Category Archives: Good things

My Favorite Little Gadget

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I am fond of these little versatile Clover Locking Stitch Markers.  They make my crochet and knit projects even more enjoyable.  They are easy to clip on and to remove, and my yarn does not get caught in them.  The pointy end is just right and does not pierce the yarn. The more I use them, the more I love them.  They are particularly good for crochet projects, I use them:

  • to mark my stitches, keep track of stitch increases and decreases
  • to mark buttonhole placement
  • as stitch holder when I want to take a break or try on the wip (work-in-progress) piece — no more accidental unravelling  for me
  • as a “frog stopper” —  clip it to where I want to stop ripping, and rip back without worrying about frogging past where I shouldn’t

If you’re still using safety pins and paper clips for the purpose like I did, it’s time to say goodbye to them and buy a pack of these little cuties.

 

ZERO effort Simple DIY Light Box

I was planning to make a DIY cardboard photography lightbox after some online research.  The DIY part is rather easy, though required a bit of time and patience (which I unfortunately lack). Ultimately, the most difficult part is to come across a good cardboard box.  In the end, I managed to retrieve a 60-Qt toy storage box from my grown-up kids.  And I’m all set, after finding few more items readily at home :

  • a piece of white light-weight fabric for draping over the box to diffuse the light
  • a white cardboard for “infinity” background
  • a couple of halogen lamps for lighting

No handy/crafty-woman work involved, zero, zip, nada.

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Large clear storage box + white light-weight fabric

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Drape fabric over box, put white cardboard in box for background, turn on the lamps, and presto! Lights, camera, action!

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End result photo — scarf project using 12mm needles and super bulky yarn, taken in a basement room without windows (i.e. no natural light at all).

Magic of Blocking

Blocking is my favorite step of finishing a knit/crochet garment.  A finished project, especially with lace pattern stitches, will benefit from this final finishing step.  The photos below show the before and after. The result is a cardigan with the lace and stitch pattern opened up and smoothed out, looking polished and professional.

unblocked

before blocking

blocked

after blocking

Blocking can be quite simple:
– soak garment in lukewarm water for 1/2 to 1 hour
– gently squeeze out  water
– roll garment in towel to absorb water, repeat with another towel if necessary
– lay garment on blocking mat, gently stretch or push into shape as per the specified dimensions according to size schematic
– pin where necessary (usually the button bands require some pinning) using rust-proof pins

And that’s all there is to it!

blocking

blocking on mat