Friday, April 20, 2007

Do it yourself Cone Spinnerrette - a tutorial

I love cones of yarn. Not hanks, skeins, center pull balls...nope. If at all possible, I will buy the cone. Did I mention cones I like? Why do I like knitting from the cone? It gives the illusion that you have a never ending supply of yarn (you don't, and there have been times where I have run out). The yarn's all contained on the cone, you don't have to worry about losing that one ball of 16 you needed for a project. And they look so neat and tidy too. However, there's a downside to cones. You can unintentionally put a bias in the yarn. Putting a twist is okay when you're knitting with several strands held together, but when you're only knitting with one, well...

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and I had so far just winged it using a paper towel holder to hold my cones. Letting the cone spin on it's own is okay, but the McGuyver in me said there must be a better way. Remember that I met a knitter at the lacy knitter's guild a couple of months ago, and he showed me his cone holder? Remember? He told me that I could make one using a bearing and some wood. He also said I could get my husband or boyfriend to do the woodwork, but we won't go there--I love z&a's dad so much, but if I had asked him to build this for me...well, let's just say that as an engineer, he would have over engineered and spent several years mulling it over and then tried to make it better than I needed and then well, he's an engineer...I figured I could build this thing. The only difficult thing to get was the bearing. btw-they don't carry it at big orange store. Nor did I see it at Orchard. I found it at my local Ace Hardware. But I had to ask. And this will also be the most expensive part (at least for me) of the project. It was $7.99

I was thinking that I would have to buy a wooden disc, and a large dowel and a small dowel, then get a large drill bit and drill a hole on top, then pound a dowel the size of the inner hole of the bearing on to hold...ack! what a project. But I figured out a much easier way.

So, without further ado, here's my tutorial:

Unfortunately, I made it before I took any pictures, so this is a re-enactment.

Title: Yarn Cone spindle developed from simple vertical paper towel holder

Materials and Methods: General tools were used for this construction. A rubber wood paper towel holder (Local thrift store, CA) was dismantled and the screw from the center pole removed using standard procedures. . The screw from the guide pole was also removed with a wrench.The bearing was procured from Ace Hardware (figure 1).
Figure 1

The hole in the guide pole was enlarged using a drill and a drill bit of the same size as that removed from the main pole. The larger screw was screwed in (figure 2).

Figure 2

The top of the guide pole was whittled with an exacto knife to fit the circumference of the bearing(figure 3).
Figure 3

The original guide pole, now with the larger revised screw was replaced on the platform in the center. The spinnerette was assembled and tested. (figure 4, 5).
Figure 4 Figure 5

Friday, April 13, 2007

Swap-a-rama goodies

I finally discovered this thing called swapping. What a great idea. You've got some stuff that you got whenever, and now you see some stuff that you want that someone is trying to get rid of, and you exchange your stuff. How cool is that? Anyway, I went through a sock craze a bit back (peaked when pregnant w/ a) where I was acquiring sock yarn, sock knitting implements, etc. But now, even with all the lovely socks out there, I'm sort of not that interested. I might be interested in some of the cool lace socks, maybe...

So, anyways, I find folks that want my sock stuff and want to exchange other stuff (like lace yarn and funky patterns) for my sock stuff. Cool!

here's my cool swapped stuff. I think z&a's dad might think I bought this stuff, but I didn't. I got other stuff awhile ago and have shipped those away to get more different stuff. Although, I think that at this point, I may (gulp) have enough laceweight yarn (of all types) to last me for awhile. The only picture I don't have is the gossamer (Knitpicks) that I received. I've wanted to try Knitpick's laceweight, and when it was offered up, well, I had something to trade for it.

This yarn is Brown sheep cotton/wool laceweight. And the patterns are some vintage patterns. But I don't know if you can see the very very cool stitch markers that came with the patterns. They are gorgeous! That wasn't originally part of the trade, but she added them in since there was a discrepancy with swapped items. I love the stitch markers. I will definitely use them.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bianca Fini

Milestones on this one.
1) a Finished Object
2) a sweater!
3) One that fits.
4) I like it
5)most importantly, one that I'll wear (in fact, it's already been worn, and I've not even blocked it)

Pattern: IK Fall 2006
yarn: Crystal Palace Flamme (100% merc cotton)
amount: less than 7 balls
Completion time: March 30, 2007-April 9, 2007
modifications: no major change*. 5 buttons instead of 6.

*I think the charts were incorrect. As written, there's an extra ridge in the lace pattern. I worked on the sleeves at the same time on the same needles and finished the first lace pattern, went on with the 2nd, realized it didn't look like the picture, and decided that was going to be my little modification. The first lace pattern has a ridge in the sleeves (not the yoke). It looked fine, so I just kept going, ignoring that one line and purled on the wrong side.

My gauge was off (smaller), so I made a large instead of medium. It's a tad big, could have made it in a medium. Would like to make the bottom as one piece instead of 3. Very annoying--that seaming the panels. Magically, the sweater actually fits, albeit a tad large, even with the row gauge definitely being off.

I did have another modification with the buttons. I found (in my button stash, no less), these cork resin buttons. See how perfect they are for this sweater? I even had six buttons, but I decided on five. Anyway, I had finished off the button loops for six and decided that the buttons were always going to be slipping out, so I only did 2 chains w/ crochet hook and I really like it.

Oh, yes. This sweater took me NINE days to finish! I'm straining trying to pat my own back...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter Bunny!

Hope everyone had a really nice Easter. I could show you the aftermath of our celebration, but there would be lots of empty plastic eggs and colored foil...

Thursday, April 05, 2007


I've wanted to knit this sweater since I got the Winter 2006 IK. And I've procured several different types of yarns for this project. In fact, I've got several sweater's worth in different, cotton, wool, etc...

I just saw a pretty one in Cotton-ease when I googled it. Then I thought I'd make one in the new Cotton-ease...argh! Must make at least ONE first, before thinking about procuring more yarn.

Instead, I went into my stash and picked out CP merc. cotton (that's been discontinued). The color is similar to the one pictured here.

Anyhow, the gauge was off, so I am making a larger size. Altho', as I'm knitting it, I'm finding that maybe I got gauge, after all...hmmm...The way the sweater's constructed, I think a little wider isn't going to make a difference (I'm hoping).

The beginning of this sweater is ho-hum, just endless St stitches with a bit of shaping here and there. Will post pictures as it becomes more interesting. btw-- started this sweater March 30, 2007