Saturday, April 30, 2011

A New Find, Old Sewing Machine.

I love getting free things and this was one of them.
A New Home electric sewing machine! Model NHR.

I got it through the free group online. It came with a button hole attachment, a bunch of bobbins, a box of rotary attachments and the original instruction book.
The Lady I got it from was just so sweet. Thank you again Doris!

This machine is made out of metal and looks like it is good quality. But best of all, it works. I do have other machines, one which I use as a computer desk (shame on me) which I will have to get replace parts for and a new power cord for, and then 2 newer ones. One of the new ones needs to be repaired and the other is confusing with all the new technology. It may take me awhile to figure it out.
I wanted a machine that I could use sooner without having to take a class for it, and one that could deal with heavy fabric like denim and light leather. I hope this fits the bill.

I have sewing projects piled high and I can't wait to get started. Having more than one machine means that I can adjust them differently for using a variety of fabrics without having to change out needles and adjust tensions. Plus if there was a long term power outage I could easily rig the 2 older ones into treds (pedal powered)
I am looking forward to getting the next generation going on making their own clothing as well.

The Little Yarn To Work With

I found cute patterns for making little snowflakes. I know that I am not being very "seasonal" here as the snow has finally just melted for me.

I picked up some Bedspread Weight Cotton Thread (size 10)
and a Steel crochet hook No. 8 (1.25 mm)

The patterns were fairly simple to follow and some were very fast to make. I discovered that my eyes are getting old and I need my reading glasses to work with such a small hook and thin thread. It was however another one of those projects that I would only do for my own home decorating or to give to family or friends as this is no get rich quick thing. The snowflakes are a good practice for beginners using this thread. Once you get used to working with it you can incorporate this work into other pieces like shirt lacing.

After I crocheted them, I put plastic wrap on a piece of cardboard. I mixed water and white glue (50-50) and poured into a zip top baggy. Then I put the flakes in the glue baggy and let them get soaked. I took the wet flakes out and secured them to the cardboard with pins in the shape I wanted. Then I sprinkled some clear glitter on top and lightly tapped it in. When they were dry I unpinned them. You can hang these with an 8 pound fishing line. It's one way to reuse your fishing line when you have to re-line your reel. Last year I caught a five pound bass! Monster of a fish for me since I was only fishing for perch! Okay, that got to be a bit off topic.

Coming soon, Working with Knots.

Thank you for stopping by!
Dee Dee

Friday, April 29, 2011

Jiffy Lace Scarf.

This was a new project for me so I used the same yarn as the socks, "natura Advantage".
I have never done "Jiffy Lace" work before so I wanted to do a practice piece.
The pattern came from an old booklet I got from a thrift store. It looks to be from the early 1970s. It takes a 35 knitting needle and a US K hook. It really should not be named "Jiffy" since it really takes some time to learn how to get this going and it needs more attention than other projects as I can almost knit and crochet blindfolded. This is not a pattern for sitting down and working on while watching the telly.

The Yarn.
Not very soft but easy to work with.
The Pattern.
Easy to learn, not very addictive, a little tedious, surprisingly nice to look at and probably not a functional piece as it most likely won't be very warm.

For this you crochet in sets of 5. Then pick up the stitches onto the large knitting needle like you would a gusset. Then work with the crochet hook, 5 loops off the needle and 5 single crochet stitches inside of the five loops, then move to the next 5 loops and repeat. Then repeat with picking up stitches on the knitting needle.
Once you understand it, it is easy but it needs attention.
The yarn again does not make a soft piece and most likely won't be a mid winter item, but is very lovely and fashionable for fall and spring weather. Truly not your typical store bought scarf.

If you would like more help with this pattern please leave a comment and I will try to help you.
Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee


The yarn I used for this pair of socks is "natura Advantage". It is 100% deluxe acrylic 3-ply sport weight. I used a size 3 set of double pointed needles.
I cast on 48 stitches and worked in the round in a knit 2, pearl 2 ribbing pattern until I have the desired length and start the heel flap.
For the gusset I did a quick drop down to accommodate a thinner ankle. It is very similar to how the toe shaping is done. The rest of the sock is a stockinette stitch with decreasing stitches by knitting 2 together or slipping and passing over stitches. If you know how to do this you can make socks easily.

Critiquing the yarn.
It is not really a very soft yarn. The end product is a sock that fits well, is thicker than store bought socks, isn't very comfortable and may not be all that warm for the winter.
I also made a scarf with this yarn because I have come to the conclusion that it is good for practicing new projects and stitches on. It would also make a nice afghan. Maybe one with delicate stitches and just for show.

Socks are a project that will take a few days to make when knitting by hand. They are definitely not a beginner's project but you don't need to to be an expert to make a pair. I have picked up some wool yarn to make some really high quality socks to make soon. I am just looking for that perfect pattern for a good knee high sock.

Thank you for checking out my post today. Please feel free to comment.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Free Pattern for Wash Cloth

If you can cast on, knit, purl,cast off and count, you can make this!

Cast on 40
Knit 5 rows
K3, P to last 3 stitches K3
knit next row
repeat last 2 rows.
Row 10 Then K3 P4 *K1 P1 until 7 stitches left then P4 k3.
K8 *P1 K1 until 7 stitches left. K7.
K3 P5 *K1 P1 until 7 stitches left P4 K3.
Row 13 K7 *P1 K1 until 8 stitches remain. K8.
Repeat rows 10 -13 9 times.
K3 P until last 3, K3
K across.
Repeat last 2 rows.
Knit 4 rows
Cast off last row and weave in the ends.

This is a simple pattern that I made to help improve my own basic knitting skills. The end result is a very nice wash clothe that makes a great gift for kitchen or bath. You may not want to give them away!
I use 100% cotton yarn for these.
This is a perfect pattern for those that are just starting out in the world of knitting!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Big Disappointment .

I often times receive skeins of yarn from people that they just don't want anymore. This was one. I thought it was a full skein, but I was wrong. It came with a pattern to make a diagonal scarf so that was my goal. The pattern was easy and the yarn I would rank and "good" in ease to work with. Even though it is fairly thin, on a larger needle (size 11 US) it was nice to work with.

This yarn comes from France. The label says, artful yarns, Broadway. 59% acrylic, 28% mohair, 6% polyester, 4% metallic, 3% nylon. Color 05, lot 009.

I was a little skeptical starting this as the yarn did not look that great, but as I progressed I really started liking it more and more. I liked the way the diagonal lines began to form. Then I found I did not have enough yarn to complete the scarf.
I went online and located the store it was purchased at and today we drove 1 hour 10 minutes to get there. What I found was that not only did they no longer have this yarn in stock, but the company in France no longer makes it.

It was an expensive yarn at $11.50 per skein, which I was willing to buy one just to finish this scarf. Instead I found disappointment and a new thing to blog about soon.

I suppose what I can do is reduce the pattern and make a thinner scarf which would be more of a show piece than a functional scarf, however, now I have another easy pattern that I can use should I find a suitable yarn.

I really did not expect it to turn out this nice and when it did it made me wish I could have finished it. It was one of those patterns that I have questioned how it would look because there was no reference picture on the instructions. So the moral is, don't assume that you can't make it or it won't look very good just because you can't see it. Some of these patterns are great!

Thank you for stopping by. Leave a comment or question if you like.
Dee Dee