Monday, October 20

Handmade: Fun Knitting Accessories to Make at Home

Most knitters I know have to plead with their dear husbands just to get a few skeins of yarn. But a few skeins of yarn, new needles, a spindle, a couple ounces of roving AND sock blockers? Don't make me laugh.

Not to fear, fellow knitters! Plato wasn't just knockin' around when he said necessity was the mother of invention. Being a newlywed and living off freelance work - it's not hard to imagine we're all but broke most of the time. :) So here we have it then, a fun little list of things to pick up at your local hardware store, guaranteed to provide you with years of delight as you work with your one-of-a-kind creations! Oh, and for pennies on the dollar.


You will need:
Dowel rod, choice of size (carry a needle gauge with you to find the
right match)
Any brand modeling clay that you bake to harden
Wax Paper (optional)
Mineral Oil or Wood Oil (optional)
Wood Stain

To make:
Cut the dowel rods to suit your desired length. Using a knife or coarse sandpaper, shape the point of the needles, then follow up with a fine grade sandpaper to smooth out any snags or splinters. If you choose, stain the rods at this point. (If you do stain them, play it safe and let them dry overnight.) Next, rub the rods down with a wood oil and/or wax paper. This will polish it up nice and condition the wood.
Now for the fun part. :) To make the stopper at the other end of your needles, take your clay and fashion an end - any shape or color will do! I've seen acorns, balls, tear drop shapes, bells, the sky's the limit. Just don't make it too big otherwise you're hands will be begging for mercy halfway through your mother-in-law's Christmas scarf. After you have your shape, carefully push it onto the flat end of your needle, far enough down to make a good hole to which you will later glue the rod. (But not too far! You don't want your new needles poking out the end!)
Following the clay baking instructions, put the needles - rod, stopper and all in the oven with the stopper hanging over the edge of a baking sheet so it doesn't flatten out while it's cooking. Once they're done, give them some time to cool off. Remove the stopper from the needle, drop some good glue down in the hole you made (a tacky craft glue will do), reattach, let the glue harden up (overnight would be great) and tada! Needles worth bragging about.

*note: if you want to make dpns, shave off the other end to a point, smooth and oil it down, and you're set.

**Instructions taken from here

You will need:
2 CDs
5/16" dowel rod, 12" long
Blind well nut (at Home Depot, the part number is 127253) - the brass threading must be safely cut off.
5/8" rubber grommet (Home Depot part no. 161788)
Eye Hook (can be found in picture hanging supplies)
Needle Nose Plyers (to open the eye hook a little so thread can move in and out easily)

To make: (Assembly instructions taken directly from here)
Press the rubber grommet into the center of the pair of cds and then insert the blind well nut into the grommet. There will be a groove between the blind well nut and the grommet where later, you will be able to attach a starter string.
We applied soft glycerine soap to the shaft of the spindle to facilitate insertion into the blind well nut. Keeping the 'groove above the grommet' on top, the point of the spindle was inserted from the upper side. The disks were pushed 1/4 of the way up the spindle to create a low whorl spindle. (for a high whorl spindle, keep the groove on the bottom and push the disks 3/4 of the way from the bottom of the spindle. The eye hook was inserted into the flat end at the top of the spindle.

P.S. The site where the instructions came from (linked above) also gives some great pointers on getting started with your new spindle. New to spinning? Check it out! As always, YouTube is an invaluable resource for us visual learners.

If I think to later, I'll actually write out the steps. In the meantime, however, just visit this link. It gives clear and detailed instructions on how to make a really neat drop spindle. I think I'm going to make it my next project.

1/4" wood file
2 3/4" wood wheel w/ 3/8" hole
3/8" dowel rod
Wood saw
Wood Glue
Pencil Sharpener or Knife
Sand paper, coarse to very fine
Fine steel wool
 Polyurethane Finish


Shana said...

Wow. Talk about resourcefulness! Great post. Thanks!