Welcome to my blog. Let what you see stimulate your imagination and inspire your own creations.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Closing in on the yarn bowl

And I thought this was going to be a simple project!  On the other hand, it's coming out really well, but with a lot more work than I expected.

First, since the feedback from my testers was that the prototype bowls needed more weight, I had to come up with a practical and attractive way to do that. Thank goodness I saved some old lead sinkers--they were just the thing, but they're not sold in NY, so I need to go to CT for a fresh supply.

Then I needed to make a cutting pattern that could be attached to the inside of the bowl, since that's the way it has to be cut to use the scroll saw.  My prototypes were marked on the outside, then I drilled little holes to outline the pattern, but that was far too messy to impose on others. Fortunately, that was easier than I expected, since I had one of my prototype bowls to copy.  And I had some small spiral blades standing at the ready, in case the regular blades didn't reach all the areas to be cut. They did--but barely.

Last, I had to work out a systematic way of smoothing and sanding the cutout areas.  That's the challenge when you're writing instructions.  You can't simply say, "Sand until it looks right". My little Dremel sanders, and the little carbide burrs did a good job, and I'm starting to get the hang of using them.

Now I'm waiting for the new supply of weights to arrive so I can finish up.  Just hope the weather stays warm enough so I can heat my garage.  I'll post pictures when I'm done--I think you'll like it.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sanding shortcut for bowls

You need to be careful not to take off too much wood, but sanding the exterior of curved-sided bowls with this technique can be a big time-saver.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yarn bowl experiment

I had never heard of a yarn bowl until I attended a recent crafts fair and saw one made of ceramic.

It's a bowl meant to hold a ball of yarn and keep it from rolling about while you're knitting.  I located lots of pictures online, and created three prototypes.  Since I wasn't sure if they would really work, I brought them to a local yarn shop today and asked if their knitters could test them out and give me feedback.

I'm eager to see what they can tell me, and what suggestions they have.  Once I know what changes, if any, I need to make, I can work on plans for one to submit for publication.  I'll post pictures of my prototypes when I get them back, along with the feedback I received.

If something is going out under my name, it had better deliver what it promises!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New use for bowl cutoffs

I try to limit the number of cutoffs that I keep, and usually can stay on top of things so that my wood storage remains manageable. However, Joe always goes through my trash bin before he empties it, and a lot of my discards end up in his section of the shop.

Take a careful look at the shelf supports, and you'll recognize the pair as half the wood left over after making the first cut of a bowl.  Gotta admit that it's pretty clever, but now I'll never be able to get rid of anything!