Monthly Archives: June 2010

Knitting Board made Baby Blanket…amazing!

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Yes…I have been busy again!  The last time was because of the birthday’s in my family (note: they both loved them!!) but I have a new motivation this time…reproduction.

knitting board, yarn and flippy thingy

First off, and I think that this is important for the context of this entry…I do not have children of my own.  I have two step children but they were both teenagers when I came into the picture so it really doesn’t count.  I have never experienced morning sickness.  I have never experienced a ravenous appetite for weird things without explanation as to why (I had a friend, long ago, that craved night crawler dirt when she was preggers…she would stop at bait stores all over the place to just smell, not eat, night crawler dirt…very odd).  I have never given birth to anything.

I have, however, experienced something similar to labor pains.  I had a kidney stone a few years ago and yes; I was pleading with the nurse to make the pain stop (I saw it done in those birthing shows on the Discovery Channel and it seemed to work for them so I gave it a try…), thank God she was sympathetic to my situation!   As she was launching me into a blissful “full body buzz” via IV happy juice, she asked me if I’d ever had children.  I said no.  She smiled and said, and I quote…”A kidney stone is the closest thing you will experience similar to labor pains  if you’ve have never experienced a vaginal birth”.  Needless to say, I have great sympathy for any woman that would willingly put themselves through it in the first place.

zig zagging the yarn on the nails

So, why am I making a baby blanket?  Well…because many people that I know ARE.  They have decided to (or conceded to the idea of it happening…) bring forth another human being into the world.  On very few occasions, in my life, I have experienced the fleeting need/want to have, and keep, children.  Needless to say, it eventually passed.  In all honesty and seriousness, I have a very clear view of the horrors that are in this world so maybe, somewhere deep in my subconscious,  the mental switch prevented the physical act of creating a baby or maybe God understands that I had a different destiny lined up for me other then to change poopie diapers and cut me a little slack.  Since my sister ended up having “My” daughter that I was cursed to have (“you’ll be sorry when you have one just like you!!); I’m okay with the way things turned out.

I think making baby blankets is sort of my way of being sympathetic to the process of babies getting here and that I sort of skirted the whole thing.  From the outside looking in, the whole process seems rather…harsh.  My hubby works with one of our friends that’s due in about 3 months.  A few weeks ago he came home saying that I needed to come and see her because “the turkey thermometer popped”.  I found out soon after, as I saw her in her complete misery (my sister is the only woman I’ve ever seen “glow” when pregnant) her belly button had become VERY outwardly present and poked out prominently from her uniform.  She was miserable in a very public way and I feel bad for her…her blanket is almost done.

the “flipping the stitch” action

As for how I happened upon this miracle of yarn craft;   sometime this past winter, I decided to watch HSN (home shopping network) because it was “Craft Month” and was desperate for something to watch on a Tuesday afternoon.  They were highlighting an item called a “knitting board” (2 boards; scarf and baby blanket sized…).  I’ve been knitting and crocheting for a long time and never even heard of it before.  Since I normally get my best crafting idea’s from obscure TV shows, I was intrigued! Apparently, as the completely fake and plasticized hostess would go onto explain…(this chick had no clue as to what this thing did or was used for…she was as worthless as the hosts/hostesses that just hold the guitars when ESTABAN is on hocking his cheap guitars all while playing barely recognizable songs and they’re trying to look interested…nobody can smile that long!!)…that knitting needles were actually the upgrade to the knitting board due to the ease of transportation.  Thus, the knitting board fell to the way side and became a lost art somewhere around the time where being a Quaker in the US wasn’t mandatory.  However, due to the unique “double knit” result of this technique, there has recently been a resurgence in popularity within the crafting community.  Blah blah blah and the plastic lady was starting to piss me off.  However, when they showed the finished product I had to buy both of them!!

The finished blanket

It’s rather simple to do.   You zig zag the yarn and flip the bottom stitch over the top stitch that was just put on.  Changing colors is really easy too!  When you’re done, you just crochet the very first row and the very last row so the whole thing doesn’t come unraveled.

But, there is an amazing aspect to this blanket!!  It’s as fluffy as a bag of cotton balls!!  The double sided knit creates a fabric that is nothing short of luxuriously soft and light!  It’s so fluffy that it fluffs to about 1/2 thick but compresses to nothing if you pinch it lightly.  If it gets a snag, you just yank on it and it goes back into shape.  I almost wish I had the patience to create a whole afghan with it…but I don’t and it would take too long to do and then I wouldn’t be able to blog about the projects I make because a king sized afghan would take way too freakin’ long to do (plus it got up to 87 degrees today and the LAST thing I want to do is bury myself under “pile o’ yarn” for the sake of a winter project).  I wish blogs could be touch sensitive because words can’t describe how amazing this thing feels.  I’ve made 20 some-odd baby blankets but this is my second on the knitting board.

