Sponge bar alternative…

Thanks for the question!  Please let me know if you need more information. Step by step is below.  Did the pics tonight, hope they help!

In my Kantan Bulky original post I had replaced the sponge bar in my Kantan Bulky and Empisal ribber with 3/16 inch copper U channel (stained glass supply store) and bias tape folded in half. After a while the bias tape settled and I knew that wasn’t a permanent solution. So I searched you tube and after watching this video came up with a great alternative. You see, if the sponge material will fill the sponge bar cavity, you don’t need the metal bar anymore!! I got some 1/2 inch *20 foot backer rod insulation foam from Walmart, one bag is about $4.00. though 3/8 or smaller may have been easier, 1/2 inch worked fine, cut in half lengthwise.

You’ll find it in the hardware section by the weatherstripping.

How to do it.

Gather your tools and a roll of masking tape. The wrench or driver size is 5.5mm, you also need a small Phillips screwdriver, and a pair of scissors.

1. Tape all needle heads so the needles don’t move during this. You will save ALOT of grief.

2. Clamp machine bed to the edge of a table, then carefully remove the flat head Phillips screws, nut and washer from the needle retaining bar at the front of the machine, this is the metal piece the needles are secured with. Its best to hold the screw in place and loosen the nut from underneath, so you dont strip the screws. Don’t remove the outside edge (rounded machine screws) yet.

3. Measure out a piece of foam long enough to fill the channel from left to right, and cut lengthwise in half.

4. Remove all but the far left screw and gently slide the metal retaining bar (in the pic above with the colored ink) forward slightly, allowing access to the sponge bar channel from the top.

5. Carefully insert the sponge into the cavity, it should rest on top of the needles. Once you reach half way, carefully remove the left edge screw and replace the far right edge screw, continuing to fill the sponge bar cavity.

6. Carefully push the metal retaining bar back into place, inserting left edge screw first. Then replace the inside edge screws.

7. Insert the flathead screws across the retaing bar and fasten with washer and nut.

8. Remove masking tape, push needles back and forth a few times to settle the sponge in place. The needles should move with a little tension. They should not be loose or free sliding, and should not be difficult to move either.

9. Replace knitter carriage and Cast on!

Hope this helps. Please like if it does🤗

Best wishes!!

African Adventure 90 day stashbusting pattern

2848083108_d6e1e471fb_z1787414557.jpg   One of the coolest scrap yarn projects I’ve seen can be found in “An African Adventure” by Horst Schulz. I chose to start with an invisible cast on. Follow the pattern (see link on my pattern page) an make one bowtie every day.

This will take me 9 days for bowties and then a day for borders. Let’s see how it looks in 90 days!! Feel free to join me! I have too much yarn and need to destash! Picture at top is completed project from DOLLIEWOLLIE’S RAVELRY PROJECT PAGE.

RUBY…Where have I been?

New York, Texas, California, Florida, The British Isles, South America, St. Louis, Cleveland, Conneticut, Oklahoma, Kentucky. All places that are connected to Ruby and coincidentally, all places I have traveled to. Each time I travel, I keep her history in the back of my mind, should there be a nugget of proof I can locate.

Most recently, I took a chance on locating the place where ruby’s husband had been interred. I was searching for connections, names, relatives. I found myself walking through the Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis at 9AM. (sidenote…excellent website, interesting history, potentially dangerous area-Clark Griswald was right….roll up!) Over the years I have had but one short email from Rubys only surviving niece. With just a few sentences, she unlocked the story and all th pieces I had collected an conjectured, now began to l I no together, . Afterwards, I think, maybe my follow-up questions were a little too much, coming from a stranger. So I’ve been flowing the documents, the census, birth and death certificates, compiling a colorful story of triumph through lifelong adversity. By accident, becoming Ruby’s keeper of Records.


Goldilocks originally though I should call this one goldilocks…But after sleeping on it I like Copprella…it’s the name this yarn will have. Copperella was made in China from polyester, cotton and 3% “unknown” materials (the sequins and tinsel-like gold) Maybe Rumplestiltskin would be more appropriate. After all he taught the girl to spin straw into gold.


Though I’m sure it didn’t start out as straw, the color caught my eye, it’s warm.  The texture is silky, not scratchy as  many metallic-look yarns can be.

Copperella will be processed and measured, the reused in an open-lace pattern. I might add a strands of teal, orange, or purple….follow me later in projects!


Riveting bed time story.. THE WOOL PRODUCTS LABELING ACT OF 1939

Pondering the correct words to classify reused yarn shouldn’t be so tough, right? Last year I began toying with using the words Recycled/Reclaimed/Repurposed on product labels.

IMG_20160103_241151975_HDRTurns out there is much to learn on this subject.  So far, best-case is to stick with the guidance provided by a 75 year old law.THE WOOL PRODUCTS LABELING ACT OF 1939 as amended, 2014.

(b) Where a wool product is composed in part of wool, or recycled wool and in part of unknown and, for practical purposes, undeterminable non-woolen fibers reclaimed from any spun, woven, knitted, felted, braided, bonded or otherwise manufactured or used product, the required fiber content disclosure may, when truthfully applicable, in lieu of the fiber content disclosure otherwise required by the Act and regulations, set forth (1) the percentages of wool or recycled wool, and (2) the generic names and the percentages of all other fibers whose presence is known or practically ascertainable and (3) the percentage of the unknown and undeterminable reclaimed fibers, designating such reclaimed fibers as “unknown reclaimed fibers” or “undetermined reclaimed fibers,” as for example:
75% Recycled Wool – 25% Unknown Reclaimed Fibers.
35% recycled Wool – 30% Acetate – 15% Cotton – 20% Undetermined Reclaimed Fibers.
In making the required fiber content disclosure any fibers referred to as “unknown reclaimed fibers” or “undetermined reclaimed fibers” shall be listed last.
(c) The terms unknown recycled fibers and undetermined recycled fibersmay be used in describing the unknown and undeterminable reclaimed fibers referred to in paragraph (b) of this rule in lieu of the terms specified therein, provided, however, That the same standard is used in determining the applicability of the term recycled as is used in defining “recycled wool” in section 2(c) of the Act.

