Friday, September 4, 2009

Adding whittling to my crafty skills set

I wanted to make this Breast Cancer Support scarf (free pattern download here from Knitting Daily; pattern and gorgeous yarn here from Jimmy Bean's), but I didn't have and couldn't find the ginormous needles you need to knit with 4 or 5 yarns at one time.

So, I made them! This really isn't a tutorial, but if you were interested in making some yourself, here's what I did:

First, get a wide dowel rod -- the widest one I could find was 7/8". Measure and mark two 12-14" lengths, then cut the rod with a saw you find in your garage. (I'm not sure of the original purpose for the saw I found, but it worked great for dowel cutting.)
Then, use the Leatherman's Tool you gave your husband many Christmases ago, (but which you use more than he does), and whittle pointy ends on both of your dowel sections.
I would advise going slowly on this part -- smooth even strokes with the knife seems to work best. Take your time. It is good entertainment for the cat.
At first, my points were so pointy that I could have knit lace with these babies, but I rounded off the point a bit with sandpaper.
So, sand the points, and the entire needle. The smoother the wood, the more luck you will have knitting with these.
Go to your mother's button boxes, and find two big buttons, wider than the diameter of the dowel, and glue those onto the ends of your needles. Then, hammer little nails throught the holes in the button. Actually, this step should come before the whittling, as I messed up the end of one needle while pounding the nail in. But a little more whittling, a little more sanding, and it was good as new.
I think you could do something fancier, but I just used some wax paper and gave them a good rubdown, gathered 4 purple yarns and made this in about two hours. I didn't even ball up the yarns, I just laid them on the floor in front of the couch, got a cup of coffee and watched Grey Gardens while I knit this.
But there was a tragedy. . . more on that tomorrow.

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