January 15, 2007


Watch, my friends, as these ordinary household hangers




(presto chango!)


into frames for


blocking mittens!

My first FO of 2007 straddled the change from 2006 to 2007. It was a pair of mittens that my friend Terri asked me to test-knit for her book on Selbu mittens. I finished one mitten in '06, the other in '07.

When I finished the mittens for Terri, as darling as they were, I knew they would look better if blocked. After casting around for, and rejecting, a bunch of different items (everything from dishrags to plastic used for cutting templates for quilting pieces), I hit on the enamel-coated hanger idea. It worked swimmingly, as I could shape the wires however I wanted. And, as a special feature, I could hang the mittens in a sunny window to dry:


(Notice the snow on the roof?)

Disclaimer: Because the design, the pattern, the mittens themselves of my First FO of of 2007 all belong to Terri, I'm not going to spoil her surprise here on this blog by showing a photo of them. What you see in the photos above are the mittens I finished last June for the Dulaan project. I just hadn't yet blocked them, nor sent them on to FIRE for their ultimate destination in Mongolia. (Sorry, Ryan! I'll send them in 2007, I promise!) I was bothered by the buckling I had on either side of the top of each mitten. Over the weekend I blocked the mittens I knitted for Terri, then today I blocked the mittens for Dulaan.

I was able to shape the coat hangers as widely as I needed to, in order to stretch out that buckling effect. After blocking, the buckling entirely went away. And I was so proud of my ingenuity, I wanted to share it with all my Ideaphoria readers.

Posted by Karen at January 15, 2007 06:08 PM

Those mittens look just like the ones my grandma knit for me oh so many times...colours and all. Thanks.

Posted by: Kelly at January 16, 2007 07:14 AM

Very clever blocking frames! Maybe you could "manufacture" them and sell them for 10 bucks a pair!

Posted by: Diana at January 16, 2007 12:04 PM

Well, aren't you just clever! Maybe if I hang around you long enough some of it will rub off. Are those the mittens you were working on when you visited California last year? They're so cute!

Posted by: Jewel at January 16, 2007 02:24 PM

Yes, Jewel, one and the same. I had started them in California at the TKGA convention, in that class I took from Beth B-R on Norwegian mittens. Really, they were a quick knit! I've just held onto them, all this time. Glad I finally figured out a way to block them.

Posted by: Karen at January 16, 2007 02:45 PM

Karen - what a great idea! You are so very clever! I'm looking forward to seeing the real ones for Terri in a future post!

Posted by: Naomi at January 16, 2007 07:03 PM

Oooh, Wile. E. Coyote, Soooper Genius!
That would never have occured to me, so thanks for sharing.
The mittens are lovely.

Posted by: Lorraine at January 17, 2007 09:32 AM

Karen, I can't wait to see your mittens - I'm doing book layout and etc like bibliography. So close...

I use bent hangers for sock driers, but I bet if I bent them in the right way they'd be blockers, too.

Posted by: terri at January 17, 2007 02:20 PM