DIY Yarn Ball Winder from Scraps

My attempt to have a yarn ball winder .

Yarn ball wider revisited - specifications-part 1

Some specifications about my yarn ball winder.

DIY entryway table

A place to put your keys, phone and mail.

Legwarmers/ Boot Cuff

Beginner's cable knitting project

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pinterest outfit find into real life

I'm sure many of you use the Pinterest board to keep track of things you like or might wanna try. If you check out my Pins in the clothing board you'll find also this image which is an entry from blogger LoLoBu and you can find more about the items involved in the photo by checking out her shopping list here
Since I live elsewhere on this Globe and money still don't grow on trees,my only option is the DIY.
This is my version of the same outfit using what I had stashed in the fabric closet (I'm sure I bought these fabrics for other purposes )

For the pencil skirt I used this model from Burda the 05/2014 edition

For the T-shirt pattern I used an older one I already had

Friday, April 10, 2015

Creations of yarn ball winder from knitters around the world

This post will be a collection of images from all over the world of DIY yarn ball winders . Congratulations to all of you that made one. Enjoy it.

1.And the first image is of Donna's yarn ball winder. She made it also beautiful not only functional.Good job Donna.

Youtube video showing the rotation of the my DIY yarn ball winder

I finally got around to make a video showing my winder in action in order to exemplify the movement of parts . Enjoy and email me if you have questions.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

DIY Pizza oven and barbeque area

I know it's late to talk about summer but just because it's winter time again, I wanna remember the good old summer days. And for this matter I created this post about my DIY barbeque and the attached pizza oven.
The picture you see is how far I've got with the construction. Why ? Because it was much more important to cook using the pizza oven or barbeque than to get preoccupied with finishing it. I guess I will be finishing it next year since during winter time it's in "conservation".

Before we even considered starting such a project we got informed and documented over the internet about building such a thing. I must mention that my husband (Adrian) and I we never laid a brick before so novices is an understatement.
For us the study began with pictures all over the internet regarding this topic. I must say the most detailed website with pictures and diy testimonials from other people was They have a forum that lists a lot of builds some that are truly art and other from beginners like me.

First there was chaos. The spring garden being prepared for the annual plants . We had decided upon a place that would be convenient for us and we poured a concrete platform.
we divided the length of the platform so that we would have an area to put the plated , a barbeque area and then a pizza oven ( all the fun in one place).

We started the build up with a base ( legs) of the future platform that will sit on top so we can build the barbeque and the oven. from the size of the platform you can tell we didn't go for a large oven , the barbeque area being the largest of the area.

After building the legs to the proper height which may differ depending on how tall you are, we had a neighbor coming over to build us the platform support that the second concrete plate was poured on ( making so the base on which the real BBQ and oven are build on)
We started building the BBQ area first because I wasn't set on the design for the pizza oven.After laying 4 rows of bricks it was time to start the front arch . Scary thing if you haven't done one before (I recommend researching on or even

The arch required some bricks to be cut at an angle that Adrian did using a hand held grinder with a brick cutting disk. A lot of dust and good eye for making a free hand cut ( in Romania they don't have a rental wet saw and even if they did probably would cost a fortune to rent so the whole purpose of DIY to make it as cheap as possible would burn in flames) . So thanks to my husband Adrian that stood in the red brick dust cutting and re-cutting bricks to make the best fit for the arch . PS I also used his brute force to mix up the batches of concrete while I was laying the bricks and leveling them for a straight build.
We build an arch template out of OSB and started laying bricks on the template . We let it set of a day before removing the template and continuing the build up.In the picture below you can see some progress in building it.

A twilight with the neighbor's cat Peaches that sadly is no longer alive but he loved living in our back yard garden during the day.

Adrian trying to figure out how high to build the chimney and some sort of hat so it won't rain inside the barbeque.

Meanwhile Pepper was sleeping without any care in the world in the middle of my new gravel pathway soaking up in the sun. ( he looks like he's dead but I can assure you he is not. That's how he likes to sleep.)

