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Retro Craft Tools Spool Knitter

Last week I took a look at a favorite vintage crafting tool, The Hazel loom http://bettyrockwear.com/retro-craft-tools-hazel-flower-loom/.

This week I am taking a look at another tool I like using in conjunction with small knitting and sewing projects. It is a spool knitter, also called a French knitter. The cute one I have pictured above isn’t vintage at all, but they’ve been around for a long time https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spool_knitting and are a quite flexible, and useful form of knitting. With a tiny knitter like this, the cable that comes out of the tube goes quickly. I found a great tutorial using this same tiny version that I have https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzjGPRWAaRU .

The silk handle on this small fabric bag was easily fashioned:

Small bag silk handle from spool knitter

A longer handle made from the same yarn the bag was knit from:

Small knit bag with spool knit handle

Like the flower loom, I like having this in my toolbox for its compact size.

I’d enjoy seeing and hearing about your own spool knit projects!

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Retro Craft Tools Hazel Flower Loom

peg loom

Did you enjoy making square loomed potholders with yarn loops when you were a child? There are some fun retro crafting tools in circulation, as well as new takes on some of the older ones.

This round Hazel Pearson flower loom from the 1960s was a lucky thrift store find a few years ago. In fact there were two identical looms included in the purchase; the other was gifted to my very clever friend Mary, who seems able to craft anything out of thin air-loom or no!

Check out this page on knitting-and.com http://www.knitting-and.com/small-looms/loomsandyarns.htm to see what’s possible with these flower looms-beautiful things that could be used in conjunction with many projects. Apparently the loom was designed originally for use with raffia to make the straw flowers so popular back then, and indeed some beautiful examples are to be seen on knitting-and.com.

loom flower 3loom flower 2loom flower 1

I’ve not yet made raffia flowers. These simple yarn flowers I’ve made are sewn on casual fabric and knitted bags, but I’ve also used them to jazz up the side of a basic knitted hat.

Clover has some great knitting tools (I have their little counter that I love), and indeed they make a modern version of the flower loom https://cloverusa.wordpress.com/tag/flower-loom/ should you desire one and are unable to find an original.

Hazel Loom with instructions I enjoy this compact little vintage Hazel’s Loom down to its lovely pale yellow color! Do you have a favorite old school crafting tool?

Next week I will look at another useful little vintage crafting tool.

 

 

 

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How To Make A Simple Slipcover For Round Ottoman Using A T Shirt

If you have a favorite old t shirt (perhaps an old concert t for rock and roll flavor) that you’re unable to part with but are no longer wearing, you can easily fashion it into a casual slipcover for a round ottoman, such as this one:Denim Drum Ottoman 1

 

For this project you’ll need a basic sewing machine, an old t shirt, a round ottoman (although this method will work on an oval shape as well), fabric shears, a marker, piece of fabric for ottoman top plus a couple of inches for seam allowance, thread, pins and a measuring tape. A steam iron is helpful but not necessary.

Slip t shirt over ottoman and decide where the bottom edge will be. You’ll be using the existing hem as the bottom edge. Measure, adding two inches for seam allowance. My ottoman is 11″ and so will be cut to 13″

Measure side width plus seam allowance 2

Lay as flat and evenly as you can on your cutting surface. (It’s helpful to align edges and press first)

Lay side fabric out for cutting 3

Cut at predetermined distance from bottom hem. Mine was 13″

Cut side fabric 4

Set aside the side panel, and lay your top piece face down on your cutting surface. Put the ottoman upside down on this fabric and, using a felt marker lightly draw line around ottoman. (Holding marker parallel to ottoman side makes it easier) This line will serve as your seam guide when attaching top. Measure and mark at several points 2″ out from this line for your seam allowance.

Cut out top piece along those points.                                                 Prepare top cover fabric 5

Moving your attention back to the side panel, measure circumference of ottoman. If your shirt exceeds this measurement, cut it down the side, measure and add one inch to the circumference measurement. Then pin and stitch this side. Press seam open.

You can skip this step if your t shirt already “fits” your ottoman.

Mark top cover fabric 6
Pin side panel for stitching 7Turn side panel inside out and pull over ottoman and adjust so that hem is as even as possible. Then take top piece and place face down on top of ottoman. You should have your inked line facing you. Pin along this line, making sure that t shirt edge is as even as possible with top piece edge. The t fabric tends to roll a bit.

Adjust side panel inside out 8 Pin upside diwn top piece to side panel 9With top piece facing you, carefully stitch along your ink line, keeping under fabric from bunching. Trim excess seam allowance fabric to about 1/2″.

Turn inside out and pull over ottoman. This cover is fairly plain, but imagine the possibilities, and so easy to do!

Casual tshirt slipcover!