Monday, July 31, 2017

Zipper Tips

Sew Sweetness's post illustrates how to:  
insert a top zipper (like in a zippered pouch)

insert a zipper into a panel of a bag, 

install a zippered pocket (two different ways)

sew an invisible zipper

Friday, July 28, 2017

A full tutorial on how to make a Baby Changing Station Mat can be found here.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Kick Spindles

The concept of Kick Spinning is relatively new. Interweave recently published information on this technique on their website.

Kick Up Your Heels

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Activities for Quilters

Need some ideas of fun activities to do with your quilting/sewing friends? AQS OnPoint shares a long list of ideas to make your time together even more fun.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Quilt Batting 101

Batting isn’t the most glamorous part of a quilt, but while the batting itself never sees the light of day once your quilt is finished, it is still essential to the look and feel of the finished piece. 

Batting choices are numerous. We All Sew provides information on the many different types, their pros and cons, and much more.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Knitting and Espionage

Interweave recently shared a fascinating article on the role knitting has played in history, especially through espionage. The article is below:

Since knitting was a very common sight, nobody would think of knitting as a suspicious activity. But knitting and espionage have a certain connection throughout history.

Let’s go way back to the Revolutionary War in the United States. As British troops took over the homes of colonials during the war, these people became less than pleased. One such dissatisfied rebel was Molly “Mom” Rinker of Philadelphia. Troops quartered themselves in her house and did not allow the men of the household into the dining area, but Molly was allowed in to serve the troops. It was here that she listened closely to their conversations. She would then write the information down on a small piece of paper, wrap it around a stone, and wrap yarn around the stone until she had a very normal-looking ball of yarn. She would take this yarn ball to a rock overlooking some woods. There she would sit and knit, dropping the ball of yarn off the rock and into the woods below without notice. One of George Washington’s men would ride by and grab the yarn to learn British military secrets.

During World War I, another yarn-equipped informant helped the Allies. A Frenchwoman named Madame Levengle would sit in front of her window and knit. As she knitted, she would watch troop movements from the window and tap her feet on the floor to send codes to her children pretending to do schoolwork on the floor below. The children would write down the codes, and all went unnoticed by nearby German marshals the whole time.

In World War II, an infamous American spy named Elizabeth Bentley used knitting to disguise her espionage as well. She ran two spy rings that sent damaging information about the United States to the Soviet Union, and she would sneak documents to the Soviets in her knitting bag.

Phyllis Latour Doyle was a secret agent for Britain during WWII. She parachuted into Normandy in 1944 and chatted with German soldiers, acting as a friendly helper. But then she knitted messages to the British, which they translated using Morse Code. Knitting coded messages is a form of steganography, which is a way to physically hide messages. A specific combination of knit and purl stitches could be translated into messages.

While knitting coded messages was less common than using knitting to disguise suspicious activity, codes in knitting were still a threat. The Belgian Resistance during World War II recruited women who had windows overlooking railway yards. They were to note the German train movements with their knitting: Purl one for one type of train, drop one for another. During World War II, the Office of Censorship in the United States banned people from posting knitting patterns abroad, since the instructions could in fact disguise military secrets.

Next time you suspect someone might not give knitters the respect they deserve, make sure to set them straight with the radical history of wartime knitters!

More information about knitting as an espionage tool can be found here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Make Do & Mend

When your favorite garment has more holes than a slice of swiss cheese, do you toss it in the rag pile or trash can? Rips and tears near a seam are easy to repair invisibly, but a hole that’s front and center requires a little bit of ingenuity – here’s where the visible mending trend can come in handy.

Visible mending has become an art form unto itself by using a variety of materials and techniques to highlight what was once an imperfection in a garment, turning it into something unique.

You’ll find some creative ways to reinvigorate your wardrobe with visible mending on the Woolery Guy website.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Repairing Hand-knit Sock

Does your favorite hand-knit sock have a hole?

You might want to try this repair technique.

Knit-in-place patch

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Magic Circle Crochet - July Program

July program
Cinde P. showed the members present how to start a circular crochet project without a hole. The Magic Circle method can also be used by knitters to start a project.

Cinde brought enough crochet hooks for everyone to try the technique.

For those who missed the meeting and want to try the Magic Circle, several videos can be found on YouTube.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Show and Tell - July

Sue O. brought a spiral crochet, granny lapghan to show the members.
She enjoyed the challenge of trying something new. At the August meeting,
Sue will teach needle tatting. She brought some samples to entice the members.
Sam G. is crocheting small buffalo to sell. Maia R. brought her Kool-aid
dyed yarn. She dyed both in the same dye pot (one white yarn and the other
grey) Colleen J. is knitting a scarf. Laura H. brought a diagonal knit scarf.
Sali A. is making a poncho with colorful scraps. Mary H. wore a jacket
she made with Route 66 fabric.

Dana H. finished a lacy wool scarf. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Lace Shawl Repair

Spending countless hours knitting a shawl and finding a error that endangers the whole project would bring even the most experienced knitter to tears.

Jackie (Heart Strings Fiber Arts) shows how she repaired the mess seen in the photo.

Her tutorial begins here

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Join Without Twisting Stitches

Undoubtedly, every knitter has experienced the frustration of casting on hundreds of stitches and discovering the stitches are twisted when joined in the round. 

Heart Strings Fiber Arts shares a clever tip on preventing the stitches from twisting.

A PDF of the process can be found here

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017

Hook Brand vs Gauge

Crochet hooks are not all created equal. Besides being made in different materials (such as wood, metal, or plastic), different brands have a different anatomy. Next to hook size, this is the biggest factor affecting gauge in your crocheted fabric.

More on how hooks differ between brands can be found in this Interweave article

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sewing Car Caddy

If you like to do hand-sewing on vacation, then this portable sewing caddy is what you need to keep all of your essential tools handy.

Sew Many Ways' tutorial will help you make one in an afternoon.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Making a Rolled Hem

The rolled hem foot sews just that, a narrow rolled hem that's pretty on scarves, blouses, dresses, or even curtains.

If you have a lot of hemming to do, this little tool might save you lots of time and effort. It has a little twirly part (called the curl) in front that rolls the fabric raw edge into a hem for you.

A tutorial on how to use the foot can be found here.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Guide to Processing Wool for Roving

Interweave's free ebook on Processing Wool to Make Wool Roving provides instructions on how to properly wash wool to how to flick, hand-, and drumcard wool to how to use minicombs. This free eBook should make the process of preparing raw wool for spinning easy and fun for beginners as well as more experienced spinners looking for tips.

The book can be found here.