Future Back-up Pocket Net?
I can’t say I’m 100% satisfied with my first attempt at replicating the worsted pocket nets for Uncle Gale’s old pool table, but it’s pretty close to what I’d hoped for.
As mentioned in the previous post, over at Ravelry.com we discussed several possible methods to try, but square knots won out when debbiepaa worked up a sample and posted a photo of it on Ravelry’s Techniques forum. She also suggested working it over a jar. It seems Robin’s guess was right: Macrame is the method of choice. Sort of. Well, my version of it, anyway.
Being inexperienced with macrame, I referred to some trusty old craft books and got started. First, I cut 34 strands of yarn, each roughly 45″ long, paired them off, doubled them up and slipped them onto a piece of wire:
Next, I used the wire to secure it to an old jar:
I tested a few different spacers to help keep the knots as uniform as possible. The goal was to make the new pockets slightly shorter than the old ones, since gravity and the weight of the pool balls will stretch the yarn over time. The double-pointed knitting needle I used on some test knots was too round, resulting in lop-sided knots. A Popsicle stick, perhaps?
It fit the old pocket with a little room to spare, so it seemed like a good choice. I started knotting.
This is where the square knotting skills of my Eagle Scout brother or Cub Scout nephew would have come in handy. I kept a chart nearby to make sure I didn’t wrap the yarn backwards. I’m sure all the Scouts out there will cringe, but here goes:
I soon realized the Popsicle stick was too rigid for working in the round, so I cut a thin piece of cardboard that could follow the curve of the jar a bit better.
With that settled, work progressed pretty swiftly.
After 10 rounds, it was time for the dreaded decreases. It only took about two seconds for me to realize that meant separating out the strands I needed for my next row of knots and working them row by row instead of around and ’round. Simple, huh?
Notice how two of the previous knot’s four strands are worked, and two aren’t? That’s to keep the diamond pattern intact. The same holds true for the left side decrease:
I decreased one knot per row simply by pulling back two strands on each side of each row, as shown above.
Bearing in mind that 1) I’m a horrible photographer, 2) I haven’t trimmed the un-worked strands (they might come in handy for attaching the pocket to the pool table’s pocket trim pieces), and 3) this is my first attempt…here’s the final result:
Over several decades, friction more or less had “felted” the fibers of the old nets (kind of like how your favorite sweater can “pill” after it’s been worn a few times), making it hard to distinguish one strand from another. Here, the separate strands are more obvious – as is the fact that not all of the knots are evenly balanced.
So what do you think? Be honest. I really want the new pocket nets to be as similar as possible to the old ones.
Any tips for tying square knots more evenly?
Any suggestions for a better spacer? (I fear the strips of cardboard will wear out before all six nets are made.)
If – after seeing this in person – Mark thinks I’m on the right track, my plan is to make six additional pocket nets and let him keep this one – imperfections and all –as a spare.
Posted on February 16, 2012, in Family, Pool Table, Projects and tagged Antique Pool Table, Brunswick, creativity, macrame, netting, prototype, Ravelry, square knots. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.