Hooked on Needles

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Handy Handwork Helper -- Magnetic Board

When I'm ready to move on to a new project, the first thing I like to do after putting everything away from the previous project is to gather all my supplies in one place. First I get my pattern and yarn. Then I see what size needles the pattern requires and pull those out of my needle box. For a knitted infant sweater, that would seem like enough. But I have one more little thing that makes a world of difference when following a pattern with lots of instructions.

Supplies gathered for next knitting projectBesides scissors and glasses, the other item I pull from my cabinet is my magnetic board. I purchased this board, along with a bigger one, many years ago when I first started doing counted cross stitch. It proved invaluable in keeping track of all those tiny symbols on those tiny charts. Now I use it for keeping track of other types of patterns too.

Magnetic board at workI place the board behind my pattern and place the magnets on top. I used my magnets so much that the originals that came with the board broke into smaller pieces which I still use, and I have added others of my own over the years. I use one straight magnet piece to mark the line I am on and the others to hold the pattern to the board.

Another way to use magnetic boardFor a pattern such as my Tunisian Crochet Duck Pattern I would print out the pattern and place the paper over the board. Then I would fold over the top and bottom of the paper and place all but one of the magnets on the top.

Back of magnetic boardI would save one magnet to hold the paper on the back side of the board.

These boards are available at your local stitchery shop or online at Keepsake Needlearts, as well as other places. Sometimes you will find them packaged together with a little stand so that your pattern stands upright which makes it even easier to follow.

This is one of those items that I thought was a bit of a frivolous purchase when I first bought it, but it has proved well worth the expense and has saved me from so much frustration when following patterns. I used the larger board and the stand when working the Daisies and Butterflies cross stitch for my mother-in-law and the Let Us Give Thanks cross stitch for my own parents. I have also used it for many knitting and crochet patterns and quite a few other cross stitch patterns.

If you have never used one of these handy helpers, give it a try and see what you think. I know you won't be disappointed!

Happy Stitching!

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  • WHOA....back up a BIG minute here. What do you mean you clean everything up from the previous project and then see what you need for the new project? WHY would you want to do that? Don't you want to have the same mess most of US have? Don't you want to go right to the next project and NOT clean up from the previous one? I don't think I can get beyond such a ridiculous concept and even read any further.......LOL

    By Blogger Pat, At March 2, 2009 at 2:29 PM  

  • I have to agree with you Mary Grace...the magnetic board is a great little tool...I got mine from Knitpicks....$9.99...I use it all the time.

    I also have to agree with Pat above...don't know about that cleaning up a previous project...you should see my desk in my office...balls of yarn everywhere...needles laying here and there...I've got to clean it up a little...LOL! Maybe you could come and help me sometime...LOL!
    God Bless You,
    Merry ::)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At March 5, 2009 at 10:48 PM  

  • Thanks for sharing this great idea, Mary Grace. I never thought to use a magnet board, but it would be so helpful for keeping my place on the chart. I am having lots of fun with the Irish cross stitch... it's slowly taking form! And the little bags are working great too. But it doesn't sound like I'll ever be quite as organised as you!

    By Blogger Belinda Y, At March 12, 2009 at 6:50 AM  

  • I use a magnetic board too, but my own 'kind' :) I use a small cookie sheet I got at Walmart (a set of 3 for $4) and I got a package of magnet strip. I cut one the length of the paper pattern, and then I use smaller ones as needed.

    It's handy with the sides too, cause I can keep my threads on it and they don't fall off.

    When I'm stitching in the living room, I set a pillow on my lap, then the cookie sheet and I can even put my small ott light on it, to be at the correct angle.

    (I saw a similiar set up for sale at Connecting Threads for $60)

    By Blogger Unknown, At August 2, 2009 at 12:22 PM  

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