Monday, September 21, 2009

Don't-lose-your-shit stitch holders

There's other stuff on the docket for me to bang on endlessly about this week, but all of it can wait because LO I have discovered an amazing thing.


And when I say *discovered* I mean that I've discovered something new to do with them while I await the dawning of the great project idea that's had me collecting jars and buckets of corks all this time.

True to form, I will now tell you the story of this Cork Discovery because that is my way, even though you can probably already guess from the photos what this discovery was all about.

Don't care - forging ahead...

Once upon a time yesterday, when I sat down to begin the permanent formation of my ass print on the couch for all-day football watching, I also took up my current knitting project which was sitting conveniently by the couch right there.

During the early game (Chiefs v Raiders - awful) I made some decent headway on this sweater thing and, around the 3rd quarter I believe, I had the bright idea to try it on. Now, given this is a knit-from-the-top-down sweater and I can't begin to get the 24" circular needles holding the bottom hem over my head and shoulders, I had to do some improvising.

This improvising looked a lot like me slipping my left arm into the left sleeve by way of the neck hole and admiring the look of the raglan shaping for a moment before attempting to slip my right arm into the right sleeve also by way of the neck hole which immediately felt and looked wrong and resulted in a SHIT SHIT SHIT moment of me dropping about a dozen stitches off the end of one needle and about five off the other because duh I'd forced the sweater to stretch too much with my inane trying-on maneuver.

As you can imagine, this pissed me off. Even though I knew I was doing something stupid that wouldn't result in any useful fit information but was more for the satisfaction of just making sure that the sleeve holes were big enough for my arms (they are) and that the neck hole will serve as an adequate escape route in the event of a sweater-wearing emergency (it will)(and what is that?) and to distract Bubba while his team failed to convert another hard-fought drive (it did).

After fixing my stitch dropping no-no and continuing on knitting in the round until I perish, the thought of stitch holders came back into my mind again, and for the billionth time.

Because that would have been handy. To have stitch holders on the ends of these needles to keep me from losing my shit (the stitches) during my tomfoolery with the neckhole-entry-trying-on and to keep me from losing my mental shit when they inevitably did exactly that.

But every time I've seen these things I've stopped myself from buying them because it always seemed dumb to pay $6 for plastic triangles just because my reckless self couldn't keep the damn yarn on the damn needles. I'd just be more careful.

Pfffffffft. Clearly that strategy has worked well and successfully.

Well, as it happened, I was sitting there on my Custom Formed For My Ass couch as I re-began this thought process yet again, when I happened to turn away from the game (I caught a glimpse of a fully-decked Raider fan in the end zone seats - sometimes I have to shield my eyes) and then landed, TAH DAH!, on the answer to my endless quest for stitch saving:


People, I have a lot of corks. Let's just put it that way. From wine, champagne, booze and so on. They pile up in bowls and hurricane vases and jars and drawers to the point where, in the absence of having a Real Project in which to use them, I've started using them as decor.

Don't laugh at me.

But finally (now) I have a Real Purpose for Corks, even if I can only use two of the million corks I have - they act as fully functional stitch holders.

Fully Functional Free and Readily Available Stitch Holders.


Yes, yay.

Just grabbed a few from the bowl, I did, and jammed them on the ends of my needles. They stuck. They didn't fall off. Even after I re-tried my neckhole trying on method.


So, yeah, that's what's more important than recounting the debauchery of Oktoberfest, dishing on my last long training run and sharing photos of how we wrecked the yard with a new incarnation of heavy landscaping machinery - corks holding my knitting on the needles so that I can perform ridiculous stunts for Bubba's entertainment while his team loses to their rivals on our TV while not losing my shit (stitches and otherwise) on an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon.

I'll remind you - My life is very glamorous.


  1. oh Finny..I've missed you. Its been far too long since I've read your blog!!!

    A.k.a.The Fury.

  2. LOL This is great - and I SO totally have to send this post to my knitting mentor/instructor at work...something tells me that, like you, she might have a collection of corks.

    I've never seen the triangular stitch holders, but I have seen some that look like wire nuts - and a few were given to me, and I bought a few. Lemme tell ya - there's BIG differences - some are great and have good spring/grip to them and will stay on the needle, and some, well, let's just say some seem like they've hooked up with the entire football team.

    So, long story short, I think your new creation is GREAT, and I expect to see it showing up across the web in the latest viral handy tip. I'm sure Martha or someone else crafty will be pushing it in no time!

  3. You're brilliant Finny! And now, you may drink with reckless abandon!

  4. So long as you don't knit while drinking/already drunk, I think this is a fab idea. I have a friend who made a wreath out of corks. I covet it. I may steal it at her Xmas party this year. I finally bought a purse big enough to shove it in...yes- I think this is grand. It's SO GOD DAMN cool..and would look fabulous in my kitchen. On my red wall. Oh yes- I have plans for that wreath..
    Unfortunately, that means my friend can never come to my house again. Oh well.

  5. Those kind of stitch "stoppers" I have!

    Thanks for the laugh and the idea.

  6. Corks also work to protect the points of straights called into duty as window supports... should those straights once again be required as knitting implements. (I'm a circ/dpn all the way gal, although I will use short straights for small projects.) Note: Straights used for window supports should be metal... even the big gauge plastic ones warp over the course of a day.

  7. As for what to do with all the corks, they make a great garland that says to everyone "I'm a lush, but a crafty lush who likes to keep things out of the landfill."

    Take a cordless drill with a small bit, drill holes, and thread onto string, twine, or ribbon. I like to end the garland with champagne/ prosecco corks.

  8. How is it we've been friends this long and haven't watched football together? We need to fix that.

  9. Brilliant, Finn. I knew you had it in you.

  10. Brilliant, positively brilliant. I'm now going to raid my husband's wine rack and liberate a couple of the corks. I love this idea!

  11. Heeeh! This is great! I have not thrown a cork away in absolutely forever---at least not in recent memory (but that's another story . . .).

    I just now (yes, I'm a bit OCD) cut one of my CORK corks (as opposed to the NON-cork variety) in half and used an emery board to smooth the cut surface and bevel it to match the other end of the cork. For me, using a half cork on the ends of my needles is less cumbersome.

    This project rocks! There are a lot of things you can do with wine corks like making trivets out of them (either cut into circles and glued together or left whole and laid on their sides and glued together) and I'm sure if I did a Google search a lot of other ideas would come up.

    I'd LOVE to see a photo of the cork wreath! It sounds like sheer genius.

    Thanks for such an entertaining blog! ;o)


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

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But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.