When working on losing weight and eating healthier, I've found that the quicker and easier it is to record my points, the faster I can forget about them and move on with my day. Otherwise, I stress over trying to add them up in my head and to remember them until I can get to my purse, my hand-held, a piece of paper, my phone app., or my computer to record them. Also, as far as I can find, the only small, portable, clip-on devices that are available at this time just keep track of ONE tally and are electronic. There are some other electronic ones that may have dual counters, but they are bigger and wouldn't be as discreet. And any other manual "clickers" or "tally counters" that are out there that may be small and discreet, only count UP, but not down.
I needed/wanted something that
. . . could count up OR down
. . . could keep track of my flexible weekly AND targeted daily points for food
. . . did not need batteries
. . . was small and discreet, yet easily accessible
. . . couldn't get lost easily
. . . did not have buttons that could accidently be activated while in your pocket
. . . would not require me to fumble with moving charms or beads
. . . could be read quickly at a glance to find out how many points I had left without having to count beads each time
. . . could be personalized to fit my needs/style
You can make this as simple or as fancy as you want!
MATERIALS FOR THE PICTURED POINTS COUNTER FOB
(you can get all of this in your local hobby/craft shop - mostly in the beading department):
1. small, spring-loaded clip (I took mine off a key chain)
2. some fancy beads - the beads on either side of the counters need to be big enough so that they don't slip into the holes of the counters - you may also want to use small metal beads (I used 2.4 mm beads) to separate the glass beads, so that they won't rub their sharp edges against each other
3. small crimping beads (I used 1.8 x 2 mm crimping beads) to finish each end of the Points Counter Fob
4. wire guard to go around the clip end
3. metal letter charm or other type of charm
4. nylon coated, 7 strand beading wire (I used the Beadalon brand)
5. a small bead/wire cutter/crimping tool
6. two knitting row counters (knitting department) - these can range from a little over a dollar to about $5.00 each - any will work, but you will have to adjust the bead size so the ones on either side of the counters don't fall into their holes as you string them (I used the $5.00 "Clover" brand counters)
INSTRUCTIONS (keep in mind that I am not an expert "beader")
1. decide how you want to arrange the beads/counters (think about what side of your body you will be attaching it to, so that it is readable/right-side-up when you pick it up from your belt loop and pull it to the front of you to glance at)
2. cut approx. 8 inches of beading wire
3. thread about 1 1/2" of beading wire through a crimping bead, your last bead, a crimping bead, and then through the charm - then push the wire back through all of three beads again - pull the loop at the charm and the beads snug and "squish" the crimp beads with the crimping plier - this will secure the bottom of your Points Counter Fob - cut the excess wire (the one short strand) beyond the second crimped bead (see third picture below)
4. string the remaining beads and counters in the order that you would like them onto the wire strand next to the secured beads/charm at the bottom
5. before stringing your last bead, string the wire through a crimping bead, then your last bead, and then another crimping bead, and then through one end of a wire guard (which you should first hook onto the bottom loop of the spring-loaded clip) - then wrap the wire around the wire guard and through the other side - then push the wire back through the crimping bead, your last bead, and through the second crimping bead (see seventh picture below)
6. pull the wire snugly and "squish" the crimping beads to secure the wire (crimp the crimp bead next to the wire guard first, then the second one on the opposite side of the last bead) - cut the excess wire off (see seventh picture below)
Voila! You're done! Enjoy and good luck with your weight loss!
REMEMBER , to personalize this . . . you can add more knitting row counters or just have one. You don't have to use beads or charms. If your aren't looking for something very fancy, you can just use string. Since these counters are meant to slip onto knitting needles, you could use a short piece of wooden dowel and slide the counters onto that (and attach a clip via a drilled hole). Or for something fancier, you could use one or more colors of yarn or embroidery thread, braid it, tie knots on either side of the counters, tie one end to a clip, and leave a tassel on the other end. The sky's the limit : )! Have fun!