No more cat hair in my yarn!
I purchased** a bunch of spools that came from a silk throwing company. I keep my yarn on the spools because it's easier and more manageable than making balls of yarn. When they fall over, off the table, off my lap and roll across the floor as I'm crocheting, they only go in one direction and the cats don't chase them or chew on the yarn. The problem is that the yarn still falls over and rolls across the floor, picking up cat hair along the way. I sweep every day. The cat hair's not going to change, but the yarn situation can. So - a spool holder was born... erm, constructed!!
I didn't take pictures throughout the process (sorry) but I DID write up some super-detailed directions! Enjoy!
**I found the spools at Materials Resource Center in Ronkonkoma, NY. A great loss to the artists, teachers, crafters and crazies like me, MRC is losing its grants and going under. Which sucks. I really hate this economy.
You Will Need
If using a knitting needle, snip the bottom (non-pointy) end off using wire snips or a utility knife. Watch your fingers and eyes! Take proper precautions! I lined up the cut I want to make with the wire snips, then put the whole thing inside a plastic bag when I cut it so pieces didn't go flying into my eyes. Be careful.
You take the bottom off so it will fit better into the hole you're going to drill for it.
If using a dowel, just cut it to a length of about 6 to 10 inches - your preference.
I used an approximately 10 inch knitting needle.
Determine the size of drill bit you need to drill a hole the SAME SIZE as your dowel/knitting needle. I used a #7 knitting needle and a 3/16 bit. If you're not sure, drill test holes on a scrap piece of wood. The dowel/knitting needle should fit in it exactly - snug but not so tight that you can't move it at all.
You should have a block of wood that is square or rectangular - it's easier to find the middle that way. Mine is 7" square and about an inch and a half thick, and fairly heavy. It's the garbage-picked top of a disassembled plant stand a classmate. Remember - you want it to hold your yarn steady and not fall off the table/couch/chair/et cetera.
Place the sticky-back felt wrong-side up on your work surface, leaving the paper backing attached. Put your block right-side up on top of it the felt and trace its outline on the paper backing of the felt with the pencil. Cut out that shape and set aside. This will go on the bottom so the block will stay-put and won't scratch surfaces. It goes on LAST.
TO FIND THE CENTER of the block of wood, use the straight edge and pencil to draw light lines precisely linking the diagonally opposite corners, making an X in the center. X marks the spot! Now grab that drill and make some noise! But be careful, safety first, use your head, know your tools, blah blah blah, you know the deal.
I drilled all the way through the block, but this is up to you. You don't have to, just make sure it's enough to hold the dowel/needle (i.e. at least an inch deep).
Paint the block, if needed.
Insert the dowel/needle into the hole you just drilled and check for fit. If it's good, take it out, squeeze a bit of glue and get on with it. You might have to re-drill real quick if you painted it.
If you didn't drill through, squeeze some glue in the hole and reinsert the dowel/needle IMMEDIATELY!
If you drilled all the way through, you'll want to put some glue on the bottom. If you're feeling brave/crazy, wet your finger and smooth out the hot glue after a ten-count so it's cool enough to handle. Only do this if you've got experience with hot glue. Otherwise, trim it after it cools.
Attach the felt backing to the bottom of the block.
Pull back one corner of the backing.
Line up the other three corners with the bottom of the block, checking for fit and making sure the first corner doesn't touch until you've got it properly aligned.
Once it's lined up, stick the 1st corner down and slowly peel off the backing, pressing the felt down as you go.
If the dowel/knitting needle has a sharp end sticking up, be sure to put something over it. Right now, I have an old Aleve bottle on top to cover the pointy end, but I'll be crafting something more aesthetically pleasing out of cork this weekend.
Put the washer on the dowel/needle and let it fall to the bottom. It doesn't have to be attached any other way, but just sit there. This is so the spool spins better - it'll spin more smoothly on this little bit of metal than if would were it touching the wood - especially painted wood.
Put your spool of yarn on the holder and get to some cat-hair-free crocheting (or knitting)!!