Today I want to share my latest DIY project, but there is a bit of a back story to it.
When I complete a pair of socks, so that I can get a nice picture I usually wash them and put them on sock blockers while they are still wet and let them dry. The blockers help to even out any of the irregularities I might have in my stitches and in the cases of lace and cables the slight stretching allows the patterns to pop.
Which means, when I first give socks to my kids they are smooth and neat, ready to go into their sock drawers.
But, when I wash the socks and just lay them flat to dry they do not look quite so "finished" any more and my kids got picky. They wanted their socks to look the same way as when they were brand new each time they were washed, which meant putting them on the blockers every single time.
You would think that wouldn't really be a problem, I have several different sock blockers in various sizes, but...when everyone washed their socks on the same day, we ran out of blockers before we ran out of socks!
I tried bending some wire coat hangers into shape, but, well I wasn't very good at it and they ended up slightly different shapes and sizes with the occasional hard angle rather than gentle curve.
Looking some more on the internet I found people had used cardboard, which I had done once for some child sized socks that I knit, and plastic place mats. The place mats sounded good to me as they wouldn't need to be covered in tape to stop them from absorbing the moisture from the socks, so off to the dollar store I went.
The problem with the place mats I found? They were very thin. Trying to pull a wet sock onto it wasn't going to be easy, so I tried gluing two together. (Also not easy! Superglue dried too quickly, rubber cement didn't dry well enough.....) While I was digging through the drawer in my garage where various glues and tapes were I spied a roll of double sided carpet tape. (Although we no longer have any carpet in the house, I do have carpet runners on the stairs which I had taped down using some of it in the past, but there was still lots on the roll so I gave it a try.)
Taping the two place mats together gave them a little bit more structure and although still flexible they don't bend as much when trying to pull that wet sock onto them.
After taping the two mats together, I traced the outline of two sock blockers on each one and cut it out using regular old scissors.
(I found that I could get one Men's Large and one Women's Medium blocker out of each pair of mats, or 2 Women's Mediums but the Men's Large were too short when I tried getting both out of one pair...) You could just draw an approximately foot and leg shaped outline if you don't have an existing sock blocker to trace! I cut portions of the centers out to allow for air flow, you could do pretty designs if you are more creative with cutouts than I am!
And Voila! Cheap easy sock blockers to keep picky kids happy.
After I was all done making the sets of sock blockers I planned on making I realized that they would also make a great presentation for gift socks.
To Make 3 pairs of Sock Blockers, 1 Men's Large, 2 Women's Medium/Men's Small:
Supplies: 6 plastic dollar store placemats, double sided tape (I am sure that any would work, I just had carpet tape on hand) marker for outlining the blocker shape, scissors to cut them out, single hole punch to put a hole in the top. Optional but helpful, razor knife for cutouts.
That was my project last weekend, this weekend? Well I think I am back to swatching design elements! What's on your agenda for the weekend?