Well, here it is, my lace scarf. I just have to sew in the ends and take some decent photos of it.
It blocked up really well thanks to the Knit Picks wires and pins and as for the blocking mats, well, they are marvellous. It takes a while to get rid of that nasty chemical smell that you get with new foam, but if you can get past that, then the tiles themselves are great. I particularly love the fact that I can put them together according to the shape of my piece. In this case I made my blocking board 2 tiles deep and 5 long. I bought two boxes of them rather than one, just to be sure that I could easily block larger projects (each set contains nine 12" mats.) They slotted together beautifully and the pins slipped effortlessly into the foam.
The blocking took place in my bedroom. Having spent so much time on this scarf, I just had to find a place where the yarn could do its thing without the risk of a cat or child accidently destroying it.
My cat, Oliver, has often been tempted. Unattended yarn is like a red rag to a bull with him. I once caught him sneaking up on a pair of Two-At-A-Time socks. When I sprinted across the room yelling at him to "Get Off!" he panicked (wouldn't you?) and took off, catching the yarn around his neck and dragging my "work-in-progress" with him. Cat and knitter could be seen tearing around the house yarn and swear words flying. I finally cornered him in the front room. He looked innocently up at me with a heel flap dangling from his ear. As he resembles the ginger cat in "Shrek," you can picture the look he gave me. "Hard luck, cat," I thought, "if you had the voice of Antonio Banderas, I might fall for your charm, but not this time. I'm not so easily taken in."
Somehow I managed to retrieve my socks from my manic moggy. Actually, I think he was just as relieved as I was. Getting caught up in a mass of fiber and needles was proving to be less fun than he'd anticipated, I think. He looked at me as if I'd saved him from a terrible fate and then slinked off to lay in the sun for a while. Miraculously not a stitch was loss.
Since then I've had to be far more vigilant when Oliver is anywhere near my knitting (yes, he's named after that cuddly little kitten from the Disney animated movie, but he's about as far from that image now as a cat could possibly get.) Even leaping up to answer the phone can mean that when I return I get halfway through the next row to find the yarn has been gently gnawed through in my absense. Obviously blocking lace requires a room with a closed door and if necessary a full blown barricade.
When I took pictures of my work he 'pretended' to protect it.
When I started to block he positioned himself at the top of the stairs in a nonchalent fashion.......................but watched everything!
Somehow the scarf survived and therefore so did he, but the battle lines have been drawn.