Besides these pictures I had others about starting up the pizza oven but if I didn't make a post of it as soon as it was done , they were lost. So all i have to show is some construction unfinished yet. maybe next spring will be done.

I went for the most simple construction ever. Although I wanted to keep the arch of the BBQ, it was impossible ( too many bricks and not cheap).
For the BBQ and the base we used regular bricks since the temperature would not be that high so we bought around 400 bricks ( not all at once because I didn't want to have a lot leftover). And for the pizza oven, I used fire bricks ( refractory bricks that can withstand temperatures of 1000 C degrees at least). The total amount of fire bricks for my oven was 100 pieces and considering they cost double than regular bricks the price was not negligible. I didn't had money left for this project but my youngest sister Iulia pitched in with the amount for the fire bricks so i made her a promise that we will serve pizza when she comes to visit.
All good so far. My idea for the oven was to build an entry arch ( see the picture) and using the same arch template , I build up behind the entry at a distance of exactly one width of a brick , 3 more arches connected of course by refractory mortar.I build the arches using the width of the bricks so I wouldn't have to do any more cutting with the hand held grinder and to hold better the heat inside.
Another problem I encountered is the refractory mortar.Here in stores they sell refractory mortar which is just a reddish clay that must be cured at thousands of degrees in order to become solid . Otherwise it will just wash away. So I went online and I found a recipe for refractory mortar that is for home grade (just wright for pizza ovens) so i used 1 part reddish refractory powder and 2 parts Portland cement and 1.5 parts finest sand .
For me this mixture worked OK. The main key that I read about on the forum of was the curing time. So after building it, it took us 7 days to make a proper fire and test the cooking.
After build it must stay 3 days to dry but if it's hot outside it must be covered with a tarp to prevent fast evaporation and cracking. If the heat is really a problem , wet it with a sprinkler hose from time to time.

On the 4th day, set a fire inside the oven for 30 minutes ( so just a few pieces of wood).
On the 5th day , set a fire for 2 hours max.
On the 6th day, you may start a bigger fire and try to get your oven to about 400 C degrees . You will see some crackings but nothing serious. You can mend it once it cools down.
On the 7th day , get your fire to about 400 C degrees and start cooking. I don't own a high temperature thermometer and I also found on that if you keep a fire burning inside for about 2 hours or more you will get the wright temperature for cooking pizza.
Since I was anxious to try out a pizza made in this oven, I used the arch template as a door ( it eventually got scored but after a couple of uses of the oven)
I'm not going to go into details about the pizza dough or the fact that my oven has no chimney yet . The first pizza cooked really fast and it took some practice to get the hang of it but here are the results ( so delicious they were)
We also made some lachmacun ( a turkish pizza made with beef and onions,served with parsley, tomatoes and lemons)

My conclusions about this build :
1. Anyone can do it if you research the topic a bit
2.Don't mix large batches of mortar since it requires some force if you don't own proper tools
3.Wet your bricks before you start building but not just a regular sprinkle ( put them in a bucket of water) otherwise they will dry up your mortar too quick
4.Be patient and your reward will come when you taste the cooking

If anyone would be interested in closeup photos or sizes of what I made, let me know and I'll post some details.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Yet another Pottery Barn inspired bathroom vanity and Bathroom

This is not a DIY post because there are already a lot of them on this type of vanity.
This just to show my version of it.

I first came across the DIY project from DIY Diva and then looked over at Pottery Barn website for more inspiration.
In my country however is not common to have tile counter-tops so I went with a different version .Also the lack of space in the guest bathroom prevented me to have a double door .

Another obstacle is that we don't have Kreg Jig . Sure I could have bought one online but with taxes and shipping I would have payed much more for one. In this case I went with the old fashion of furniture making , meaning dowels and wood glue.

