Sunday, August 09, 2015

Care of Bamboo Needles

I've bought quite a few inexpensive bamboo needles on ebay the last few years. Quite the bargain, and seeing as I'm a hoarder I like to have at least 3 sets of circular needles in each size, and double pointed needles as well.

The only problem with these needles is that they're rather rough and don't seem to have been properly finished. The can still be used as they are, but they will snag the yarn a little, and it will be hard to move the stitches up the needle. After having scoured the web for solutions to this I've come up with a solution that works for me.

To make your needles nice and smooth you'll need the following:
A nail buffer
Fine grain steel wool
Some lint free soft cloths you're prepared to throw out afterwards
Kitchen paper
Furniture oil, I use MP 52 møbelolje, which is meant to be used on untreated wood. It hardens the surface as it dries, and makes the needles very smooth.
If your skin is easily irritated I'd also recommend wearing latex gloves.

The first thing I do is to smooth the points of the needles with a nail buffer. I use the side that's meant for smoothing ridges from fingernails. Watching a film while doing this helps, as it's rather a monotonous chore. Once the tips are nice and smooth I use a fine grade steel wool to smooth the shaft.

Wipe off the dust with a soft cloth, and use a fresh cloth to oil the needles. Follow the instructions on your furniture oil bottle. If you are using the same kind of oil that I use the cloth you use to oil the needles will have to be thrown out. The oil gets stiff as it dries, and won't come off in wash.

When I've oiled my needles I polish them with another cloth, and leave them to dry overnight on a paper towel, the next day I polish them and then oil them for a second time. Once the oil has dried, and I've polished the needles they're silky smooth. Not quite as smooth as new wooden needles of good quality, but near enough :)

Monday, August 03, 2015

Blog take two

I know that many bloggers go through phases where they're not that active, blogwise. It's been two years since I last posted anything, this is because I've gone through a long period of health problems. It turns out I have suffered from something called Muscular Pain Syndrome which brought on tendinitis and pains, especially in my arms and neck, and for years I had to ration out my strength and capacity. The well known spoon analogy ME sufferers use to explain their lives certainly applies here. I've managed to recover if not completely at least close to that, and this experience has changed my outlook on things.

I feel extremely lucky to have managed to get as well as I am. It was hard work, lots of trial and error, and frustrations galore, and now that my body works again it feels as if I've been given a second chance. I want to find a job I enjoy, be active, knit all the things that I've wanted for years, sew the 1930's men's trousers I've coveted and make replicas of some of my vintage clothes. I want to see if I'll be able to keep my sewing area tidy (how do other people manage it?) and sew up some of the fabrics I've been hoarding (to make room for more :D ). And I want to read and have Miss Marple and Poirot film marathons, not because that's all I can manage, but because it makes me feel great :)

In the midst of all this I'll give blogging a second go too. I'll aim to post at least once a week, expect to find blogs on the things I've made since I last posted, and possibly some book reviews.

Finally, here's a picture of yours truly enjoying a nice cup of tea, wearing my red miss Lemon jumper :)