On Blocking My Bridgewater

If ever there were a bad time to come down with the flu, it would be now. Here I am, two days into a terrible bout of blechghs that (if Mancub's progress is any indication) will stick around at least a week... and I am supposed to start back to work Wednesday after four months of parental leave. I'm not on my feet much right now, we'll see how I'm doing in a few days.

In my desperation to fully finish Bridgewater before returning to work, I blocked it today. Illness be damned!  

Allow me to share a few truths and thoughts culled from this experience:
  • My study is narrow; my Bridgewater is not. 
  • Finished dimensions: center garter section, 36" x 36"; total piece, 54" x 54" 

Yes, my study is that narrow! In fairness, it's lined on one side
by a wall of bookcases and on the other by a wall of deep cabinets.
  • Blocking a large lace piece on the floor while suffering a flu that includes impacted sinuses is painful and exhausting and decidedly not recommended.
  • Lace blocking wires are little miracles. It may take awhile to thread them onto the shawl, but it's nothing compared to the time you would spend pinning the whole thing! 
  • When blocking on the floor, it's best to have more than six inches of walking space around the item, not only so you can move your body but so you can manipulate the wires.
  • If your edge is longer than a single wire and you need to use two, don't bother with any of the tricks recommended to connect the wires (such as taping them). It just makes the stitches move less easily along the wire and doesn't yield enough benefit to be worth the aggravation.
  • Turn off that space heater! Otherwise the lace dries lickety-split before you get the wires set. You need all that wonderful dampness you spent 20 minutes soaking into it to hang around awhile.
  • A little lavender essential oil in the spray bottle when you re-moisten is heavenly!
  • Block in a space where it's possible to close the door and have everyone -- cats, dogs, kids, etc. -- forget it exists for at least 24 hours.
  • Insanity is not the answer. Leave your inner perfectionist at the door and allow that not every single line will be perfectly parallel/square/perpendicular/straight/whatever. Get the dimensions right; make it look good; do your best; be happy with your work. Remember that when the fabric's on your shoulders, you want it to move fluidly and defy the rigidity of the lines.
Someday soon I'll give Bridgewater a proper photographing. The beach towels and rug don't do it justice!


meredithp said...

So sorry you're sick AND have to go back to work. It's really not fair. The Bridgewater is stunning though, and boy are you a trouper to block it "injured". Feel better!

Zhenya said...

Thanks so much, Meredith. I really appreciate it!