I usually like the look of "fleck" yarns (yarns with little slubs or strands of different colored fibers in them to make a tweedy look), but I have almost no experience with them. How do these type yarns hold up to washing? Do they shed? Would they be unsafe in something meant for a toddler to wear?
I was up at an ungodly hour of the morning crocheting shamrocks (because it was faster than making the "Hug Me, I'm Irish" shrinky dink pendant I'd also put off making) and they're fine, but they've made me wonder: Can you stiffen yarn projects with starch or glue the way you can thread projects? This is probably a very basic question to you experienced crocheters, but I don't know. Also, if you can use glue, would it affect the color of non-white yarns?
Back in the nineteen-teens, there was a series of children's how-to books that put its lessons in the form of stories about a girl named Mary Frances. One of these, from 1918, was The Mary Frances Knitting and Crocheting Book. It has been re-issued by more than one publisher in recent years and you can read it for free on the Internet Archive. It's mostly charming, but it has some problems as a how-to book, especially in that a lot of yarncrafting terminology has changed. Now there's a 100th anniversary (of the series, I guess, not this individual book) edition that is supposed to update the book to include modern names for yarn and modern tool sizing. It also has resized the patterns to fit contemporary 18" dolls, rather than the dolls the book was originally for. I'm not affiliated in any way with this, I'm just weirdly curious about it. If anyone here has read it, I would enjoy hearing any and all thoughts on the updating. Or if you could point me to a review of it, that'd be good too.
The Mary Frances books, if you've never heard of them, were an early twentieth-century series of how-to books for children; some have been reprinted or are available at the Internet Archive for free. Anyway, The Mary Frances Sewing Book and The Mary Frances Knitting and Crocheting Book have patterns for dolls. (Here's a review of those two.) Now someone has released 100th anniversary editions, that are supposed to have the patterns resized to fit modern 18" dolls and the old knitting and crochet terms updated to modern terminology. I saw these reprintsadvertised on YouTube. (Not affiliated, yada yada...) I can't tell much from Amazon's Look Inside feature and there are no detailed reviews. Has anyone here tried these new editions? I'd really like to see some reviews on how the updates work.
I have a nephew on the way and am dipping into my stash for knitted goodies, but I was thinking of buying some blue baby yarn. Wal-mart had pretty baby blues in Lion Brand Pound of Love and Bernat Sport (also Bernat Softee Baby, but I've heard the quality of Softee Baby has gone downhill the last couple of years)--does anyone know which would be better? Would you recommend something else? Locally, I'm limited to Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Hancock's brands.
Most of my experience with baby yarns is looking at it and saying, "I wish that came in good colors."
Maybe I'm late to this, but for anyone who doesn't know, the first two seasons of Knit & Crochet Today are available to watch online. I've only watched a few episodes, but it's not a bad show: I'm thinking of making the Tunisian belt I saw on one episode and the segment with the Leisure Arts founder was interesting enough I wanted it to be a lot longer.
I just accidentally came across a blog that is or was running a series of posts called Sewing for Any Size, that tries to provide some help for making basic clothes to your measurements or fixing clothes you already have. I haven't tried any of it and doubt I will anytime soon, but given the ongoing difficulty so many have in finding good plus-size clothing (or even patterns, sometimes), I thought I would pass the link along in case it can help anyone. Here's the Sewing Index and here's posts with the sewing label.
Long story short, I'm wondering which Wal-marts in MS still have their fabrics & crafts departments. Right now, I'm most curious about Wal-marts in or near Meridian or Newton, but I would be interested in other places as well.
Here's some I know, for anyone else interested.
Hattiesburg: The one on Highway 49 doesn't have one any more and the one on Highway 98 is currently undergoing a remodel and will lose theirs. (So there may be some clearance bargains, if you're there on the right day.)
Picayune: Lost theirs.
Laurel: Had one the last time I visited, but that was over a year ago.
Petal: Someone told me they still had one, but I haven't actually visited.
This is partly just idle curiosity, but what would you make with the Bernat glow-in-the-dark yarn? My husband saw it on clearance in Michaels and bought a skein for me to make him something with. It's 72 yards (66m) of worsted weight yarn, in a pale yellow. Using it for stripes on a hat would be the easiest thing, but that seems pretty boring. Same thing with a center stripe down a scarf knit lengthwise.
Much as I hate to knit a hat flat and have to sew it up, an intarsia design centered on the front of a hat would make thrifty use of the glow yarn and put the design all on one side so it's easy to charge up under a lamp. My first intarsia idea, graphing the Green Lantern symbol, won't work because it just seems wrong to make GL stuff with yellow yarn. I'm not wild about anything else I've thought of; I'll probably just do a skull.
But I'm curious about what other people would do. A search of Craftster didn't turn up much other than this cute little dog sweater, but I'm sure people must have other ideas. Especially if you can get it on clearance now.
I've heard a few people say they use fabric glue when they tuck in the ends of yarn. I'm giving afghans for Christmas this year and I wouldn't mind a little extra insurance against ends coming loose and poking out; I'd just poke it back in if it were me, but two of the people I'm giving to are non-handy and one of them is someone I'm waging a slow, convert-to-thinking-homemade-items-are-good attack on. It's too late for the afghans I've done already, but I still have one or two to go that I could try it on.
Any advice on this? Does it really work better than just crocheting over and/or weaving in? Are any brands of fabric glue better than others? Any brands that are so bad they should be avoided entirely? And is fabric glue safe for babies' blankets?