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

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.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

DIY front door mat

Because I live in the countryside ( sort of countryside considering the village is 10 km away from the Romanian capital) it's very important to have a sturdy front door mat.
Since moving here 2 years ago, I had changed several door mats because they weren't strong enough to withstand the forces of natures or my dogs that liked to play with them.

Our house is uses a wood-burning heating system for winter time so we have to supply ourselves with wood during summer months. This year we got some scrap oak wood from a company that produces wine barrels and among these pieces of scarp were thin long strips of wood of slightly different thicknesses.
I once got a newsletter email from Lowe regarding a DIY floor mat in bright colors that used threaded rods so I thought using that idea with my pieces of scrap wood.

I decided upon my length and width of mat and went to a local store to buy the necessary threaded rods. When I did a total for the 7 rods that I needed ,suddenly the entryway mat was not so cheap anymore.
Instead of getting discouraged I decided to purchase beech wood dowel rods that were 0.70 USD each instead of 2.00 USD for the metal threaded rods.

After cutting all pieces to the proper length, I did a mock-up to see how the different thicknesses would fit.
I do own an electric hand held planer but it would have been to difficult for me to bring all the pieces to the same thickness because it's not easy to maneuver. It works OK for rough bigger pieces but on biscuits of wood not possible.

Now keeping the mock up in place, I made a stop block template to use with the drill press ( it's not really a drill press -it is a foot that has an old drilling machine of my father installed). So what I did is get a piece that was slightly larger than the width of my mat pieces and screwed on a stop block and then installed it in the vise that came with the drilling foot.

Now in order for the pieces to fit properly use a drill bit that is larger than the diameter of your rods ( it will give you some wiggle space to place them).In my case, my rods are 8mm in diameter so i used a 10 mm wooden drill bit. You can see here the positioned piece in the vise and against the stop block.

The pieces must be drilled in columns from your mock up mat,allowing to insert the dowel rods easily.

After all rods have been inserted , since the pieces are not glued on to the rods and are moving freely, I decided to add a frame that holds rods in place ( drilled corresponding holes through the frame and passed the rods with wood glue through them and after hardening , I cut them flushed with the surface of the frame.

I decided to use the electric hand held planer to round up the edges of the frame but as I told you it's hard to handle and upon coming to a corner it slipped away and bit a lot more than the edge.

Too late to fix it now since all was glued up. I decided to live with my mistake and never to use the electric planer to round up the edges ( i should've used the sander instead -Lesson learned)
After this, I sanded down the surface and used an outdoor clear coat lacquer . I figures that it will see a lot of foot wear and it may need resurfacing maybe in 2 years and it would look to messy if it had on a stained finish.

That is just my preference and I'd like to think that I spared myself some hard work in the near future.
So this is the end result. It is hardwood , weather proofed and dog proofed ( it's heavy enough , not bendable so they can't chew on it).

If you have build your version, I'd like to see it and have it in my featured section.