Defined in 2c of the Act…..

15 U.S. Code § 68 – Definitions  (for 16 U.S. Code part 300)
The term “recycled wool” means (1) the resulting fiber when wool has been woven or felted into a wool product which, without ever having been utilized in any way by the ultimate consumer, subsequently has been made into a fibrous state, or (2) the resulting fiber when wool or reprocessed wool has been spun, woven, knitted, or felted into a wool product which, after having been used in any way by the ultimate consumer, subsequently has been made into a fibrous state.

If I produce a textile product entirely of recycled wool, must I list the country of origin of that recycled wool? Do I use the country of the wool’s origin or the country in which it was recycled? Hmmm. This was better explained here.

To promote consistency with the Textile Rules, the Commission proposed to update §300.25(d) to state that an imported product’s country of origin as determined under the laws and regulations enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (‘‘Customs’’) shall be the country where the product was processed or manufactured.

Now …is that product made in the USA from recycled wool from “country or origin” ? Hmmmm.

Postage due

Postage due …not a phrase used today unless standing at a kiosk reading a screen outside the locked post office lobby in your town.


Once upon a time my father had a robust stamp collection. Though I am never sure where treasures like this appeared from or when, he seemed to have somehow gained this unique knowledge of what I consider …entrancing hobbies.
Though I never knew dad to step foot inside a library, and there was no internet, we often found him in his little workshop in the basement, at his 2nd hand drafting table, peering  through the fluorescent magnifying lamp.
Didn’t matter if it was a rifle being restored, a Kennedy half dollar being polished, or a tiny little stamp from belgium, I never asked how my dad learned these skills…he was just Super Smart. Must have been that Christian Brother School?
Looking at my own hobbies I often find myself picking up something that, only in reflection emotionally ties me to my parents- so far away.  I can remember the most trivial details of my mother’s China, my dad’s wood planes, and my Granda’s fly rod with cloth case, the vivid small details, smell of sawdust, the sound of a spoon swirling sugar in the brown glass ARCOROC tea cups…is just a mystery.
I knit, but not because I like to create, but maybe because I think the skills I learned watching  my young parents, keeps them young and close in my heart. I’ve never mastered stamp collecting, I don’t like guns, i’m good with tools and building “tools” (spinning, wool combs, knitting machine accessories)  other items from available materials.  I never miss out on quality China in thrift stores. I knit many different techniques, until I’ve learned it, then learn a new one.  I do go to the library and learn much of the skills from reading the same old books my dad must have himself bought in a thrift store garage sale or borrowed from a friend.
I enjoy the challenges of process, not product. I like to discover how things are made and relish in recreating processes from our history that go unappreciated in today’s world. Though I don’t make clothes or pictures frames or even dinner most nights, I could teach a person how to do these things with great efficiency and quality. Because I spent so many moments watching my parents enjoy their life in the best way they knew. I was fascinated with their interests. Still am. That is my “postage due”.



wp-1451626705578.jpegI sure hope so.

“The surest way to improve your site’s ranking is to regularly publish interesting, creative content that people want to read”

So my goal is to do just that…I enjoy so much, reading others blogs on so many topics. I admire the creativity, and want to contribute my own unique “thing” make others smile, laugh, sigh, roll their eyes.

magenta purple yarn pills…coming next.

Welcome 2016, 🎉Happy New Year!!!🎆


IMG_20151202_221053944It was a simple solution. That’s what drove me to the idea.  For many years I have noticed I love to choose challenging projects.cooking from scratch, gardening, knitting….I’m just not satisfied with steady state, “run of the mill” work. So I challenge myself with Veganism, subsistence gardening, building my own spinning wheels and raw wool combs, super crazy reverse Knit cables from a Japanese knitting Cable book, or the other extreme, historic Shetland shawls, Estonian lace (Thank you Nancy Bush) and you guessed it cobweb lace, as seen in Skaska designs.  (I’m also challenged to write short sentences….still working on that!!)  This unfortunate fascination, however often means I sacrifice one project for another, or once I learn a new technique, I’m ready for a new challenge.

But I hate the idea of investing money in a project before I know if I will like it!!! Or if i will finish it.

Simple economics on this one. If I were going to spend the time to learn to knit lace with cobweb yarn, how much would the yarn cost and would I really use it?

So, to the thrift shop I went. Found an extra small, 100% cashmere, short sleeve, Knit top that had been horribly tiedyed camo blue.  $1.99 later I was at home, hand washing, drying and unzipping the chained-linker stitches holding the collar, sleeves, and front and back together.

Vioila, I successfully disassembled the sweater. Pulled the cast off rows apart and begun winding the tiny cashmere thread onto the ball winder. It was fascinating.

My children and husband just looked at me funny.  They left me alone. I was happy and content just watching the shades of blue, randomly placed, Knitted back up into a small triangular lace pattern (thank you Piecework and Nancy Bush) I was learning, on size 1 needles.2015-12-03_11-08-19

And so began the addiction. Luxury fibers, in greater quantity, for a fraction of the cost.  Yes there are some drawbacks….extra time, 2nds stigma, but if treated properly, and blended with other fibers, they now become unique, soft, & repurposed – lovely yarn always available….no waiting.

Tonight’s Picture at top, is cobweb cashmere/angora blend… repurposed from a donor sweater.