Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Making Spool Knitters

For some collectors of spoolknitters, depending
on where they live in the world, there
is a difficulty in finding and actually
purchasing spoolknitters to add to
the collection.

Some companies don't sell internationally,
some secondhand businesses or
artists wont sell internationally.
I know that this doesn't quite solve
the acquiring of a "particular" spoolknitter
but maybe if you belong to a collector's group,
you might be able to get help from
a fellow member/collector.

There can be other alternatives that would
both satisfy collectors needs of adding
more spoolknitters
and also add a touch
of whimsey to their collection.

Have you thought of recycling?
Wooden salt & pepper shakers would
make wonderful spool knitters and they
have the added bonus of being
quite reasonably priced - AND
you get two!!
There are a great range to be found
and a great many novel characters.

I found three sets of salt & pepper shakers
to show you how you can do it yourself.
The easiest ones to convert are the ones
that have an inner core all the way through
and a plastic stopper in the base.
All that is now required is the drilling out
of the "salt holes" to one large hole
and hammering the nails in the top.

This set above are only about 2 1/2 inches in height
but I know there are lots more of these in larger
sizes. I also painted the top of the inside core matching
the colour of the shaker now spoolknitter!
You could also sand these and paint them all
over again - but I prefer to leave them as is.

The next set are the mushroomed shaped shakers.
These cost me just AU$4.00!
The shape of the mushroom has always been a
popular shape when it comes to vintage
spoolknitters. This set again was very easy
to convert to spoolknitters - the plastic stopper in
the base was removed, there was an inner core
all the way through, so just the drilling of
the top and nails added was all that was
required - and I think I will keep them in
their original stand! The taller
mushroom measures 4 inches
and the smaller mushroom is almost 3 inches.

Now for the next set - the "odd couple".
These are obviously quite old and are made
in Japan. They stand
at 4 inches in height.
These were a little harder to
convert but if you have a clever handyman
about, then there shouldn't be any problem -
if you find a set like these.
The hats are screwed to the heads and
the bases are solid wood.
There are individual parts that will need to
be taken apart and then reglued using
a good strong glue. However, before
taking apart, drill the inner core

Then add your nails before glueing the
parts back together. I also painted the
top of the inner core to match the shakers
The hats were
placed on what I feel should be the
right way with the bowler hat on the male
and the green hat on the female - I think
they look much better this way!
(See group photo for the "before" photo
as this is the way they were purchased).

Here they are, all complete!
A very unique pair of spoolknitters!

Quite some time ago, some of you might
remember that I put together some
empty old cotton reels/spools.
The photo above shows the results
of my efforts.
Also, you may be wondering why there is
a photo of a small rolling pin. This is another
find in my search for alternatives.
This little rolling pin was found in the toy
section of the local department store and
cost me AU$4.98. I plan on making two
spoolknitters from this by cutting in half,
drilling an inner core, adding the nails,
and then painting them.
This is another idea for you to try
and if you dont have the confidence to paint
them yourself, then you can always glue
on pretty paper. Perhaps using
scrapbooking paper, or rice paper, or maybe
just wrapping paper.
After you have done that, then I would
recommend giving the whole spoolknitter
a coating of varnish or spraying of
an acrylic spray to help protect your work.
I might even do one half of these this way.
So sometime in the future - look out
for the results of the "rolling pin"

Have fun with your spoolknitters!



Gina E. said...

Hi Marian,
Your spool knitters are intriguing, but not enough to fire my interest! I'm just leaving a message here to say I followed your directions to Blurb and found your book - fantastic! I'm so excited to think I can do this with my linen collection...but I don't know where to start!!

ennadoolf said...

I love all your posts and am now following your blog. My hubby and I made corking sets for our grandkids when we had trouble finding good quality ones. I'm selling the extra ones we made in my etsy shop and once they're gone, that's it (so hubby says). Thanks for a great blog!

crazyhaberdasher said...

Hi ennadoolf! It's great to see you here and many thanks for your kind comments. Do you also paint your spool knitters? You would be most welcome to join our Flickr Spool Knitter group - the link is just above Humpty Dumpty in the side bar.
Thanks again!

Ashley said...

i love your dedication & knowledge of this craft- i just got my very first spool knitter, and i love using it. i'm glad i found your blog to learn a little bit more about the history and making of spoolknitters! keep up the great work! i hope i can find some vintage salt & pepper shakers and make some of my own- yours are so wonderful!

crazyhaberdasher said...

Hello OffTheHooks/CraftyAsh!
Thankyou so much for your very kind comments.
I am currently working on another book - a larger more informative volume than previously printed (which was a coffee table style simple format) in which will be lots of information re anything to do with spool knitters, vintage makers, new artist made, etc., and I hope to include some patterns. Of course, it will be announced on my blog.
Good luck with your search for novel salt & pepper shakers - it appears that this has become a popular idea and they are also reasonably priced which is a huge plus when you are a collector.
You are most welcome to join our Spool Knitter group on Flickr. There are also links there for patterns on other sites - in the Discussions section.
Happy Spooling!

crazyhaberdasher said...

OffTheHooks/CraftyAsh! .....I just found you in our members list and my friends list! ... I apologize that I didn't realize that fact earlier. Never mind, but do please check the links there - you might still get some inspiration and try some ideas that you may have.
Again Happy Spooling!

Tina Dickerson said...

Hi. I had spools made for me as a child and have recently made 3 myself from the same kind of wooden cotton reels which were donated by a friend who sews. I decorated them with nail varnish and 2 went to my neighbours daughters who love them. I still have 1 wooden reel left over. I would love to make some bigger spools sometime. :)

crazyhaberdasher said...

Hi Tina!
Lovely to hear from you!
I hope that your wish comes true for you - I do so enjoy painting spool knitters and creating something that no-one else has. I also sign and date my work because for collectors it is an important fact to know. So do please remember to do that when you work on your spool knitters. Even the most simplest spool knitters can become desirable! You are in fact adding to History!
Thanks again, maybe we will get to see your work in the near future. ... Happy Spooling! ... cheers, Maz in Oz