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Topic: What's the best clay for knitting needle stitch stoppers?  (Read 5273 times)
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humblestumble
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« on: October 14, 2005 08:27:12 PM »

I dont know the official word for the needle stoppers, but it's not the end of the needle. It's something you put on the end of the needle to keep the stitches from coming off. I was wondering if it's better to make my stoppers out of eraser clay from sculpey, or the bending kind or what. The stoppers need to be able to be taken off and put on whenever I choose. They are only temporary.

x-posted to trinket discussion - hope that's ok.
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2005 06:32:31 AM »

I think that eraser clay would be perfect.  It's still plyable after its baked.  The non-hardening clay might rub off on your yarn.
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loisgriffinwannabe
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2005 12:55:47 AM »

I know what you mean....Point Protectors! Maybe sculpey or fimo would work best.
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2005 06:50:55 AM »

i second the eraser clay vote.  it's even on sale at the hobby lobby near my house.  you might check yours, if you live in the states.
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2005 08:16:04 AM »

instead of eraser clay, sculpey sells a mold making clay that stays pliable after baking:
http://www.sculpey.com/Products/products_poly_elasticlay.htm

and they say it can be added to other clays for softness - so maybe you can get more color options that way.

i was always planning (never got around to it yet) to make cores of the mold making clay and then surround them with the regular clay, so they were soft and grippy next to the needle, but hard on the outside.
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humblestumble
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2005 09:35:41 AM »

instead of eraser clay, sculpey sells a mold making clay that stays pliable after baking:
http://www.sculpey.com/Products/products_poly_elasticlay.htm

and they say it can be added to other clays for softness - so maybe you can get more color options that way.

i was always planning (never got around to it yet) to make cores of the mold making clay and then surround them with the regular clay, so they were soft and grippy next to the needle, but hard on the outside.


My boyfriend suggested your last suggestion also. I may try a few things. But I thought the eraser clay may work best. The only thing is that I can only find the eraser clay and the bendy clay in packs. So I have to cough up like 10 bucks for a pack. I was hoping they are sold separate, but I guess not.
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2005 01:47:45 PM »

model magic by crayola would work great too
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2005 02:15:15 PM »

For a cheap solution, look for those little novelty erasers (the kind without the hole for the pencil) They usually come in small packs and are used for party favors for children. I have seen these in dollar stores recently in Halloween shapes and Hello Kitty heads. They slip on and off easily and look cute too.
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2005 02:47:51 PM »

Any kind of polymer clay will work for these (--including the flexible types like Bake and Bend, Eraser Clay, and MoldMaker).  Just make sure you don't squish the hole after forming them before baking (or bake on the needle) so they'll fit.

Polymer clays don't shrink or enlarge when baked except in fairly unusual circumstances (like wide expanses of sheet-like clay, or maybe if there's too much "plasticizer" in a particular bar**).  In fact, when I was making "stoppers" for small glass bottles with clay, the stoppers fit so well they'd actually make a pop sound when removed.  For making needle stoppers, you'd just want to make sure that the clay is long enough not to get knocked off easily, but not so long you couldn't twist it off.


**the solution for too much plasticizer is to buy older clay, or "leach" the clay you have for awhile ... leaching means to put a sheet of clay between sheets of plain paper then weight under some books or roll it up and secure with rubber band, for a few hours or a whole day ...the porous paper sucks out the plasticizer (you'll see the oily spot on the paper) ... more on that on the Conditioning page of my site, if you need more info

HTH,

Diane B.
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2005 05:13:12 PM »

would I have to make a pair for each different pair of knitting needle though? I kinda want these to be versatile so that with my big needles of various sizes I'll have only one pair and my small needles of various sizes I'll have only one pair instead of having a different pair for each needle size. Oh yeah, and I found some eraser clay at the store today that's sold separately. And I want to make sure and be able to make my own stoppers so that I can make my own shapes and stuff. Somewhat like these

http://www.patternworks.com/PWShopping/partsview.asp?action=lookup&partno=300273&subject=U35&catpos=8

I may pick up one block of eraser clay and try it out just to see how versatile it is now that I know where to get it sold separately.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2005 05:17:31 PM by humblestumble » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2005 05:23:01 PM »

I don't know if the ones made on that site (thanks for the link btw!... I'll add it to my site) have any flexible polymer clay in their mix or if they're 100% regular polymer clay (clays can be mixed in any proportion).

