I have a big birthday at the end of the year, I am already being asked what I would like. I think I would like a big cake and a weekend away, but in crafting terms I think I would like an overlocker.
This is the tricky bit. do I really need an overlocker? will I use it? and which one to buy?
After a quick internet search I found an article with lots of information “Should I buy an overlocker?” but i still am battling with the idea of having something i will not use.
I can live with out it, and use my normal machine, but it is a big birthday and it warrants something special. Dilemma
Let me know what you think
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa
This quote made me think about why I make craft items to give to other people.
I make for a hobby, because I teach and I love creating new things from lots if bits of fabric and buttons.
However making an item is the first step, what do you do with the item when it is finished?
It is not very often I make things for my self. I knit and crochet for family and charity, fabric bags are made as presents, and I have hundreds of projects that are not finished.
When i make something as a present i think of the person i will give it to, will they appreciate it is handmade? some people do and will care for the item and others will not. I think it is difficult to make items that others will like or want, but it doesn’t stop me making.
I will continue to make things all my life.
The Making of lace spans hundreds of years and before mechanisation was all hand made. I make bobbin lace on a pillow and every year i go to the lace makers fair in Birmingham.
I make Bobbin lace for the love of the process, and the finished effect. It is time consuming and fiddly at times, but not as difficult as you would think.
At any one time you will only use 4 pairs of bobbins, even though there may be 60 pairs on the pillow.
The other ways of making lace, tatting, knitting and crochet, all produce good results but very different types and thickness.
if you want to have a go at making your own lace I would recommend you go an a course to learn. pillow lace has a lot of set up steps and equipment, whereas knitting and crochet you just need to be able to read a pattern.
Have a go and find out for yourself how rewarding it is.
I love knitting, but talking to fellow crafter’s I find some don’t know how to read a ball band or how to correct the tension when they are knitting.
At the beginning on the year I ran a workshop on knitting, and covered these two basic knitting facts.
Understanding a Ball Band
Also on the ball band there could be the measurement for the tension square that the wool will knit to, and most patterns will tell you the tension square measurement.
Why is it important?
By knitting a tension square you ensure your knitting will be the correct size, and you will have enough yarn to complete the project.
For years I knit really tight, and now I knit really loose (thanks to my Mom giving me cotton to knit with. I ended up so tight on the needles I couldn’t move the stitches).
So if you knitting doesn’t turn out to be the right size, knit a tension square.
For double knitting 22 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches square on 4mm needles.
If the square is bigger repeat the square smaller needles and check measurements again.
If smaller increase the size of you needles and knit another square.
By reading the ball band correctly and knitting a tension square, your knitting will be the correct size and fit correctly to the measurements on the pattern, plus you will not run out of wool.
The best thing about crafting is sharing what you make and learn. And the best way of doing that to to join a group.
There are lots of group all over the place. Start by looking in the crafting magazines, or the local library. You will find local groups, some which are just for knitting, some for sewing, some for everything.
There are on line groups like www.ravelry.com which is dedicated to knitting, and quick search will result in many more.
My Mom runs such a group (or 4) she plans projects every 6 weeks, and the rest of the time you can do what you like. she is there to help and guide. I usually join in when I can and when I have a large project that need help.
If you can’t commit to every week or month, some craft shops run drop in sessions, or alternative go on a workshop, crafting day, or join the crafting sessions that are run at the large craft shows.
Joining a group of like minded people is exciting and very rewarding. you will learn something, be inspired and have a good time. and if not there will probably be a cup of coffee for you to enjoy.
What are you waiting for? be inspired and make new friends.
Interfacing, the word is used a lot today to describe plugging an electrical gadget into you computer.
But in crafting terms it is a product used for stiffening fabric.
There are different types depending on what finish you what on the item you are making. For example, a bag needs to be stiff, so you would use heavy interfacing. but for a collar of a blouse made for shear fabric only a lightweight is needed.
There are also different colours, so a dark fabric would have a dark interfacing.
There is also sew in and iron on.
And there are lots of specialist interfacing.
The best thing to do to navigate the variety and range is to look at the pattern you are creating, and buy what is suggested.
I also keep on hand medium weight interfacing as it is a good all-rounder for moth projects.