We love inspiring people to make the world a sillier place. Last week we saw so many monster benches and monster feet on Instagram that we decided it’s time to bring a fun, new transformative concept to life. To brainstorm, we headed to an auspicious place to get our gears spinning: the park directly adjacent to the home of the original Maker Faire: Bay Meadows Park. A new park in a windy spot, all the trees are young with support poles. At first glance, this could pose a problem to the imagination, without any grand shapes in which to envision giant squid and palm trees. Instead of being deterred we embraced those skinny little trios of poles dotting the field. Within minutes, one cute, leafy tree top in particular sparked our make-believe session with visions of vegetables traipsing across the field. A few measurements later, and off to the studio we went to bring him to life. As always, here we post a bit of our process to inform your own yarn bombs. You’ll notice we’ve begun documenting the process with Snapchat. Follow our story to see what we get up to and show us your work too! (more…)
Last month I told you about the new crochet pattern for our fun Snake Yarnbomb design. As fast as our little fingers could go, we’ve knitted and purled and sewn and photographed and typed to get you the knitting pattern version of the same popular design. With no further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the Knit Snake Yarnbomb! (more…)
Hope you American guys had a great holiday weekend full of “oooh’s and aaah’s” at sparkly fireworks. We took the opportunity to get some yarnbombs up around the sleepy lagoon town, Foster City. You may remember that we threatened to publish the patterns for these. Jill demanded more photos for the pattern layouts, so more installs were in order. Cycling the shores on our PUBLIC bike and Schwinn, we found an amazing spot for a future yarnbomb. Sign up to get notified when the patterns come out here. (more…)
A new craft mash-up for a new blog hop
Here’s a medium ripe for experimentation in three dimensions, and for merging with other crafts. There must be some fun uses for it. Turns out, there are! (more…)
I have a plan
Two questions crossed my path and stumped me recently: What are your creative goals for 2013? If you could make something for anyone in the world, what would it be? The easy answer is that The Dapper Toad and I are transitioning our focus from making handmade items–which are difficult to profit from–to designing them, allowing us to create anything we can imagine. However, these questions made me realize I wasn’t dreaming big enough: given the opportunity to design anything, what would it be? (more…)
Who was your ten-year-old crush?
Somewhere around 1987 I knotted Corey Haim a black and purple friendship bracelet, then checked Bop magazine monthly to see if it pictured him wearing it. Imagine my sorrow twenty years later watching The Two Coreys on A&E! Friendship bracelets definitely outlived poor Corey: today Instagram has about 50,000 pics tagged #friendshipbracelet. But the good news is you don’t have to be ten years old to wear them anymore. And you certainly don’t have to hover over a safety pin stuck through your favorite leggings to stitch one up for everyone in your best friend tier. (more…)
I have a confession to make
I don’t go to local yarn shops because they bore me. Gasp! *Shields head from crockery sailing out of the interwebs towards me* Phewf! That was a close one. If you’re still listening because you kind of agree, raise your hand! See, I knew we were buddies. You guys are the ones I’m looking at as I announce my new crochet pattern. DOO-do-do-DOO! (more…)
Cats wreak genocide on baby birds
Earlier this year a new study found that we’d been underestimating by billions the number of birds and small mammals our cute little kitties ravenously kill every year. Oh noes! Bad bad kitties! Fortunately, the country is also full of wildlife rescue centers. These are the places where sensitive nature-lovers like you and me deliver injured birds and other animals in the hopes that they’ll be nurtured back to health and released back into the wild. (more…)
Update: Check out our new even bigger peg board yarn wall here.
Your yarn storage is a mess because of this conflict:
Yarn companies want you to buy the yarn. You want to use the yarn. The ideal ball of yarn for each goal is different. You will buy a ball of yarn that is soft, squishy, and that looks big for the price. Plus, small-batch hank producers want to invest in less equipment and reduce labor. But, when it comes to using the yarn, you need to find the end, create good tension, and–let’s face it–store it with the ungodly amount of yarn they’ve already suckered you into taking home. You want to use a ball of yarn that has a conspicuous end hanging out of the middle of a compact center-pull ball.