In our DIY stores you can't find table legs and neither can you order them online from a shop so in my attempt to make it look at least like the one from DIY Diva, I end up purchasing 2 symmetrical pine staircase spindles that I cut in half ( resulting 4 so called legs).

After this I just made up a box unit without back ( Ididn't need to bother because it would have been against the wall and plus less fuss with the plumbing.

Because it looked a little bare, I added a round molding to the inside panel also to mask some imperfections (I know there are there even if at first glance you don't notice -but considering this is my first attempt in building furniture with dowels it came out OK). For the miter cuts, I used my miter saw (was the only tool I had at the time besides the cordless screwdriver - you can see them listed in the Woodworking - Power Tools

After cutting the door and applying molding as well for a more put together look, I choose the hardware (not cheap for just 3 pieces). Regarding the actual sink I went with the cheapest I could find that had a pyramidal construction that allowed me to just cut a circular hole in the top of the vanity .

After assembling everything, I did a fitting before sanding down and painting.
For the paint I went with a water based semi-opaque white finish so it would allow for a glimpse of the wood grain and proper primer and for the vanity top I went with a Hazelnut stain and Polyurethane clear lacquer just because it would be more in contact with water.

This would be the end result and installed in the bathroom.Of course hubby had it's part in this project with sheer brute force to clamp the pieces for gluing and for the plumbing as well. You can notice from the images that because I went with a cheap sink , it's not perfectly flat and it's not sitting against the top all over the rim, but I decided I can live with this imperfection mainly because it's noticeable only when you look at it from the sink level.

For the mirror above the sink I used a picture frame -Virserum from Ikea and installed a mirror that I got cut to the required size at a local glass shop. And because I needed more storage, I build also a ladder type shelving system ( plans you can find on Ana White) and added the wicker baskets to complement the whole look (plus to hide stuff -under the vanity is where I keep my hairdryer and curling irons).

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Leg warmers /Boot cuffs

Because I like all sort of crafts, I'm a member of several forums concerning my hobbies because it's a chance to interact with other people and maybe learn new tricks of the trade and share with others your experience.
Where I live there is a forum called Handwork and as the title says is about all sorts of hand-working crafts from knitting, sewing, embroidery, leather work,etc.It's not exclusively for Romanians but you would have to know Romanian writing and reading since it's not in English.

Every now and then they organize contest or dares. And this month's knitting dare is to make a pair of legwarmers/ boot cuffs.
I decided to take on the dare and making the pattern available for everyone .
Most important : I didn't bought new yarn for this project, I used 2 colors of Schachenmayr Trachtenwolle colors: Sisal Flamme and Sisal Meliert a total of 82 grams both leftover from previously knitted socks.So I think this will be a great project for your leftover yarn but make sure you divide your amount in half if you want your legwarmers/boot cuff to be symmetrical
I decided to use a cable pattern because it keeps the work tight just like a ribbing edge.

-80g up to 100g of Schachenmayr Trachtenwolle or similar.
-3mm and 4mm circular knitting needles ( or dpns if you don't like working tubing with circular needles)

17 stitches and 25 rows in stockinette stitch using 4 mm needles

Cast on 60 stitches using 3mm needles- for a boot cuff circumference of 36cm (14") ( or any other multiple of 10 stitches according to your measurements or gauge)
Joining in the round ,begin to knit 10 rows of 1x1 ribbing
On the 11th row,switch to 4mm needles and knit to form the cable sections: p2,k8,repeat all around
Start working the cables pattern alternating one or the other or maybe just one if you have a preference.
Repeat the cable rows 1 to 16 one more time.
Continue working 10 more rows in 1x1 ribbing and bind off loosely ( this will be the upper part of the cuff)
If you have more yarn and you prefer longer legwarmers repeat the cable pattern till you reach the desired length


For beginner cable knitters here are the written charts:

R2,R3,R4 :P2,K8

R5-R16 : repeat R1 to R4

If you decide to knit these I'd love to see your work and have it featured in my FEATURED section.