Monday, July 27, 2009
I thought patchwork is patchwork, right? Not so. I just learn that what the British refers to as patchwork, the American calls it English Paper Piecing. American patch-work is generally machine-stitched together in geometrical blocks. English patchwork uses small patches such as hexagons and is usually worked by hand.
My patchwork is of the English variety. I know, on and off…I have been working on it over the years, sooooooooooo s-l-o-w. I picked it up again and made good progress though over the weekend.
I actually did a calculation and worked out that I roughly need 730 pieces. I have done 157 patches, just 573 more hexagons to go…not long now. One can always hope, right?
Friday, July 24, 2009
Too hot to play with wool right now, so I am giving knitting a break, done some sewing instead. Made two sets of night wear, good for this hot weather.
Simplicity 9505 (F & H)
McCall’s 4956 (C & D)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
1: It's a good idea to have a piece of scrap fabric for each machine.
Whenever the machine is not in use, place the fabric between the presser foot and the needle plate and rest the foot. This prevents metal rubbing against metal and helps to prolong the life of the feed-dog teeth.
I turned the smaller mat to show the right side of the material. The right side touches the table and the machine sits on the wrong side.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
KnitPicks offers 40% discount on all their books. I purchased “Knitting in the Old Way” from them which is cheaper than Amazon. I came across KnitPicks summer book sale by chance, so glad I did because I managed to buy the books I wanted at a really good price. Their book sale ends August 17.
YesAsia has a good selection of Japanese and Chinese craft/crochet books and their prices are nothing like what some ebay sellers are charging. The nice thing about YesAsia is that they offer free international shipping once your order is over US$39. Right now, they have a free shipping promotion for everything. It is air mail too, so it’s pretty fast.
I simply couldn’t resist when I saw this doggie book. It is written in Japanese though. Japanese language incorporates many Chinese characters so I read all the Chinese writing, but that’s only a small part. To overcome this language problem, I first scan the pattern instruction using HP Document Viewer into editable Japanese text, then copy and paste it onto GoogleTranslate so that I could read it in English. The rough translation plus the crochet charts printed on the book really help.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
After I moved to the U.S. I started using 5 double pointed knitting needles. Go with the flow, I thought, they come in sets of fives here.
Then I came across a discussion forum in Ravelry about knitting in the rounds with magic loops…Magic? I was intrigued.
It’s high time I learn a new knitting technique. I picked out my pattern for a pair of socks and cast on, knitting from the cuff down.
When it came to the parts where no shaping is involved, I was so tempted to move the socks to double pointed needles because I know I could do the knitting faster, but I persisted with this magic loops method.
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Materials: Double Knitting Yarn
Patterns: Berry Season (page 32) from 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes
Monday, July 6, 2009
Among my craft projects, I have three projects that are of the elephant size category: a patchwork, a table cloth and a spider wrap.
I first saw the spider pattern back in the 80's. It was far too complicated, and the size of the projcet was too overwhelming, so I carefully removed it from the magazine and safely stored it away…I thought one day.After I had purchased my first spinning wheel I started spinning the yarn required for this project. I showed the pattern to my husband but realised he doesn’t like spiders at all. So I gave up the bed cover but thought a spider shawl would still be nice. Over the years I kept spinning the yarn for the spider wrap, but somehow I always ended up using the yarn for something else.
It’s like I have a mental block, the shawl has become such a big elephant task, I have been putting it off and putting it off….well no more. May this year, I cast on the spider wrap. Hurrah! I have just finished my first spider. If I finish this in 2009 I might even enter it into the “Grand Prize - Epic FO” challenge. On Ravelry the finish-or-frog-it group issued a year-long challenge where you pick a project that you simply can’t frog, but that you’ve ignored for too long. This is a challenging pattern that requires dedication, concentration and determination.