Neat and Tidy

2595xOne of my New Year resolutions is to have a neat and tidy home, and to get rid of clutter. So far so good–I’ve cleaned out some closets, and have gotten rid of an amazing amount of stuff. I tend to get easily side-tracked, though, and when I came across the tangled mess of my knitting needles, with the circular needles, especially, in disorder, I decided to organize them, and this is the subject of today’s post–some knitting organization crafts, for lack of a more interesting description.

The first idea is to take empty oatmeal containers, paint them, and decoupage birds onto the box. You can see–maybe barely see–the result above. (I tried a new photographic technique, so please bear with me. Let’s pretend that the picture was taken by firelight, perhaps in Heathcliff’s lair on the moors.)

2557xHere are the particulars: Take an empty 18-oz. oatmeal container, remove the paper wrapper, and sand off any hardened globs of glue. Paint with two coats of pale green (or whichever color you desire) acrylic craft paint, and allow to dry. Cut out an image for decoupage onto the container. I used images from Dover’s Audubon’s Birds in Color for Decoupage, by Eleanor Rawlings. This is available on for one cent, so for shipping, you can have all the birds you want or need. I used small scissors and a craft knife to cut out the image.

Once the image is cut out, place it face down on an old catalog, and apply glue (white craft glue or Yes! glue). Then carefully apply the cutout to the painted oatmeal box and smooth down. Allow to dry, and then apply coats of satin interior varnish (acrylic craft paint). I finished off the upper edges with some gold Rub ‘n Buff, which comes in tubes and is sold with the craft paints. I also cut out long rectangles of flowered wrapping paper and glued them to the top interiors of the containers, just to give a finished appearance.

2600xThen I decorated a round box for the circular needles. For this I used a round paper mache box that is eight inches across. I cut out pieces of wallpaper and glued them to the box. Then I applied some antiquing gel, mainly around the edges of the box. After the gel had dried, I scuffed up the box with sand paper, so it looked like an old bandbox found in Aunt Matilda’s closet.

IMG_2601Part of the charm of this box is the bird motif. I got it from a wallpaper sample book, but you could also use flowered wallpaper or anything you think is pretty.

IMG_2623My last project for organizing my knitting needles was to make some little cloth holders for my double-pointed needles. This may seem way more persnickety than you might be interested in, but I enjoyed it.

IMG_2607I used a folded piece of plain muslin, and placed the needles on it for a pattern. Allowing about 1/2″ inch on either side of the needles, I cut out the rectangle, and sewed up both long sides. Then I turned the sewn rectangle inside out, ironed it, and neatened the end by cutting with pinking shears. Then I wrote the size of the needles at the top end of the case, using a Sharpie marker.

IMG_2605I had been looking for a little piece of knitting to include in the above pictures, and I found a pattern for a Plain Scalloped Edging. It was really easy and fun to knit, and could be used for an afghan, or in lighter thread, to trim pillowcases.

Plain Scalloped Edging

Cast on 7 stitches and knit one row.

Row 1–K5, inc in next st (by knitting into front and back of it), k1.
Row 2–K1, inc in next st., K6.
Row 3–K7, inc in next st, K1.
Row 4–K1, inc in next st., K8.
Row 5–K9, inc in next st., K1.
Row 6–K1, inc in next st., K10.
Row 7–K11, inc in st st., K1.
Row 8–K1, inc in next st, K12.
Row 9–K12, k2 tog, K1.
Row 10–K1, k2 tog, K11.
Row 11–K10, k2 tog, K1.
Row 12–K1, k2 tog, K9.
Row 13–K8, k2 tog, K1.
Row 14–K1, k2 tog, K7.
Row 15–K6, k2 tog, K1.
Row 16–K1, k2 tog, K5.

Repeat rows 1-16.

So now, knitting needles organized, I can return to cleaning out closets! But first . . .

IMG_2588Organizing my spice rack was my excuse for splurging on these Blue Willow spice jars at a local antique store.

IMG_2562This is a quiet time of the year, and we have had just a dusting of snow, so far.

IMG_2369Not so many birds at the feeder now, so I appreciate even the sparrows!

2610xAnd I feel like I need color in these gray, January days, so I took a photo of  these purpley-pink flowers . . .

2611xand, some oranges on a blue plate . . .

and lastly, this2570x starburst of a flower.

Hope your days are filled with brightness. Namaste. Fran

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