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Organizing Circular Needles

5 Aug

IMG_3128I used to keep my circular knitting needles in a shoebox and it was so hard to rummage through the box to find the particular needle that I needed. I knew I wanted to store them in a way that they would separate the needles by size. I also knew that I had a lot of needles. So I decided to buy two 3″ 3-ring binders and about ten clear pencil zipper bags with three-ring holes. At first, I tried labeling the zipper bags with stick-on file tabs, but the paper inserts kept slipping out and the sticky labels didn’t stick very well and kept falling off. I ended up peeling the labels off and just left the binders unlabeled. Then I finally decided to do something about the labeling and I cut pieces of scrapbook paper to fit inside the zipper bags. I cut two pieces per bag. Using the computer, I printed out labels on white paper, cut them out and used a glue stick to affix them to the scrapbook paper. Then I just slid the scrapbook papers into the zipper bags, with the right sides facing out. I placed the zipper bags in order, according to needle size, into the 3-ring binders. I printed out a needle conversion chart and glued it to pretty scrap paper and slid it into the front of each binder. The sides of the binder are labeled as well. I’m so excited to finally have my circular needles organized!

I’d love to hear your comments or know how you orgainze your needles!

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Crocheted Ottoman Cover

24 Jul

IMG_3064I did it!  I taught myself to crochet!  Finally!  After years of saying I wanted to learn, I finally took the time to sit down and watch a few videos and now I’m crocheting.  Yay!  I made this ottoman slip cover, for my yarn-bombed craft room.  I made the top with nine granny squares, stitched together with the whip stitch.  Then I did one row of single crochet around the edge of all 9 granny squares.  Then I double crocheted in alternating colors.   I’m really happy with how it looks and I know I’ll be trying to make more crocheted projects in the future.

I purchased this used ottoman at a resale shop for $15 and painted the legs a dark brown to match my chair.  Below are some before, during and after pictures.

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New Curtains for My Craft Room

31 May

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I finally got my curtains hung in my craft room! I’ve been asking my hubby to help me hang them because I needed to replace the rod. He kept telling me he would get to it, but never did. Finally, last Sunday, he called me while I was out running errands and told me he had hung the rod for the curtains. I was a little upset at first because I wanted them hung at a certain length so I wouldn’t have to hem the curtains. It turns out that I would have had to hem them anyways. So, I spend all day Monday (Memorial Day) hemming eight panels of curtains! Yuck! Not a very fun or relaxing way to spend a Memorial day. But the bright side of things is that my curtains are now hung. Yay! The curtains were purchased at Ikea last November. The double rob was purchased at Target. Above is the “after” picture of my room with the new curtains. The picture below is the “before” picture. The old curtains were in the room when it was once my daughter’s room, before she graduated from college and moved away from home.

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Finally… Yarn Grows on Trees!!!

27 Mar

IMG_2039I have the most amazingly, talented little sister! Kit has always been very creative. As a kid, I remember her making really neat collages on poster board, using cut up magazines. She just had an eye for putting things in certain spots and transpiring a plain poster board into a really cool piece of art. She was also great at drawing back in high school and I recall her making me a picture of a rabbit, using just ink dots. She currently lives in Chico, CA with her husband and family and she is still making fabulous crafty creations. She mostly paints nowadays, but recently she made some very creative collages. She made one for my mother, one for my father, and one for me. She adapted each collage to each person’s personal interest. Each collage includes pictures of the family, as well as things related to our lives.

My sister knows that my one of my favorite hobbies is knitting. So she created a collage, which she entitled “Finally… Yarn Grows on Trees”. The details are amazing. The collage is of a mystic, fairytale like scene and includes photos or me, my husband, my kids, mom, dad, Kit, her husband and her kids and she even included my dog, Dottie. The scene is of a castle and a huge tree that appears to be growing 3-dimensional balls of yarn! She used a photo taken of me on my wedding day and jazzed it up by adding a crown to my head, a larger (more colorful) bouquet and a little butterfly. She then put a castle in the background and put a picture of my hubby, from our wedding day, at the top of the castle. It appears that he is my knight and shinning armour, coming to my rescue me and live happily ever after. And he is my knight and shinning armour… and I’m sure we will live happily ever after. We’ve been married over eleven years now. The details on this is amazing. I took several pictures, but the pictures I took don’t do this piece of art justice. I’ve hung this collage in my knitting room. I think it’s the perfect piece of art for my room and I love to look at it as I knit.

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I-Cords – A Blast from the Past!

19 Feb

IMG_2238Recently, my husband and I have been cleaning out and reorganizing our garage.  We’ve been going through old boxes that have been stored for over a year or two, and donating a lot of items we no longer need.  While working out in the garage last weekend, my husband handed me a box to go through that was given to me by my mother two years ago, when her and my dad moved to a new home.  The box had been up in their attic for years.  The box was marked “Kim’s toys”.  I opened the box and found many familiar items from my childhood, but I was ecstatic to find all my old i-cord makers.  I squealed with excitement and my husband thought I was nuts and asked me, “what are those?”   I explained and he still was not impressed.  As a child, my mom and grandmother taught me to knit.  I knitted all kinds of flat square and rectangle pieces, because my skills were limited to just knit and purl stitches.  I’m not sure why they didn’t try to teach me to increase or decrease, perhaps they thought I was too young, but I soon got bored and didn’t expand my knitting skills until I was older.  In the meantime, my mom bought me some i-cord makers and I seemed to be obsessed with them in my pre-teen years.  I would make what seemed like miles and miles of i-cords.  It’s was almost hypnotic, and somewhat relaxing, to sit in front on the tv and watch the Brady Bunch, while knitting i-cords.  I eventually got bored with those too and the i-cord makers just got packed away.

