Thursday, May 8, 2008


Once upon a time, I lived in a huge apartment with a crazy roommate. My roommate was not a bad roommate, as genuinely crazy roommates go, but she was still a bit difficult to live with. She had long, worrying periods of melancholy during which she seldom ate and never left the house. She had a hangup about closing her bedroom door, by which I mean that she never did it, which made me feel awkwardly surveilled when I was in our living room or kitchen. She constantly worried that the world was collapsing, and I felt a lot of responsibility to cheer her up, which generally meant getting her to watch bad teen T.V. shows rather than documentaries about genocide. I liked her, and I even sort of miss her, but when she moved back to Eastern Europe I decided that it was time for the roommate stage of my life to end. Sadly, the huge apartment was too expensive for me to afford by myself. I now live in a tiny apartment, but now I don't have to convince anyone that it would be better for their mental health if they watched One Tree Hill rather than The Sorrow and the Pity on a Friday night.

When I moved to my smaller, roommate-free apartment, I had to downsize my possessions. One of the things that didn't make it past the move was my blocking board. It wasn't a very fancy blocking board: I followed the instructions on Knitty and made it out of homosote and the absolute cheapest gingham fabric I could find at Joanne's. It wasn't pretty, but it got the job done. However, there is no space for my blocking board in my new apartment, so I abandoned it. I have been using my couch or my bed to block things.

I'm not especially happy about this state of affairs. First of all, I like to use both my couch and my bed, and blocking my sweater on them made them difficult to use for their intended purposes. Also, they're not as rigid as I think a good blocking board would be.

I had a sort of brilliant idea, which was to make a new blocking board out of fabric-covered homosote, but to cover it with fabric chosen for its decorative properties, not for being the cheapest that I could possibly find. When I was not blocking things with my blocking board, I could hang it above my couch and call it art. I am still kind of kicking around the idea of doing this.

So that was the plan until I saw Knitter's Blocks, a super ingenious solution to the problem of storing a blocking board in a small apartment. Knitter's Blocks are little puzzle-piece like things that snap together to form a blocking board. When you're done with them, you unsnap them, stick them back in their little tote bag, and put them at the top of your closet, where they will not bother anyone. Yay!

Sadly, Knitter's Blocks cost $48. I probably could spend $48 on a blocking board, but it feels like a lot of money. But this blog seems to suggest that similar snap-together puzzle pieces are available from hobby and dollar stores for a lot less money. I'm perfectly happy to supply my own tote bag. I'm going to have to look into this. I think that may be the solution to my blocking board issue.

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