The only project I've been working on just for me is my Knitter's Companion Arm Bracer. And it's finally finished!
I freely admit that this project was inspired by someone else's creation: the incredible Tailor's Assistant bracer by Mardigan Enterprises. When I first saw it I was blown away and tempted to buy it. But then I started thinking. I don't like sewing by hand. I don't do embroidery or anything in public. So I don't actually have a need for the tools on that bracer. What I DO have a need for are my knitting tools. And a plan started to form.
The first step was to figure out all the tools I typically need and try to find steampunk equivalents. The scissors were easiest, as I already owned a pair of small gold colored snips that look a bit antique. I also had a gold colored thimble, and although it's not used in knitting, I might need one for emergency costume repairs. For the rest, I started hunting around ebay and etsy to find appropriate tools. The most important one for me was to find something cool to act as a stitch counter. I looked and looked for brass stitch counters or tally counters. They apparently do not exist. So I got this vintage silver toned tally counter. I also bought a gorgeous vintage brass hexagonal needle case and a brass measuring tape from the 20s. Unfortunately the tape was in worse condition than I thought and was nearly unreadable. When I tried to clean the rust off it with vinegar, it disintegrated. So although I loved that case, I had to give it up.
The antique cloth measuring tape I have here actually came from an estate sale in a large container of sewing stuff. The funny thing is that it's actually a measuring tape made to estimate the weight of a calf. One side is inches and one size is estimated pounds at live birth. Which was so weird I had to keep and use it. My favorite stitch markers are plain brass ones from Knit Picks and I put them in a glass vial. The final tools are a gold colored cable needle I owned and a small crochet hook with I actually added at the last minute, since it's occasionally a really good idea to have a crochet hook when knitting.
|The finished bracer before adding anything.|
|I love my anvil!|
The final finishing was to glue soft faux suede on the inside of the bracer. The underside of the leather was really rough and not something I wanted rubbing against my bare skin. And with that, my Knitter's Companion is done!
I'm quite happy with it. For someone who isn't really a leather worker, I think it's pretty impressive. It's a bit awkward to wear because it's heavy and has a tendency to slide down my arm and press against the wrist bones. I'm hoping with some wearing it will work better. But I'm quite happy with it, and it will certainly make finding and carrying my knitting tools much easier.