I-cords can be used for all kinds of thing, such as a drawstring, shoe laces, garland, braided belts, woven placemats, coiled rugs, potholders, coasters, etc.  If you’re creative, you can find all kinds of things to make with them!

I have knitted i-cords recently using two double-pointed needles, but I’m not the big i-cord fan I once was.  I’m not sure I’ll ever used these i-cord makers, but I still thought they were super cool and had to find somewhere to display them in my knitting/sewing room.  I cleared off a little square on one of my shelfs and found them a home.  I think they look great on my shelf.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever use them again, but I just couldn’t part with them.

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Knitting Needle Containers for the Wall

5 Aug

Last year, while still in the process of planning my knitting/sewing room, I found some white metal hanging plant containers at Ikea.  Here is the link http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90186094/  They were about $6 each.  I had planned to hang them on my wall, next to my yarn cabinet, to hold all my straight knitting needles.  Soon after setting up my room, I hung the containers and placed my needles inside.  I always felt they looked a little plain, so today, I tied a red ribbon around each container and labeled them as to size of knitting needles.  The ribbon is the same ribbon that I used on my multi-drawer cabinet and my decorative suitcase storage boxes.  I think the ribbon and labels make them look a lot better.  I can also easily find the size needle I’m looking for without having to look through multiple containers, since they are arrange according to size.  I also added some light-weight pompoms to the bottom and sides of the containers, to help cushion the tips of the needles and keep them standing up straight.  I’m happy with the results.  I might buy some tiny rubberbands to keep the pairs together, as I think that would be helpful.  Now to find a container for my double-pointed needles…

A Vase of Old Knitting Needles

12 Jul

As a young child, both my grandmother, who I called Maw Maw, and mother taught me to knit.  I knitted off and on for years but didn’t really get serious about my knitting until about 8 years ago. Since that time, I’ve been knitting constantly.  I try to knit for at least 10-15 minutes every night.  I even take a small knitting bag with me on most days when I leave the house, so that if I get a free minute or two, I can knit.  I guess you could say I’m obsessed about knitting.

It all started when I was a child.   I used to love to watch my Maw Maw knit.  At the time I was just learning to knit, and I remember thinking that her hands were like magic.  I was mesmerized with the speed in which she knitted, and how she never dropped a stitch, and how her stitches were so uniform and perfect.  She had three stackable stools (or ottomans) in her living room near the window, and I would go get one, and bring it over, and sit at the foot of her chair.  I would watch her for what seemed to be hours, although in reality it was probably only 10-15 minutes.  After that I would give it a try with my needles and yarn.  I was never as fast as her and I guess I was somewhat discouraged from time to time about my dropped stitches, my lopsided stitches, and my slow pace.  I’d end up putting my knitting down and would opt for climbing trees or riding bikes with my cousins for the rest of the day.  But, the next day I visited my Maw Maw, the routine of watching her knit and giving it a try myself would start all over.  I don’t think I was ever really good at it until about 8 years ago, when I made up my mind to learn more than just the basic knit, purl, cast-on and bind off.  After all, how many plain scarves can one girl have?

So eight years ago, I decided to try knitting again.  I was intrigued by all the wonderful patterns and thought I should give it another try.  My mother helped refresh my memory of the basics and eventually taught me a few more things, such as k2tog, p2tog, sl, yo, and how to do cables.  My Maw Maw passed away when I was 26 years old.  It’s been 20 years now, but I still think of her all the time and miss her very much.  I think she would be proud of me and my knitting.  I know she would absolutely LOVE going into the LYS around town.  When she was knitting, the only place to buy yarn was Leewards and Kmart.

When I got serious with my knitting, my mother went through her needle collection and gave me a bunch of old needles that belonged to my Maw Maw and herself.  I’ve always kept these needles in a separate bag, so I could remember which needles belonged to my mom and my Maw Maw.  Since I now have a craft room, I decided I wanted to display the knitting needles in some way and still keep them separate from my other needles.  So, I decided to buy an old white vase to keep them in.  I found the perfect vase at an antique store for $6.  I love a bargain!  I got home, washed the vase up and put the needles in it, but it seemed so plain.  Then I decided to use some extra ribbon I had used in my room, to tie around the vase.  I decided I’d hang a small picture of my mom and Maw Maw, since the needles belonged to them.  When tying the bow, it just didn’t look right around the bottom, which is what I had originally planned, so I tied it up higher and secured it with a piece of tape on the back since since it kept slipping down.  The little frames are actually small belt buckles I bought in a package of 4 at Hobby Lobby for another project, but they worked out great.

I’m so happy with how the vase of needles turned out.  The vase is now sitting in my craft room on top of my sewing machine cabinet, where I can enjoy seeing the needles every day.  They make me think about how grateful I am that Maw Maw and Mom didn’t give up on me and my knitting.  I have them both to thank for my love of knitting.