New You Tube Video – Drop Spindle and Plying Setup

So, I was stressed and felt like I couldn’t keep my head on straight, so what did I do?  Spliced together two previously private videos (made them for some friends on Facebook) and posted them to You Tube.  lol  Check out the warning!  Yes, I use foul language on a regular basis and I had originally made these videos for friends.  But, I wanted to show all of you how my brain works and didn’t want to shoot new videos, so here you go!  Consider yourself warned.

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My Latest Focus: Sewing an Apron

Two years ago, I got on a tangent to learn how to properly crochet.  Last year, it was a little wood carving but mostly knitting (still is … I’m hoarding knitting patterns like the internet will shut down tomorrow).  This year?  Sewing.  I have been an avid hoarder of all things “sewing” for as long as I can remember.  I’ve been known to hold onto clothing I don’t like just because the fabric is a good quality.  When I am offered any kind of fabric, I gratefully accept it.  And patterns?  As soon as I get the schedule down, I will be, once again, buying as many sale patterns as I am allowed.  Most of my new patterns were purchased when they used to have rotating sales on McCall’s and Butterick (one week, McCall’s would be 99 cents each, the next week would be Butterick).  Since that time, fabric stores have closed down (or moved) and I have lost track of when those sales occur.

Having said all that, until this past Winter, I had only sewn one garment with a pattern.  That was when I was 16 years old and my friend’s mom was showing us how to not only sew from a pattern but to re-size and alter.  That’s it.  So, 29 years later, I decided to try my hand at another one (more about that in a future post).  In reality, this drive stemmed from me looking inward to find out who I am and what my focus in life should be.  I have so many varied interests (obvious from anyone who looks at all my blogs) I knew it would be difficult to narrow it down.  That’s when I (once again) remembered high school and a short one-semester class I took: Home Ec.  Bells started ringing, lights began to flash, and I jumped for joy!  That’s basically what I my interests have been all these years!

So, I went “a-Googling”.  I wanted to find out exactly where the subject of Home Economics stemmed, what was taught, and what is taught now (if anything).  More downloads later, and I began reading, “Elementary Home Economics – First Lessons In Sewing and Textiles, Foods and Cookery, and the Care of the House” by Mary Lockwood Matthews, B.S. (which is available free from Google Books).  As I began reading it, I realized just how uneducated I am.  I had to look up most of the terms, regarding types of fabric.  No matter how well they described some of them, I still had no idea what they were talking about (and seriously doubt most who work in the local fabric stores, which are now mostly large chain stores, would know).

The first project for these children was to make an apron.  This apron is designed for sewing, to keep your clothes clean and neat.  It called for a fabric called dimity. Even after looking it up, I cannot say I would know it if I saw it in the store.  So, I went through my fabric stash and found some that I thought would be a good substitute.  It turns out it wasn’t.  I think the fabric is too dense for the pattern.  See, the apron is basically one piece of fabric, that is gathered at the waist and the bottom is turned up to make pockets.  This is what I ended up with:

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How do you like those pockets?  I also did not stitch this by hand.  My patience was not with me and I have a new sewing machine I need to get used to, so I used it.  I was supposed to make a button hole (I know I could do it by hand but I copped attitude) but I don’t know how to use my button hole attachment on this new machine.  It bunched and just made me mad.  🙂  So, I thought about this (and thought about this) and ended up just removing the gathers and sewed on some Velcro for the closure in the back.  The Velcro works but I think I’ll just extend the waist band so this can be tied.  I love the new version:

Apron After

It wraps almost all around my bum and that’s perfect, since I am messy when I cook, clean, sew, do anything crafty.  It reminds me of an apron that showed up on my Facebook feed for gathering eggs (made from a pillow case).  My next sewing post will be within the next week or so.  I have made two items from one pattern (pajama pants and a robe).  I’m about to lay out the pattern for the top, then I’ll make the shorts and post about those (my observations and musings about the experience).  My eventual goal is to get to the point where I can make something I feel comfortable wearing out in public (Lord knows I have plenty of patterns to choose from).  lol

Knitted Triangle Stitch

I have been teaching myself to knit. So far, I have knitted two hats (this way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hnGiE2tuts),  two cowls,

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and then decided to add knitting to my patchwork afghan/blanket/whatever you want to call it (here are the crochet/tunisian crochet panels I did a few years ago … finally went back to this now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HevK-AQPdvU&list=UUJ6WgGiNiMDC34VxEMKRBSg). I will do another video on my progress (it’s easier for me to babble on video than to type it) but in the mean time, I will just tell you what knitting I am adding to this work in progress.

I did one strip of seed stitch (knit 1, purl 1), then attached it to one end using this method (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpRJzMBXjqY). It’s not as pretty as I would like, even though I did not pull it tight (even ripped that out and tried it again).

The second strip I did was a basket weave. I tried doing versions I found on You Tube (my favorite resource for learning anything new) but I did not like the way it looked. So, I found a book called, “Just Stitches: 54 Knitting Stitch Patterns” by Tara Cousins. Her basket weave pattern is simple and well defined. I really enjoy how simple the patterns are (I’m not sure if I’m allowed to share one pattern of the 54 included in the book but I’m going to anyway).

