Archive for July, 2007

Protecting the tools

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Inspired by Berrocco’s Kable and Kluster, I set about to design something to store my growing stash of double pointed needles.

I started by finding some gorgeous, bold purple felting wool roving (about a pound of it).

handspun yarn

I spun it up and knit a large rectangle with a ribbed border. Then I felted it in the washing machine until it shrunk up to the size I wanted, which was a little wider than the biggest double points I might keep. The final measurements were 24.5″ x 11.5″ I probably shrunk it down by nearly 2.5 inches to a nice tight felt.

The idea was to have a roll that would store and travel nicely. I want to eventually finish the outside with two attractive buttons with loops, but I am waiting until I get a few more of the larger DP needles to see how tight/loose it should be when rolled up.

I went looking through all my lace patterns and found one that worked with just a little modification. It’s a vine and cable mix that allows two areas to encase the needles with makes the whole thing far more stable and secure than a single cable would. I used an acrylic worsted weight yarn which has a wonderful grip to it. The needles don’t slide out at all when held on edge.

What I love best about this carrier is that it holds any size DP needles comfortably. I didn’t have to make adjustments for my size 11 needles or my size 2’s.

This is the finished DP needle case. It was fun to employ a lot of different techniques and styles to make a fun case to protect my DPs and keep them all in one place.

My next toolcase is going to be a similar style, but instead of the cables, I’m going to make a series of pockets to store all of my circular needles in one place. I’m still working on the dimensions for that.

Clicking on most pictures will display a larger picture for detail.

Lathe Love

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Oh wow…I have fallen in love with a piece of workworking equipment in the worst way. Now begins the process of convincing my husband he wants me to have one to make all sorts of wonderful gifties for our loved ones.

One of said loved ones is our friend Craig who just got a brand spankin’ new midi lathe. And he was kind enough to teach me how to turn a pen and even let me break in his new tools!

On Saturday, he handed me a piece of oak and set me up, showed me some basics and let me have at it for a while to get the feel for it. I started with a little trepidation, which vanished before I got it from a square to a round shape. I started playing with the tools and doing some beading. This was just way too much fun!

first piece turned on the lathe

We started to refer to this as “The Beater” but I think what I’ll do is finish it up some and give it a nice wax coat then turn it into a paintbrush. It’s just a play piece, but it has such a nice feel to it and quite honestly, it has become a sentimental piece.

We also ran to Woodcrafters where I may have embarrassed myself a bit deeply inhaling the exotic woods and making noises about all the phenomenal tools and cool bits and…and…wow. Just like a kid in a candy store, I was. Unbeknownst to me, Craig picked up a pen kit for me and let me pick out some wood that I liked from his stock pile. Then he spent a couple of hours on Sunday teaching me how to turn the pen myself.

hand turned pen

This is the finished product. It’s a zebra type wood with dark black stripes in a honey color wood. The style of the pen is European. It twists open and close.

This shows the blocks of wood that the pen was carved from and the wonderful dark striations.

I really am addicted already to this fascinating process. If I’m a very good girl, perhaps the birthday fairy will be good to me next month. I have no idea what I’m going to do in the meantime!!!