. On Needle Holders

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On Needle Holders

Category: needles

I’m sure I’m not the only person who has  needles and hooks that enjoy a good ( inconvenient) run about the house. I put them in a case, but alas they get all jumbled up if I don’t keep them separated with rubber bands, and even then sometimes they still do!

So while browsing the giant abyss of beautiful photos that is Pinterest, I came across something marvelous! And felted! You know I love felt, so I just had to share this with you, lovelies:

Fairy Castles © Tiny Owl Knits

Adorable, felted fairy castles! Now, how does this relate to storing needles you ask? Well, if one just removes the roof…

Fairy Castles © Tiny Owl Knits

Tada! The body of the castle unrolls into the perfect place to store all those pesky wandering needles and hooks! The best part? It’s a pattern you can get on Ravelry!!

Thank you, Tiny Owl Knits, you’ve absolutely made my day!

Love, Thy Name is Double-Points

Category: needles

When I first came to work at the store almost two years ago, all I could knit was a garter stitch rectangle. I didn’t know how to increase or decrease, I could barely manage a purl, and the mere concept of knitting in the round baffled me. I would learn all of these things– and many more– over time, and found my confidence. Until a few months ago, however, there was still one area of the store I would glimpse at in terror:  the double pointed needles.  

After trudging through those few unsuccessful, unfinished projects to get the hang of them, I can now say that double pointed needles are my absolute favorite type to use, and I’m even more in love with using them to knit dolls. 

Need 6″ US 7s? I’ve got you covered. Maybe a little TOO covered.

I think I can safely say I have more projects started on double points that I need to finish than on any other needles. Here are a few that I’ve been able to finish!

If you’ve been reading since October (or maybe you’re a new reader that’s gone back through the archives) you may remember that for a while I was making little felted pumpkins out of Quince&Co. Lark and Osprey for Halloween decorations! These were my second finished double pointed projects, and I’m still thrilled with them. 

What was the first finished project you ask? Well, a little felted Bluebird of Happiness of course! It was a wonderful little project I could finish in a few hours, and on top of that I also got to learn how to wrap-and-turn. This little guy was made out of Quince&Co. Chickadee. See what I did there? I amuse myself. 

 

My most recent completed dolls were slightly modified versions of the Mushroom Sprite pattern. (Which are seriously super cute and you should make them.) The first one I made was out of Bartlett, and it truly was the best choice to get that rough, rustic feel I was going for. Not to mention, it smells wonderful!

His little brother, made of Malabrigo Rasta and Caracol (only one skein of each!!!), was requested by my fiancé. His name is Bindle. There was so much left over, I might have to make another one for myself!

 

Help Me Help You: How To Get The Most Out of Your Project Help Session

Category: needles

I sometimes think that my spirit animal is a labrador retriever. I just want to help, whether it’s by fetching the ball, rescuing Timmy from the well, or getting you through a tough spot in your latest project. If I can’t help you, if I have to send you away disappointed or frustrated, I often feel disappointed and frustrated as well. That’s why this post is called “Help Me Help You”: I want you to feel happy, so that I can feel happy. Don’t you want me to feel happy?

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Photo by Brooks Winner

Here at the shop, we offer drop-in help times (Monday and Thursday evenings from 5-7 pm for $15) as well as the option to book your own 15-Minute Mini Class (also $15) whenever it works with your schedule. I know that life is busy, so here are three tips to help you maximize the effectiveness of your help session with us:

  1. Bring your yarn and needles. If you’re already underway, bring your half-finished item. While I have occasionally helped a knitter over the phone, it is so much easier for both of us if we have the item in question in our hands. That way, we can see where you’re getting stuck, and set you on the right path before you leave the shop. If you’re anything like me, it’s better to try a new skill right away, rather than trying to hold it in your head the whole drive home.
  2. Bring your pattern. If your dog ate your pattern, please make a note of the name of the pattern (and the designer, if possible) so that we can try to find a copy of it. Sometimes, the problem isn’t that you’re doing something wrong — sometimes the pattern has an error! Wouldn’t you rather know that right away, instead of beating yourself up over something that isn’t even your fault? If we can examine your pattern, we can also try to decipher the problem in context. Perhaps the designer just used an unusual turn of phrase, or perhaps we can veer slightly from what they wrote in order to find a more elegant solution.
  3. Bring an open mind. This is just as important as tips 1 and 2. Whether it’s learning a new skill or fixing a mistake, you will have much better luck if you approach it with a positive, can-do attitude. The more worked up you get, telling us that you “can’t” do something, the harder it is for us to help you, because your brain doesn’t function as well when you’re in panic-mode. (Trust me, I learned this the hard way with my taxes.) Be kind to yourself, take a deep breath, and be willing to learn.
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©JenWoodman

I really want you be happy with your project, and I certainly don’t want your knitting to cause you high blood pressure or depression. We all have moments where we need to consult a more qualified knitter, or just have another pair of eyes take a fresh look at a problem. It warms my little people-pleasing, labrador retriever heart to see a knitter overcome a challenge and complete a project that seemed out of reach. Here at Over The Rainbow Yarn, we want to see you succeed — help us help you!