So, while you’d love to be like Vanna White and have a pretty pedestal bowl for your five skeins of yarn, well… seriously? Do you KNOW how much YARN I have, Vanna? Do you KNOW how fast MY cat (who isn’t a designer Bengal cat, but a fluffy rescue cat that’s way cuter than yours!) would POUNCE on that bowl of yours, DESTROYING those pretty skeins?
Yeah, thanks, Vanna, but no. I don’t even know where you’d get a fancy pedestal bowl like that.
Right now you’re using drawers, baskets, and zip-lock bags. All good ideas, but kind of a pain in the ass to access, and starting to fill every crevice you can find. Plus, they’re missing one big thing. If you have a yarn problem, you probably love gorgeous things. Why keep your best treasures in the dark?
The result: you need to upgrade your yarn storage solution.
But you’re in luck! Google “yarn storage” and take your pick from over 21 million ideas. Uh… OK, you have standards. Let’s refine that and Google “yarn organization”. Good, now you just have 13 million options. Sigh.
OK let’s look at Pinterest. That’s the better way to look for things like this anyway. (type type type, enter). Woah, that looks awesome! Oh my god, I like that one. Ooooo, so pretty. What else is on that board? OMG I have to repin that now. Squee! Oreos baked inside chocolate chip cookies!? Genius! I’m craving cupcakes now. Isn’t it perfect weather for baking? Oh shit, my cat is eating my yarn!
Oh, internet, you’re as mischievously useful as Aladdin’s Genie, aren’t you?
Try another angle. Jill at The Dapper Toad made a list of her needs: “For me, the ideal yarn storage solution has 3 qualities. It must be: easily accessible, out of the way, and nicely displayed. There are countless ways to store yarn that meets 1 or 2 of these ideals, but never all three! It’s the elusive yarn lover’s trifecta!”
She took a page from makers (those people us crafters date and marry), for storage ideas. Yarn, hooks, and needles are our materials and tools. How do makers store materials and tools?
Now that’s crafty! Jill even put the peg board behind the door, turning and unused space into a useful one.
Sold! I’m always rearranging my apartment. I have this little nook that wasn’t working as an office, but would work perfectly as a yarn studio. Plus, think of all that closet space I’d get back! I rearranged (again) and enlisted Jill for help. Let me show you what we did.
What you need to make a peg board yarn storage wall
Back to our initial conflict. You have lots of skeins and hanks that are hard to work with and bulky to store. The first thing you need is like a little eight pound six ounce baby Jesus: a yarn winder. This one is a good balance of quality and price.
Winding is fast, easy, and fun! I recommend holding the strand as you wind to give it some tension. It will wind better and create a more compact ball. Winding alone reduced my yarn storage by a third: from 15 ANTONIUS IKEA drawers to just 10!
Peg board and hooks are cheap and sold at most hardware stores. Boards come in 2×4-foot sections: combine or tailor cut them to your space. For each board, be sure to pick up a set of the spacers and screws that hold the peg board away from the wall a little, where the hooks poke through and anchor. They’re usually with the hooks, not the boards. Hooks come in all shapes and sizes: I recommend two- and four-inch straight hooks. Check the combo packs to get the best deal.
Once you screw in your wall and wind your yarn, the fun part starts! I spent hours meticulously color-matching my enormous stash. It was interesting to discover what colors I have and wonder whether that means I don’t use them or like to buy them.
So many peg board attachments exist, that you’ll start rethinking all your storage systems. I created rails by laying dowels across peg board hooks and hung some IKEA storage cups from them. I also hung some IKEA cloth baskets. You can even lay your long knitting needles across peg board hooks.
Installing my yarn wall only took an afternoon and was super gratifying. I can’t stop taking pictures with it. Knitting and crocheting in my little nook is so invigorating now. Everything is instantly accessible and a cinch to put away. When people come over they’re in awe. Personally, I’m in awe of all my empty closet space!
What yarn storage ideas do you currently use? I’d love to see and swap ideas! Tag your Instagram pics with #knitsforlife to show me or tweet them to me @knitsforlife.
All this knitting and crocheting in my new studio nook has been productive. Coming up I’m posting a free leg warmer pattern for those of you still weathering out the cold, and for the lucky ones enjoying spring, a geometric crochet bracelet photo tutorial (in neon colors!) using embroidery floss. Catch them by adding me to your Feedly or Bloglovin’ RSS feed, or following me on Facebook.
Until next time!
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