It’s Earth Day on 4/22 and I figured it’s fitting to throw out some DIY/upcycle ideas for the knitter. I’m all about saving money and reusing what I can (my hubby calls me an eco-nazi but I see it as being frugal and resourceful) so here’s a few cool things you can whip from stuff lying around the house:
1: Sock Blockers from wire hangers
Stainless steel sock blockers $16!
This idea came to me after seeing this set of Bryson wire sock blockers being sold for $16. I immediately thought, ‘Hey, those look like bent wire hangers!’ Lo and behold, I just pulled the hangers with my bare hands and they looked almost identical to the one in the catalogs. They work great and I can hang them on shower rods after washing them.
2. Inner cone to hold fragile yarns
Toilet paper tube
Ever have laceweight or kid mohair yarns tangle into a giant mess when you’re knitting from a wound cake? Center pulling these yarns don’t work and they quickly fall apart. The best way would be have them wound onto a sturdy cone to hold its structure but unless you’re a spinner or a weaver, chances are you can’t wind stuff onto cones.
However, I bet you’ve got a ball winder and plenty of those cardboard toilet paper tubes hanging about, right? Well just replace the ball winder’s plastic tube with the toilet paper tube, place a folded up napkin/paper/anything you can shove into make the tube stay in place, wind yarn onto the tube. When you’re done winding the yarn, simply remove the whole tube and knit from the outside of the tube. No kinks, no mess!
3. stitch markers from champagne cork wire
This one involves pliers and a wee bit of elbow grease. You know those cork cages on top of sparkling wine bottles? It seemed like such a waste to just chuck it in the trash so I took the thing apart (it’s two long pieces of medium-thin wire. Slightly lumpy but plenty pliable).
Using small pliers, I cut the wire into shorter lengths and bent them into jump rings. I then attached paper beads (rolled from old yarn labels no less) onto them. Free stitch markers!
4. End caps for stitch holders
Using old wine corks, simply stick your knitting needle tips into where you inserted your corkscrew and voila, now you don’t have to worry about your stitches falling off accidentally in your knitting bag.
5. yarn bras from fruit wraps
When you purchase fruit in boxes or receive them in gift baskets, they come covered in a protective mesh wrap. Simply remove this wrap and use it to hold your center pull cake/skein to prevent it from falling apart.
6. mini bobbins from bread bag holders
Those little plastic bread bag “ties” that often have the sell-by date printed on them. I save all of them to hold yarn ends together. Sometimes, when I have yarn ends dangling from a garment, they tend to tangle together and make a big mess. So I simply wrap the long ends onto the bread ties and remove them when it’s time to weave them in. Keeps things tidier. The Costco bread bags come with larger plastic closures which will work perfectly for intarsia colorwork bobbins (but I hate intarsia knitting so I might never use these.)