Showing posts with label Crochet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crochet. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Yarn Pet Mod - Platform for One Pound Cakes

My roomate has been picking up knitting and expanding their crochet skills during the pandemic Stay at Home orders.  As a part of their stimulus, they bought a Yarn Pet from Nancy's Knit Knacks.  They have also acquired a yarn ball winder that claimed to be able to do one pound skeins.  The curlicue tensions the yarn as it unwinds from the outside of the cake.  The platforms that came with it were thin circle platforms afixed to a smooth metal spindle with stops and set screws (you can see the spindle and stops above).  The platform holds the cake above the base at the appropriate height for the curlicue.  Small cakes?  Set it high.  Big cake?  How low can you go!

When they actually tried to use the Yarn Pet with the largest cakes (Caron One Pound FTW!), the little platform circles that came with the pet allowed the cake to slump and sag.  The cake would also rub against the curlicue and made it hard to pull.  They were worried about the yarn slipping below the edge and tangling under the cake.

To fix this, I used a board as wide as I could get and made it a circle:
  1. Found a home depot pine board in my scrap bin that was 5 3/4" wide.  Solid wood is preferable to plywood which can get splintery and snag the yarn.  Avoid knots if at all possible.
  2. Cut length to match width.
  3. Find the center by marking two lines from corner to corner
  4. From center, use a protractor to mark 22.5 degree increments to the edge.
  5. Drill a hole in the center mark.  To fit the Yarn Pet spindle, I needed a bit with a width  7/32".
  6. Using a table saw with miter gauge set to 45 degrees or a miter box, cut your square into an octagon
  7. Test your new platform on the spindle.  My square was about a quarter inch too wide at the widest point, but it had plenty of play between a flat side and the curlicue.  I knew trimming it again would allow it to spin freely.
  8. I trimmed my octagon into a hexadecagon by setting my gauge to 22.5 degrees.  (Towards the end of the piece, the side touching your miter gauge will be incredibly small.  Keep a firm grip, and beware of kickback!)
  9. Sand the tarnation out of every surface with 150 up to 220 grit.  You can see in the picture above that I rounded every edge and corner.  I chose not to finish the wood, but I can always go back and do this between knitting projects.

Things learned:
  • I thought the thickness of the platform might be an issue, but it turned out to be perfect for giant cakes. The added thickness prevents the platform from wiggling on the spindle.  You can plane down your board to match the included platform circles, but then I might be worried about their integrity.  As is, the yarn comes off cleanly with the center-line of the cake coming just above the curlicue.  So smooth...
  • When putting the largest cakes on the pet, use the rubber stoppers for spindle-wound skeins to keep the cake centered on the spindle.  This will prevent wobbling due to a loosening center as it is pulled from side to side.
  • If you have a circle of the appropriate width and thickness already, all you need to do is find the center and drill it.  Couldn't be simpler.