And now we know about a "polar vortex". Horrible, live threatening cold that makes you think of your blood actually freezing.
This has taken me by surprise since I HATE hot weather. Our family and friends chuckle when we say we keep the house in summer "cold enough to hang meat". In winter we keep it cold enough that one of our kids once said were he a renter he could complain to the housing authorities.
During the last "Vortex" I took a picture of my dashboard as I arrived at work.
When it warmed up to ZERO it felt like a heat wave. The painful cold was just a memory. I knew that if we got to 25 degrees there would be people out in shorts.
Of course staying inside means lots of time for knitting. I have been on a baby sweater binge. At the same time I knew that Signature had a new product coming on line so I didn't do final finishing so we could do some pictures.
I know that anyone who has done blocking has dealt with trying to "shape" a droopy piece of wet knitting. Getting the sides to be straight on a scarf comes to mind, but also trying to get the shoulders lined up evenly on a large wet piece is difficult with results not always what we want.
One night as I was struggling I thought how great it would be to have something that had a grid pattern on to help--much like the grid patterns that are now printed on the back of wrapping paper to achieve straight cuts. I also wanted something that able to be stored easily and without taking up too much room.
I began the search to find someone who would make such a cloth in the United States as you know my commitment to US made products. Once I found someone then we had to determine the proper fiber and weight. I knew we needed something absorbent, smooth, and not too "flimsy" because I also knew most projects would require a towel or two beneath. And so... the Signature Blocker Cloth was born.
I think you will like it as much as I do. It makes blocking so much easier and when you are done just fold and put away.
Some of the shots you will see on the site are showing pieces of several baby sweaters. Of course I had many others just in case the photographer needed them. The bad news is that this all took so long that some of the babies have grown past the original sizes so I have to go back and make new ones in larger sizes. The good news is that I will have some "in the bank" for the next babies.
Today is Feb 3, 2014 and here is the latest weather forecast--bad enough to freeze the heart of even the cold lovers among us: So here in the frozen north there is time for knitting-- and for me knitting bigger sweaters.
For additional information on steam blocking check out the Steam Blocking Hand Knits video by Annie Modesitt