Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday Doings - Tips, Tricks & Japanese Knitting

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney

I've come across some really neat tips & tricks lately that I thought I would share... perhaps there is something that will be of use to you... what's your favorite tip or trick??

I love tiny flowers... but you never have a vase small enough for them - or at least I don't. So this is the perfect trick for that!! I found this at Family Chic!

Take a 12" balloon and a votive or shot glass.
Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut off about 1-inch at the mouth of the balloon. It is important to leave the narrow part of the balloon intact as this will serve as the neck of the vase.
Slip the cut balloon over the glass votive and, depending on your preference, pull out the opening - or push it inside.
For a step by step picture tutorial of this - cause I haven't tried it yet... here you go. Check out Family Chic - They have all kinds of great ideas on this site!!

Did you know that you can polish your silver with banana peels? I didn't!! Who knew? Not me! But apparently you can - I think this would work best for smaller items but I may just give it a try the next time I have a bunch of peels laying around from making Banana Bread.  All you have to do is blend a few banana peels with some water to make a paste. Then, rub the banana polish on the silver with a soft cloth. Finally wash off polish and dry with a clean cloth. I found this tip at Apartment

And here's a great way to recycle a catsup bottle... you could also use a mustard or even the mayo squirt bottles... seems like everything comes in a squirt bottle nowdays. After your bottle is empty - wash it out.  Next time you want to make perfect pancakes just fill up the bottle with the batter!! I've also used this idea for putting melted chocolate sauce and caramel in to make some fancy swirls on the dessert plates... Often times these bottles are not recycleable in certain areas - so this is a great way to save a least one or two... Oh - this would be great for camping too!! You could fill up the bottle ahead of time and store in the ice chest... just shake it up to mix it back up before using and you've got pancakes ala' camp fire!

I also came across some great sites for those of you who are interested in knitting japanese patterns. The blog Dancing Barefoot has a 5-part series on reading Japanese patterns. It's really informative and she knows her stuff!! She actually has a KAL that you can do to learn how to read the Japanese patterns also... great way to learn and put the knowledge to use right away!

You may want to check out and save this information - Japanese to English Knitting Dictionary. It's got pretty much every word you would encounter in a pattern. This is another good reference - the Basics of Japanese Knitting

While looking through information about Japanese knitting I discovered Japanese knitting projects are commonly represented by graphical charts. You'll hardly ever find any text-knitting-patterns which describe complete instructions in Japan or the books they publish. Who knew? Not me... So come to find out that there are two types of charts - Simplified and Detailed. From this chart page you can follow the other links to find out even more about the charts and how they work in these types of patterns. It's a little like the knitting charts most of us are used to - but still totally different.

I thought that this was interesting and could be useful to some - they've taken a toy pattern from Debbie Bliss and they have the pattern in Japanese and English - side by side - so you can use it and learn... not sure what toy it is. Might be kind of fun to do it as a mystery knit!!

Lastly you may want to check out this Japanese Knitting Site, the ABC's of Knitting as it is filled with all types on information and interesting tutorials.

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