Just Stitches 54 Knitting Stitch Patterns

The third panel I’m working on is for one of the longer edges.  This is why I’m writing this blog post.  I cannot find this exact stitch anywhere online.  I found this one in book “Knitting and Sewing: How to Make Seventy Useful Articles for Men in the Army and Navy” by Maud Churchill Nicoll, copyright 1918.  It’s called a Triangle Stitch.  In the book, it is a “fancy stitch for mufflers”.  I will give you the original pattern here but put my notes in parenthesis.  She suggest using “2 12-inch long bone needles with tips at one end, size 7 with 1-lb. 4-ply double knitting wool in khaki colour or navy blue.”  I am using worsted weight (4-ply) acrylic yarn on 5 mm needles.

For a muffler:

Cast on 72 stitches (Multiples of 9)

1st Row: Slip first stitch (knit wise), Knit until the end.

2nd Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 7, *Knit 1, Purl 8 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 1

3rd Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 1, *Knit 7, Purl 2 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 7

4th Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 5, *Knit 3, Purl 6 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 3

5th Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 3, *Knit 5, Purl 4 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 5

6th Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 3, *Knit 5, Purl 4 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 5

7th Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 5, *Knit 3, Purl 6 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 3

8th Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 1, *Knit 7, Purl 2 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 7

9th Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 7, *Knit 1, Purl 8 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 1

Repeat rows 2 through 9 until desired length.

Now, this is really simple (and that’s coming from a very new knitter) as long as you keep count.  I did not want this strip that wide (it no longer lies flat once you add more triangles per row), so I cast on 9 stitches and slipped the first stitch, did the purls and the first amount of knit stitches.  This is the result so far (I need this to be long and want to use the same yarn for both edges):

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Macrame Belt

I started this project and, once realizing how long it was going to take me, my A.D.D. brain wouldn’t let me finish.  BUT I wanted to share this with everyone because I love the way it looks and how it will turn out.  The problem I had with it was the video.  There are no written instructions and no audio describing what is being done.  So, I ended up downloading the video to my computer (since, for some reason, my internet connection and/or You Tube have been buggers and decide not to cooperate a couple of times per day).  Watching it on my computer allowed me to pause so I could count how many times to macrame this section or that one and how many times to repeat a sequence.  I will post the notes I made once I am finished. Once you watch the video, if you see any errors with what I noted, please let me know.

First, here’s the video:

Now for the notes I’ve taken so far (for definitions and pictures of knots, check out this web page: http://www.stonebrashcreative.com/MacrameTutorial.html):

The following knots are used in this pattern:

For the flat area just after the buckle:
Lark’s Head Knot (for attaching your cord to the belt buckle)
Square Knots
Half Hitch

For the design:
Square Knots

And, my results so far (one thing I didn’t take into account when starting was the different weight of the yarns.  The white yard is thinner, so I had to adjust by adding how many macrame stitches I did to maintain the proper look):

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I’m Weaving!

Well, after much trial and error (mostly me thinking I was smarter than most others and not having it work at all) I am finally weaving something!

I think I posted this link before but this was basically what I did:

http://www.theloomybin.com/doc/cwloom/

And, of course, I can’t choose something simple for my first project.  This is the pattern (well, it’s supposed to be … now that I have pictures, I’m not sure I’m doing it right but I don’t care!):

http://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/birkarcp.html

I’m using just yarn … normal Red Heart (still don’t know the difference between the yarns) and it’s really wide … don’t know what the heck I’ll do with it but I don’t care!  I’m weaving!

And here’s the result:

See the cards on the left?  I made those!  I had an old accordion file and the stiff cardboard on either end was about the same width as the cards I was given.  To make the holes, I made a punch out of the metal nozzle off a large rodent water bottle (we used it when we had a rabbit) like this: I just pulled the metal part out and sharpened it with some files used to sharpen chain saws.  Then, hit it against the cardboard with a hammer and poof!  Perfectly round holes!  🙂

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That is a door to a small cabinet that we removed, 2 C-clamps, 1 Knitting needle, a TV tray, a chair, a large bottle of 409, a paint stirrer, bungee cord and paper clamps.  🙂

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Basic Weaving (101)

I’m back on my weaving tangent, though I’m not even finished with my woman cave yet. This is how my Attention Deficit works. I was given a link quite a while ago (http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/index.html). That tab has been sitting there, open, this entire time. I finally decided to go through all the links, download what I wanted, then finally close it.

Well, imagine my surprise when I found these .pdfs! It’s Weaving 101, with instructions for building a full-sized loom, tablets, board looms, and table top looms! Not just that but exactly how to use them! I’m thrilled (and properly distracted from finishing my cave). Actually, I have hung my embroidery hoops on the wall and thought, “You know, I could do the same for the tablets I was given and even make some small frames and store them on the walls, too.” That one thought gave me permission to embrace this tangent again. 🙂

These were all written by Luther Hooper and are a fantastic resource for anyone to have (who is interested in this or think they may be in the future).  To save these to your computer, right-click on the links below, click “Save Link As” and choose where you would like it saved on your computer.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I am!

Weaving For Beginners

Weaving With Small Appliances Book 1

Weaving With Small Appliances Book 2

Weaving With Small Appliances Book 3

Hand-Loom Weaving Plain & Ornamental Part 1

Hand-Loom Weaving Plain & Ornamental Part 2