Tuesday, February 19, 2013

steamed coasters

Last time I was at A Verb for Keeping Warm, I picked up a remnant of yarn.  They sell these little bags of remnants so you can take a taste of them.  I went for a rustic silk yarn, Shibui Knits "Heichi," in a beautiful, tweedy persimmon.

What was I to do with this taste of yarn?  Well, what I really needed in my new cottage was a set of coasters.   I wanted something clean and minimalistic, and this is what I improvised. I cast on 17 stitches and knit 24 rows of stockinette.  Can't remember the needle size -- maybe a 7 or 8?  Enough to make a square roughly 4.5" wide and tall.  And then I knit another one, and another one.

They rolled up, of course. Stockinette does that.  I tamed them with a quick steam blocking, following the sensible guidance of Annie Modesitt.  I only have a tiny travel iron, not a steamer like she has, but it worked just fine.  I steamed one side, gave it a stretch, steamed the other side, gave it a stretch, and steamed the front side again. It went from lumpy and stubborn to satisfyingly flat and limp.

The textural effects of the steam blocking are even more apparent when you put an unblocked coaster next to a blocked one.  I can't believe I've been spending all this time wet blocking things over the last decade when I could've been giving things a quick steam instead.

I've been using the coasters every day.  They're cheery and serviceable, and they make this cottage feel more "mine."

Little things, big difference!


Anonymous said...

Your mug is pretty awesome.
(And yay for feeling more like home)

Anonymous said...

They certainly hit the spot!

KiniaCat Crafts said...

Lovely color!
Any chance we may have a "tour" of the cottage?
Hope your current studies are going well and that you're enjoying your new surroundings!