Monday, May 14, 2007

Lace Blocking Frame (AKA Shawl Frame from Knit Picks Instructions)

For those of you who were wondering if the instructions for making a Lace Blocking Frame AKA Shawl Frame, that were published by Knit Picks would really work. Here it is. My very talented brother, Herman, made one for me. I am so thrilled! I'm not handy that way and I figure if my brother can build a Shelby Cobra from a kit, he could build this frame. I love being right, I love my brother Herman and I love my frame!!! (P.S. Thank You Shelby for helping to make the frame and giving your father the idea for the nail jig!)

These are the observations my brother hand while building the frame.
I'll have to burn a cd with all the pictures so you can choose which ones you want.

Some mental notes you could use in your blog:

Nail-Depth Jig:
"Having done a lot of wood working around the house, I noted in many of the woodworking magazines the constant use of jigs that many people have created to work around either a redundant and laborious task or something that needed a certain amount of accuracy. The nail depth jig came about for this reason and stemmed mostly from my daughter wanting to help hammer in the nails. However, at 9 years old, she doesn't quite grasp the concept of hammering a nail to only 1/2" depth so my sister can congratulate her niece for helping me come up with the jig."

" While the triangles I cut work, there was something in the back of my mind about people who are reading these instructions and do not have the resources for making such a cut from a 2'x2' board. I do not own a table saw so this makes this task a bit more difficult. However, working with a thin piece enabled me to use an old technique: you take a box cutter and score both sides of the board long the lines that are measured (the "X"). This may take a bit of time and you only need to go about 1/32"-1/16" deep. After that, you simply break the board across your knee or a solid table . Now there will be a lot of jagged edges but you can use some coarse sand paper or simply scrape down the edges with the box cutter.
However, the 2nd alternative may be more appealing. When you buy the board, simply have the store cut it into quarters. Remember, the whole Idea is to have 2 sides of the board at 90 deg. so you can square up the frame relatively accurate without the use of a framing square as I had done. It won't look as pretty but it WILL do the job."

Qwik-Clamps for holding the frame to the base:
" The optional pieces (screws, washers, wing-nuts) probably add up to maybe $1.00 for the L-bracket base. But in the picture you will note the use of some "Qwik-Clamps". These were bought for $4 ea. It adds to the total cost but I looked at it as having 4 less pieces to worry about unlikely to lose. They can also help assist in storage of the 6' and 7' pieces of the frame by clamping 2 of the sides together. And they could be used for other things around the house if so desired."

Build Time:
" Off the top of my head, I probably spent a total of 5 hours on the project including the purchase of the materials. The longest being the cutting of the triangles along with the nailing. "



Janice in GA said...

Wow, very cool! Can't wait to see it in operation, and to see if you like blocking on it better than other methods!

missalicefaye said...

Oh, fabulous! And thanks for posting your brother's observations, too.... Can't wait to see how you like using it!

fleegle said...

I am soooo impressed! Let us know how it works for you. We are all thumbs around here, so it's unlikely that I would ever get one of these, sigh.

Teresa C said...

Ooooh, this makes me very happy. I have been thinking about this frame for a while and will be much more likely to go ahead with the project if I see that someone that has used it really likes it. I know you don't know me, but quick! Finish a shawl and block it so we can see how it goes. :)

Jane said...

Dear janice in ga,

I'm looking forward to finishing something just for the opportunity to block it for a change rather than dreading it. I see you are doing the "Victorian Lace" knit along? I was wondering what you are making from it. I have that book but I don't know anyone as yet who has said if they have made anaything from it. Thank you for checking in. I'm afraid it will be some time before anything is finished that I can block but having the frame gives me incentive!

Jane said...

Dear missalicefaye,

My brother has his own blogs for his Passat and for his Shelby Cobra. When he was building the Cobra he frequently posted progress as well as instructions for those also trying to build one so he's an old-hand at posting instructions and observations. He's a doll and I'm lucky he was willing to help his old sister out. Lots of people seem interested in the frame so I hope this gives people an idea of what is involved. I still have to try to post pictures of doing a tatted ring. I have not forgotten but have not had time to do it yet :-)

Jane said...

Dear fleegle,

I can't work wood myself either so I was just plain lucky my brother was so handy. I have just enough power tools at home to get into trouble! I'll try to finish something so I can try this frame out!

Jane said...

Dear teresa c,

I may not know you but we are definately on the same wave-length when it comes to trying out this shawl frame:-) I'm knitting multipal shawls but it takes me awhile to get done. I'm just not vey fast but I hope to have something to try on the frame eventually.

Anonymous said...

(I didn't read the whole post yet.) This post was ringing a bell but I couldn't put my finger on it for awhile. Ta-da! It is almost the same as these floor stand frames my dad father had. They were used for finishing/drying the starched curtains and doilies he did at his hand finishing laundry (years ago). Same concept though. Thanks for the work up - it will be very handy! Terry

Jane said...

Dear Terry,

How cool that you have that memory! My Dad worked in a laundry too but we didn't block lace there when I was a child. Once I get something finished I'll post pictures to let everyone know how this worked out :-)

elan said...

Wow, can't wait to see it getting used!

Jane said...

Dear elan,

Knitting as fast as I can in order to have something to block but I'm a slow knitter and I jump from project to project. They all get done but slowly. I'll post when I have something to block. Thanks for checking in and commenting. It's always nice to hear from everyone.

UniquelymeNana said...

Awesome job!! I showed DH and he just groaned lol. It is hard for me to use the floor or block on the bed because of the arthritis in my spine and sternum and tis frame will make me a happy camper!! Thanks so much for sharing. BTW all the shawls you've done and those that are in progress look beautiful keep on knitting girl!

Jane said...

Dear uniquelymenana,

Always glad to keep the male of the species busy with work for their mates! Besides, it's such a good thing to have if you are heavy into making lace. I'm almosst done with a shawl and will use it for the first time on Boundary Waters. I will cross my fingers!