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I posted earlier I was going to make a French knitter, or knitting nancy for the Feb. demo for our club. I've often said, no one learns more during a demo than the person doing the demo. I've also often said, I will make every mistake possible before I figure something out. This project is a good example of both of those statements. Since it's still winter and kind of the holidays I thought about making one in a kind of snow man shape. Grabbed a piece of spalted birch and turned this one. I was basically happy with it but it occurred to me I could make a snowman(or snowlady) shape and hide the pins and pic under the hat. Tried to do a couple with the spalted birch but it was too punky to get a good fit between the hat and the tenon. I also felt it was important to get a good grain match so the whole thing would look like just one piece. Since the spalted wood was too punky I grabbed a piece of hard maple. Parted off a piece for the lid and drilled to accept a tenon. Naturally I forgot it would have to be drilled deeper to make room for the pins and pic. Of course, I noticed this about 2 seconds after parting it off so I couldn't fix it. Since it's important to me to match the grain and hide the joint I grabbed a whole new piece of wood to start over. Okay, so now I've made a new snowman and have the hat drilled deep enough to work. Grain matches nicely and it's a nice friction fit. Plenty of clearance for the pins and the pic. Made the pic, fits nicely under the hat and it's nice snug fit in the center hole of the snowman. Too snug actually, can't really grasp the pic to remove it easily. Decide I'm going to put a little step on the next one so it won't go in so far and will be easier to remove. Great idea, except I left the top to big around to fit between the pins. Back to the lathe, last one works but is too sloppy and will rattle when it's under the lid. Enough for today, back to the lathe in morning and incorporate all the little nuances to maybe make one that will be just right. All of these little details that I'm figuring out will become part of the demo. It's a simple little turning but I've learned a lot already. Steve
I've got the demo for February for our club. Can't complain, several other members have really stepped up and covered the last few months. That makes it so much easier. Anyway, the Feb. demo will be two parts. The first half hour or so I'll be doing some sharpening on, and talking about the Tormek sharpener. I've allotted a half hour but if there are a few questions it could go longer. With that in mind I need a relatively quick project for the turning portion of the demo. Have decided to make a "Knitting Nancy" or French Knitter. A simple spindle project which will be a good skill builder and something I believe hasn't been done before. Even though it's a fairly simple thing to make I will still make several before I'm done. At the top beside the yarn is my first effort. I saw one that looked like they used paper clips to hold the yarn but that didn't work well for me, that and I had the diameter too large to make a good stitch. I saw one someone made that used cotter keys as shown in the walnut one to the left. Cotter keys actually worked pretty well, but, they're cotter keys. I then decided to just make the pins to hold the yarn and they are pretty easy to do and look a lot better IMO. The one in the middle is my last effort and has the wooden pins. The little yarn rope is what a person makes with one of these and is called an "Icord", although, our two year old grand daughter calls it a "snake". From what I read, an icord is a basic knitting or crochet stitch and is used as a border or foundation for other stitches. There are three parts to one of these, the body, which is basically just a tube, the pins, and the hook, or pic. My first thought was to make a hook but after experimenting a little bit I realized the pic type actually is easier to use. The pic is a nice little skew project all by itself. Will probably do five or six more of these, last couple I will record and work out of my tool bags to make sure I don't forget anything. Steve