I finished my OpArt. Truth. I know it's been on the needles since forever (June 30, 2009 cast on according to Ravelry.) Don't you hate how Ravelry can remind you that you've been a complete and utter slacker when it comes to those lingering projects that just won't finish themselves? LOOK!
This is supposed to be our last day of sunshine before the winter grey sets in so I pretty much finished right on time as far as taking nice pictures is concerned. It's huge, over 5 feet square. Here it is on the floor with cats for scale (and because I couldn't get them out of the picture--my "shoo"s mean nothing to them.)
It's true what everyone says about blocking this, you have to be highly aggressive with it. It comes off the needles totally wobbly and not at all square. Here it is laid out pre-blocking.
See how it's all dimple-y and swirly at the corners? No good. Time for pins and a yardstick. I started from the center and pulled out one row of corners along the spiral and pinned them out. Then I pulled out all the corners on the opposite side and pinned them too. Here it is half pinned.
Then I did the same thing with the other two sides. As you can see from the finished pictures, at some point, I had to take a "good enough" attitude toward the whole thing or drive myself crazy trying to make it perfectly square.
I used acrylic yarn (Carron One Pound in colors "off white" and "rose") so I had to kill rather than block. After it was all pinned out I grabbed the steam iron and held it about 2 inches over the blanket and gave the thing a good steam. I could see the yarn physically relax and settle into the pinned position. It was pretty cool. It also made the yarn way drapier and much softer.
Warning: if you make this blanket using this yarn, there is not enough to make the larger size. I ran out halfway between the small and large size--with 9 rows left to go in the stripe I was working on. Luckily a kind raveler sent me her leftovers and I was able to finish without having to buy a whole new pound of yarn. Now to snuggle on the couch with some hot tea, my new blanket, and an episode of Star Trek. I hate being cold, but I love being cozy... winter is a weird season for me.