Yesterday I stayed home and concentrated on a couple of different projects.
First up was spending a bit more time organizing and sorting the Delicas and seed beads I already owned.
I like this roll-around six-drawer unit for storing my Japanese beads. The flip top boxes I favor fit precisely in each drawer, 9 columns across and many, many boxes back.
The top two drawers look a little different because I’ve modified them a little. As molded, the fronts of the drawers don’t go straight across on the inside. Left alone, this leads to the flip tops sliding around at the front and messing up your orderly number sequence.
To fix the problem, we purchased some flat strips of balsa wood at the local hardware store. Around 2 inches wide, we cut the strips to length to fit the front of the drawer. They’re not glued in or anything – the natural shape of the drawer holds them in place. This gives us a flat, even surface at the front to line up the flip tops against.
We only outfitted two drawers this way so far, because, well – the volume of beads I’d properly put away only needed that many. Now, though, I’ll be picking up some more balsa wood so we can fit out the rest of the unit to match.
As you can see, I store the flip tops bottom side up. This way, I can see the colors. A tiny white label from the office supply is marked with the type or size (DB, 11, etc.) of bead, followed by the color number assigned by the manufacturer.
The drawers are sturdy, and will hold flip top boxes up to 3 inches long. It makes it very easy for me to find the beads I want to work with. Or it will, as soon as I finish marking more of the boxes with those little white labels.
If you want to replicate this system, be careful what type of drawer unit you buy. Look for one where the drawers will pull completely out of the case without catching on anything. Some styles have “catches” on the outsides of the drawers that are meant to keep the drawer from falling out. Since you have to squeeze the sides in to get around that, it won’t work if you have the drawer full of little boxes of beads.
Be sure that each drawer is fully supported, not just hanging on a pair of grooves on either side. Without support under each drawer, the drawers themselves will flex under the weight of the beads, and fall out of the tracks.
As you can see here, not only does my drawer unit badly need dusting, but each drawer is supported by an open platform that will keep it from flexing and falling out.
I still have some beads to locate in various storage spots around the apartment before I’m done with this part of the project – the “organize what you already have before adding the new stuff” part. By the time I’m done, this drawer unit will be a little over half full. I’ll probably be buying a second one to accommodate the new stock.
I also did some more work on the first Christmas Gift on the list, this time using my new Knit Picks Options needles to pick up stitches around a couple of pieces to knit a piping trim. I gotta tell you – these things are awesome! As the stitches slid along the needles, you’d never have known they were screwed together where cable and needle met, the join is that smooth. And the tips – I also employed an Addi Turbo circular in the same size for the project (we’re talking piping around the edge of some fairly big projects), and side by side, the Knit Picks were clearly more pointy.
Given the ease of use, the incredibly good design, and the affordable cost, I’ll be buying into a lot more of the Knit Picks Options needles in the future.
I made a lot of progress on this particular knitted gift, but you know what? Picking up hundreds of stitches in cotton yarn around all four edges of a cotton-knitted rectangle is hard on the hands!
Ack! More Cotton Knitting!
Tonight’s take-along project for Panera is another Christmas Gift knitted with cotton yarn. This should be easier on the hands, though – it’s on size 13 needles instead of size 4!