A guy I work with got the first for his little girl that was born 6 weeks ago.  First, it’s the only blanket she wants to sleep with.  Second, it can be washed in a washing machine as long as it’s not washed with anything that will snag it.  Third…his wife is putting in orders because all of her friends want one too.  I’m taking care of my friends first…

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my latest entry!!!  Thank you for all of the hits!!!

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The other jewelry box…finally done!!

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I know that I’ve been saying, for quite some time now, that I was working on a second jewelry box for my sister’s birthday present.  The reality of the situation is that lately, it seems that I’ve only been working and sleeping.  I haven’t been as productive as I normally would be.  HOWEVER…I took this week off from work and am catching up on things around the house.  So,  Sis….happy birthday!!!!

To start with, I went to Michael’s and purchased an unfinished cigar box with hinges and a clasp in the front already installed.  Then I went through all of my clip art books and found the perfect one!  This image shows that print out of the pattern taped to graphite paper and then the graphite paper is taped to the box.  I traced it.

This image shows the graphite transfer on the box.  Nothing too special or difficult at this point.

Then I used the sharpest point on my wood burner and outlined the pattern on the box.

Then added a little shading with the wood burner.  This was my own touch to add.  I just kept shading it until it felt right.

Then I added a little color….

I have to admit, I didn’t think that I’d like this one as much as I liked the other one but I think it’s a toss up.

Again; thank you to everyone for checking out my blog!!  I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoy putting it together.

As always, comments are always welcomed!!!


Latest project…a box

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First off….WOW!!!  The response to my lost blog entry was unbelievable!!  Who would have thought that eggs would be so interesting?  I’m still thinking that I need to start working on another one sometime soon but since I’m still working the night shift, it’s out of the question; way to noisy.

This is a “quiet” project that I’ve recently done.  My niece (my clone, actually…) has a birthday coming up this month and I thought she’d like it.  We have a little thing that we do since I live here on Cape Cod and she lives in Michigan…we actually write letters to each other!!  No, not emails or tweets or Facebook entries…write with a writing instrument and paper.  When I get a letter from her, I normally send her some homemade little jewelry thing, mostly necklaces.  So I figured that she needed a box to put them in.  I showed my sister (her Mom) these pics and she decided that she wanted it instead.  Ummm…no.  I’m making one for her too.  That will probably be the next entry.

Anyway, it was really easy to do and this is how I did it:

First off, I think I need to explain something.  I absolutely LOVE the Michael’s craft store!!  There are two of them sort of close to where I live (but they’re bringing one to Hyannis this summer so I’m very happy) and I go there whenever I can.  There are two places that I normally get my craft supplies; Ebay, if it’s for eggs and Michael’s if it’s for everything else.  This box falls into the “everything else” category.

1.  Go to Michael’s, in the unfinished wood section, and buy a box.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  Some even have the hinges and closures already there (like this one).  The best part is that they are very inexpensive (I think I paid 3 dollars for this one) and the possibilities are endless with a little imagination.

2.  Find some clip art that you like and trace it onto tracing paper.  This came from a clip art book I have with a bunch of mandala’s in it.  If you don’t know what a mandala is, I highly suggest you Google it…the images will blow your mind!!  I don’t use the originals from the book because they’re so pretty,  I don’t want to ruin them and may want to use them again.

3.  Take some regular graphite paper and trace the image onto the box.

4.  This is where it starts to get fun, at least for me.  The darkened areas that create the outlines isn’t paint…it’s wood burned.  Otherwise known as “pyrography”.  Again, Google if you want to get a little more info on it.  The applications are endless with the multiple tips that you can get for the wood burning tool.  And yes; you can buy them at Michael’s.  I like using the wood burning technique because I think it adds a beautiful, rustic feel to the piece.

5.  Once the wood burning is finished, I had to decide how I was going to paint it.  But I didn’t use regular paint.  I don’t think you can tell from these pics but the inside of the flower petals are bronze leafing (real metal).  The same as gold or silver leaf.  But, this stuff is called “Rubb ‘n Buff”.  It’s real metal leaf but it’s suspended in sort of a wax and can be applied with a paint brush.  It comes in about 15 different finishes and adds a very nice touch.  The rest of the “paint” is actually pigment that…I bought at Michael’s.  I didn’t want an opaque finish because I didn’t want to overwhelm the wood burning.  I watered it down until is was very thin, brushed it on and wiped the excess off with a paper towel.  I’m not sure but regular craft paint should work the same way.

6.  On the bottom of the box I glued 4 wooden balls to the bottom to act as legs.  Yep…got them at Michael’s!  The balls have one flat side to them so they can be glued on easily.

7.  Once everything is dry, I sealed the whole thing with a matte finish sealant.  Hubby thought a shiny finish would look good too.  I may have to try that with the next one.

Anyway, there you go.  One beautiful jewelry/trinket box!!  Quick, inexpensive and most importantly for me…quiet to make! LOL!!

Thank you all that have been following my blog!!  I’m humbled by the encouragement and kind remarks that I’ve received!!