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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: The woes of buying yarn online on: February 13, 2007 11:27:13 AM
I was going to say that I've NEVER had a problem with buying yarn online, but then I realised that this is not true Sad  When I have bought yarn online, generally I've been fortunate and 'got what I wanted' - BUT, I did buy some 'fingering tweed' - very good quality stuff, in a perfect deep green shade.  When it did arrive, I saw that it had all these flecks of red in it (?) not what it was like in the photograph.  I fear that anything made with this wool will resemble a Christmas card, and that's not what I was hoping for.

One thing I've noticed, however, is that when I've bought from do-it-yourself sellers (in other words, not BIG knitting chains) they tend to photograph exactly what it is that they're selling; they don't use stock photos of the yarn that have been provided by the manufacturer.  So, in these cases, you generally do see what you get.  But that's assuming that this person knows how to point a camera and take a shot.

What I've done is limit myself to a group of about 4 online sellers who've been very reliable for quality and the accuracy of their descriptions.  That's worked out well for me.
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Lace: to knit or to crochet? on: February 13, 2007 09:16:49 AM
Greetings - knit or crochet lace?  It's a good question!  I know that crocheted lace can be easier to 'handle', in the sense that you can see exactly what's happening as you're making it - with knitted lace, you often have to wait until you get to the next row in order to see what the previous stitches have become.

HOWEVER - WOW, there are so many amazing kinds of lace you can create with knit stitches.  I think it's definitely worth a try.  Even if you're used to working with heavy-weight projects, you'll find working with lace to be very rewarding and in some ways easier because you can see your work more clearly as you're going (the stitches are much easier to see, since there are far more 'open' stitches due to the yarn-overs used in lace.)

Best of luck to you, and I think you're going to enjoy working with knit lace.
3  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: More than a cuppa joe on: September 29, 2005 03:24:25 PM
ya, there ought to be a coffee forum... I was thinking that the best coffee I ever had was in Spain.  There, it's strictly cafe con leche, and I didn't see anything particularly special in the preparation... I've found that I can't really get a well made cafe con leche here in the US.  Basically it's just STRONG coffee added to boiled milk, no froth or anything, but you do get a lovely 'milk skin' on the top.  It may be that the milk there was very good, or the coffee particularly good, I dunno.  But ah... wish I could taste that again...

Well you all know - sometimes it's the time and place that makes a cup of coffee really good.  When I go home to see my brother and his wife, and he and I have a cup in the kitchen laughin' and talkin', that cup always tastes fantastic.
4  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: More than a cuppa joe on: September 28, 2005 07:55:43 PM
hey there -
One of the nicest things I've tried... slice a bit of lemon peel directly over the cup and let the bit of rind drop in... the lemon oil will rest on the top and give it a great fragrance and taste too.
5  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Yummy Christmas Treat Recipes Anyone? on: September 28, 2005 05:11:09 PM
I've found that some of the nicest cookies/treats to make usually have the best ingredients in them, so I'd say invest in some really good quality nuts (pistachios, walnuts, cashews) and bake them into a simple shortbread recipe.   I don't usually use a recipe, just take 1 part butter/shortening, 1 and 1/2 parts sugar, and 2 parts flour - add milk to mix, a dash of salt, and an egg if you'd like it a bit richer.  A small bit of baking powder is ok too, but not necessary.  You can chill a 'stick' of the stuff, and lop off 1" pieces and bake them on an oiled pan.  They're dead easy and so damned good.  These are sometimes refered to as 'nougat' cookies, as far as I remember, and they're great to dip in chocolate, or sprinkle with powdered sugar.
6  COOKING / Dessert / recipe for candied crab apples? on: September 28, 2005 05:04:04 PM
Greetings all - it's crabapple season, and I will collect some from the high spots in Mission Hill area in Boston - so, does ANYONE know how to make candied crabapples???  I've had them years ago when my mother would serve turkey at thanksgiving - they were bright red, and I think they were (?) pickled with sugar and possibly vinegar?  But I'm not sure, and I can't find a recipe on the web... anyone remember how to do this?

Thanks!
J
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Re: sewing a cover for a beloved and ugly chair on: September 28, 2005 04:45:26 PM
greetings group - (gingery, nice pic of Bjork there!) -
Well, it's DONE - and I will post some after photos - I'll see if I can get a before...