She seems to sell them in two sizes only, so I'm assuming they may fit a little looser or a little tighter on different size needles in the two ranges she mentions.  So, you could do like she does and have two basic sizes (just be sure to make the holes long enough that the protectors wouldn't easily fall off the needles at the smaller end of the range).  Or you could try out the different regular rigid and flexible polymer clays (and even try mixes) to see which works best for what you want.

Eraser clay is a little different from Bake and Bend and MoldMaker (that one's not colored), but they're all in the same ballpark. 
Lots of clayers do like the mix of 50-50 Premo and Bake and Bend (used to be called SuperFlex) for various things in clay though, but don't know which would clay of mix to suit this use, orwhether you really need a flexible clay at all.


HTH,

Diane B.
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POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
humblestumble
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2005 08:33:26 PM »

thanks for the tips Smiley And you're welcome for the link. I made a long sushi roll out of regular sculpey, now I just need to find something to cut it into sections so that I can bake it and try it out. I tried using the side of a ruler I had, but that just smooshed it. I also tried my hair, but that just broke in the process haha.
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2005 08:17:58 AM »

Hmmm, hair is a clever idea! . . . might have worked too if you'd used several strands, maybe twisting them together like a cable to make them stronger?  It also sometimes works better for some cutters to kind of roll-and-saw the clay with them.

Take a look on this page though for all the different things you can use to slice clay canes:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/cutters-blades.htm
(...click on the subcategory "Blades"...)

And look at this page for much more on slicing canes in particula:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/Canes--general.htm
(...click on "Cutting Canes"....)

It'll help too since you're using a really squishy brand of clay to either refrigerate your clay for 10 min or longer, or just let it sit to cool down ... both will firm it up. 
You can even make slices after baking a whole cane (or a length of it)... works best when the clay is warm... may need to rebake the slices, or sand and buff the cut surfaces, or dab on a bit of Diluent-softener, to get rid of any dusty looking areas caused by doing that.


HTH,


Diane B.
GlassAttic ...polymer clay "encyclopedia"
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bodacious
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2005 03:54:05 PM »

I was happy to read this thread, so I headed to Wal*Mart just minutes ago and picked up some Sculpey.  Only to later read on that some don't like it because it does get hard?!  aahhgg.  What is unwanted about having hardened stoppers?  is it that they won't accomodate as many needles? 

(I also have some Model Majic too so it's no huge deal)
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2006 12:31:06 PM »

I think some people felt that they might be hold on better, or that they'd be easier to remove, if the baked clay were at least somewhat flexible.  Regular clay, which bakes up rigid (when thick), will work fine though too.

You can mix your Sculpey III with Polyform's Bake and Bend clay if you want to make the Sculpey more flexible, or you can just use the Sculpey plain (...if you do that though, don't have any thin spots or projecting areas on your stoppers because the Sculpey brand is more brittle than the other regular polymer clays, and will break in those situations) .


HTH,

Diane B.
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few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
bodacious
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2006 10:01:29 PM »

Turns out my work has some sculpey flex, which bakes and then is still sorta flexible.  Inspite of this I tried my hand at the regular stuff I bought and was pretty pleased with the results.

I did shape them around size 8s but they fit up to 10.5 snugly.  I liked it.  I tossed the needle around in my tote with it on, just to see if it'd come off...and the stopper didn't, so I'm super happy.

I'll give the flex stuff a shot within the week though, just to see Cheesy
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OntarioJenn
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2008 05:01:48 PM »

Hey everyone,
I'm new to the boards, and just started using dpns for the first time today after transferring them from circulars. I found a good substitute for point protectors instead of buying them or clay - electrical wire end covers - the pic is here:
http://www.do-it-yourself-help.com/images/wirenut.jpg

I found one on the floor on my laundry room, and picked it up to try on my 4mm dpns. Works like a charm!  Grin
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OntarioJenn
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2008 05:16:48 PM »

arrgh - nevermind. the electrical wirenuts do NOT stay on. Sad Sucks.
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