Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Knitting Needle Fun

First of all, I must say, my pictures are fuzzy. I am sorry about that. It kinda feels like I am apologizing for my dirty house. Hopefully, it will encourage those of you in the blog world to go make some gorgeous photographs. And I will earn my reputation for pictures that suck. But hey, it encourages imagination, right? And you can see how I've broken all the rules and learn how NOT to take pictures. But, for whatever reason, I feel compelled to show you how to do something, and in order to do that, I have to work with the equipment and lighting that I have (meaning, cheap camera at night!) Don't let that stop you from liking my blog or trying my project :)
You need: at least 1/4" diameter birch dowels, cut in your desired needle length (10-14")(these make size 10 knittng needles...the ones I demonstrate are bigger and I think make size 17.)
Drill with small bit
Wool yarn (leftover sock yarn is perfect for this project)
Wool for needle-felting
fine felting needles and all your needle felting supplies

 Drill small-ish holes in the tops of dowel rods. These are cherry dowels, purchased at Woodcraft.  Make sure the holes are big enough for a large sewing needle to go through. Thread your needle with your yarn and pull it through; remove the needle. Please forgive my picture but the second picture down shows the needle and the yarn threaded through the dowel.

Now begin wrapping the yarn around the tops of the needle. Make sure to go up and around, and turn the needle to create a smooth, round ball. This is the top of the needle so far:

Once you have a nice yarn ball, you can stop here and sew the tail into the rest of the yarn ball. Yarn ball knitting needle tops are very cute and you wouldn't even have to go on to felt them. If you do decide to stop here, grab some needle and matching thread and really stitch your yarn ball, keeping your stitches on the inside and as inconspicuous as possible.
Or, you can get your wool and start to wrap the yarn ball with a base color of wool. Then start poking the wool in with the knitting needle, making sure you are working around the dowel and turning your work as you go.

I am not poking the dowel rod here, but rather am poking the sides, straight down.

Here is a first image that came out. The fuzziness of the picture evokes a serene watercolor, right? Reminiscent of Renoir for sure. (ha!) But alas, the creative process reared her lovely head and was not satisfied with this flower. She had other things to explore.


At last, my finished product.  The possibilities are endless of course, and you can felt little birds, flowers, trees, sheep, doodle with wool, etc. . I'm going to try sewing on beads, buttons, ribbons, wrapping silk fabric strips, folksy embroidery....there you have it! Soft sculture tops for knitting needles. (please give me credit and link back here if you decide to make these and show and tell. )
*I forgot to say this assumes the shaft of the knitting needle is already finished....the tips sanded, etc.You can use beeswax to polish them, especially nice with birch since it burnishes itself.*


4 comments:

  1. Those are great! I love the paterns your coming up with. I imaging just the natural oil in our hands would make them nice and slick to use over time

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  2. how perfect! only yesterday we put "handmade knitting needles" on our Xmas gift list for family. Now we know how to do it! Thank you :-)

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  3. I love this idea so much. Especially to felt the little balls! How perfect for knitting needles. Thanks for the idea!

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  4. well, now i just need to learn to knit, blast it. these are great!

    indoor pictures are the WORST, for everyone unless it's mid-day.

    my problem is i'm working baking or doing projects usually in the evening with the worst possible light.

    can i tell you how many pies or craft projects i have carried outside to photograph, my neighbors must think i'm crazy!!!

    it's an endless source of frustration.

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Thanks for your comment!