I ended up doing a combination of upholstery and slip-covering... the chair was more complicated than I'd imagined; fussy kind of arms, really nice wood work running along the bottom, the back goes WAY in toward the bottom, hence the problem with sewing to fit.  BUT, I leared a great lesson:  You CAN rip out a seam if you sew it wrong.  Yes, yes...

So I did make a patter with some old cloth (thank for the hint) for Part of the chair... the other parts I had to do by fitting with pins - it was just too complicated to do a pattern first.  I fitted the arms/sleeves and the back, and 'upholstered' the bottom against the wood frame because I did want to preserve that.  I first gave the wood a decent coat of paint (it'd been previously painted, so I didn't imagine I'd find mahogany underneath...)

I ran into a few problems with doing tucks and fitting... alot of taking the cover on and off and on and off... at times I had no idea what I was sewing, it was so huge and confusing.

I did discover my problem with getting the machine right - the BOBBIN!!  I'd threaded it completely wrong - such a simple thing - I didn't know that the thread was pulled THROUGH the little slit and then that brought it up to the top - I thought you had to thread it - so there was NO tension at all.  But I learned!

Soon I'll post the after pics -
I'm just amazed by the results - who'd have thought that this throw-away side chair from the '60's would become a regal Chinese Emperor's Throne over a weekend!
8  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Suggest New Boards and New Features / Re: Idea for a new Board - 'Backward Progress' - re-learning methods from the past on: September 19, 2005 05:00:18 PM
Glory - Wow - thank you for that info... seriously.  I know a place in Connecticut (where I grew up) where I can get shag-bark hickories and also butternuts (although I've been told the butternuts are very hard to get the meat out -...) I know what you mean about the sewing... I broke down and ordered a singer - not too expensive, but enough to not have to take it apart to know what I'm doing...

Patriuat-... heh HEH!  I know I know - I want to know how things WORK!  I feel that if I know how something works, it'll all be easier to understand... like the time I finally read up about yeast and how it actually does make something rise...

thanks to you both, and my friend who commented about the paint (this will save me trouble.)

See??? we SHOULD have a board like this... :-)

j/Boston
9  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Suggest New Boards and New Features / Re: Idea for a new Board - 'Backward Progress' - re-learning methods from the past on: September 18, 2005 05:30:08 PM
GLory - heh heh heh heh... very cute... as per the nuts, I get the feeling you've never tried to harvest black walnuts, eh?  They come off the tree with enormous husks that contain a terribly dark and poisonous dye - you take ages to rips the hulls off, then you have the nuts covered in a kind of slime... then you dry them for a while... my question was: at what point are they OK to eat?  I couldn't find out if these nuts are supposed to be aged - because when they're eaten 'fresh' they taste gamey and awful...  For two years in a row I tried to find out from locals when it was best to pick them, when was it best to rip off the hulls, how long should they age, and none of them knew how to do it...

As per the electric machine, I had a thousand questions such as 'how does one wind a bobbin' 'how does one make sure the bobbin thread is coming up through the bottom - ie, how the heck does the machine actually DO that?' 'How do you adjust tension without screwing up the tension hooks', 'how do you increase or decrease the size of stiches' , etc, etc, etc...

So as you can see, I have a million questions....
;-)

J
10  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Suggest New Boards and New Features / Idea for a new Board - 'Backward Progress' - re-learning methods from the past on: September 17, 2005 11:40:15 PM
Greetings all,
You gotta love Craftster, and there's tons of forums here, indeed.

On forum that I think may be an interesting addition would be the 'Backward Progress' idea mentioned in the headline - essentially, a board for those who are trying to relearn age-old processes/methods/material/knowledge that is sadly becoming lost.  I'll give you a few examples of questions I had recently:

Harvesting wild nuts from trees - how do you DO this? 
Operating an early electric sewing maching - pre-computerchip - the basics
Food preserving techniques before factory canning/bottling
Understanding all the kinds of sheeps wool, and what properties each has
Finding sources for out-moded or out-of-date supplies
Painting over old paint - watching for lead in paints - can laytex cover enamel?
What were the traditional sources of tallow and how did that become transformed into soap/candles?
extracting essential oil from plants in the wild / at home

I like the idea that this kind of forum could handle topics of ALL kinds, and I also think it would encourage many shared ideas from the past - such as 'My mom used to....' or 'My grandfather had a way to do that,...'

What are the thoughts on this?

thanks for reading,
john/boston
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