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Dry flat in shade…

… is easier said than done when you are trying to dry a blanket this size!

Drying Giant Granny Square blanket

Underneath my damp and heavy giant granny square blanket:

  • 4 dining chairs and a dining table
  • 1 office chair
  • 4 towels
  • 2 cooling racks
  • 1 large fold out clothes-airer

Oh and I had all the windows and doors open and 2 fans blowing on the blanket too! Brrr…

The good news is that it’s all dry and I’m sleeping with it tonight. Heeee… can’t wait! I’ll show you more pics and my final thoughts on it this Friday. See you then!

P.S. Looks like the turkey baster was a hit! Thanks for your comments about it and my blanket. 🙂


Turkey Baster Nostepinde

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my top 3 ways to wind a centre-pull ball by hand. If you missed the post, you can read it here.

Cami left a great comment about how she uses a turkey baster to wind her yarn. She even linked me to the tutorial she made to do this. Thank you Cami!

She describes her simple method: I take a clean baster and remove the rubber part off the top. Feed the yarn down the baster from the larger end to the small end, leaving a generous amount coming out the end. Then start winding the yarn around the center. It works great because you can easily turn it as you go to get the yarn in a nice ball. When your done, simply slip the ball down the baster (toward the smaller end). Voila! A perfect center pull ball of yarn.

On Sunday, I sat down with a cup of tea on the sofa with my newly purchased turkey baster (only $2.50!) and a luscious skein of EcoOrganic cotton.

Winding yarn with a turkey baster (materials)

You can see that the turkey baster has a similar shape to a nostepinde.

NKK Nostepindes

I started winding the yarn, following Cami’s instructions. It was really quick and easy. As the baster is longer than the toilet paper roll I used previously, I found it much easier to hold and wind.

Winding yarn with a turkey baster

Before long, I ended up with this tightly wound ball of yarn.

Yarn wound with baster

I have been crocheting with it and the centre-pull ball keeps it shape very well.

Granny Square Blanket WIP

That’s the last bit of yarn left to finish the blanket by the way. So guess what I’ll be doing today? 😉


Top 3 ways to wind a centre-pull ball by hand

I’ve hand wound centre-pull balls for years now. Well, just 4 years really. Nevertheless, a recovering-perfectionist is never happy with just learning one method in case there is a better one out there. I am now ready to share with you the top 3 ways I’ve found to wind a tip-top ball of yarn.

#3: This method by Ariadne requires that you have a strong thumb and good surrounding muscle support. But it does the job well.

Ball winding by Ariadne

#2: Knitting Help videos are amazing. They turned my knitting around and was the first place that taught me how to wind a centre-pull ball. This video is a slight variation of the method above and I found it easier to learn from. These are my small centre-pull balls using this method.

Centre-pull balls 2

#1: Recently I’ve learnt a new way to wind a centre-pull ball of yarn by hand. This tutorial by Slamskatkitten (via Knitted Bliss) uses a simple winding tool – a toilet roll! This method is by far my new favourite and my number one choice. Saves my thumb and the earth too! Yay!

Ball winding

I was especially impressed that this method can be used even with very small amount of yarn.

Centre-pull balls

So is my search for the best way to wind a centre-pull ball over? Nope.

Do you have another method to share with me?


Alligator bag?

I know knitters and crocheters are very talented. Some can pretty much knit or crochet whatever that comes to their mind. But I’m wondering what kind of mind would suddenly go, “That’s it! I’ll make an alligator bag!”

I was surprised to discover that not one, but two minds thought this was a great idea!

Knitting pattern: Alligator bag by A Morehouse Merino Original
Knitted Alligator Bag
© Nancynovember via Flickr

Crochet Pattern: Crocheted Alligator Handbag by Marleen Hartog
Crocheted Alligator Handbag
© Marleen Hartog via Ravelry

So instead of writing a knee-jerk response on why you should NOT make one of these, I’ve got an even better idea…

5 reasons why you NEED your very own alligator handbag:

  1. It’s fun! You gotta admit that life can be pretty dull at times. But not if you’re carrying an alligator bag! Imagine all the interesting conversations you’ll strike up with one of these on your lap in the bus or train. Your commute will never be boring again.
  2. Make a statement at an anti-fur/ anti-leather/ vegetarian event or protest. You don’t have to get naked to make your point.
  3. At the next Halloween party, you can come as an alligator farmer’s wife! Wear your alligator scarf (pattern) to complete your eye-catching outfit. You can be assured that NO ONE else would have the same costume as you.
  4. Deter purse snatchers! Can you imagine someone wanting to steal your alligator bag off your arm when you’re on your overseas holiday? I’ll give you a minute to really soak this up…

    A thief grabs your bag, running as fast as he can down the street. You yell, “Stop the man carrying the alligator head!” The whole street turns and watches him run. They laugh and start pointing at him. The thief doesn’t see what’s so funny. Puzzled, he quickly hides in the alleyway and looks down at the purse he just stole. He smacks himself on the head, cursing. Hoping that there’ll be a fat wallet to compensate for his loss of face, he finds nothing but a ball of yarn and a pair of knitting needles!

    Hah! Sucker!

  5. The last reason is courtesy of my husband, Richard. You need an alligator bag to stop the magpies from swooping down and attacking you on your morning walk. You probably need to balance the alligator bag on your head to be effective but it’ll be a good core muscle exercise.

Hey, I did say I’ll give you 5 reasons why you need an alligator bag. I didn’t say they were going to be GOOD reasons! So if you’ve had a lousy Monday or suffering the Monday blues, maybe all you need is an alligator bag. 😉

Bye bye now!

P.S. Clearance sale at my shop. Cute things needing a new home.


My Creative Space

My creative space has been filled with …

… arm lengths of knitted i-cord,
Tutorial coming soon
(tutorial coming soon)

… shades of lofty violet cotton going round and round,
Forever Blanket WIP
(my “forever” blanket wip)

… and the click clack of excited knitting needles.
Cabled Vest WIP
(a cabled vest for me)

Life’s good. 😉

Pop over to Kootoyoo to see all the other creative spaces playing this week.


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