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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Knitting in Class on: August 08, 2005 04:01:00 AM
I have to say, I love Craftster. Where else could the most heated discussion of the day focus, not on politics or power games, but on the ettiquette of knitting in class? Wonderful. Whatever your position on this topic is, just take a moment to appreciate the very existence of this discussion.
2  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / CANADA / Re: Any Canadian Indie Shopping sites??? on: August 04, 2005 05:02:18 PM
Also check out http://www.anatomyofaskirt.com --- she's based in Waterloo, Ontario. I believe she's got more links from her page, too!
3  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Knitting in Class on: August 04, 2005 09:22:01 AM
I can certainly see why knitting in class could be considered rude --- which is why I only ever did it in certain instances. I don't think that it's necessarily rude, though. The context is extremely important. With the professor's permission, with the acceptance of my classmates, and with my own active participation in the class, I made sure that the knitting was never a big issue. I'm a very tactile person, with a lot of nervous energy to get rid of; if I hadn't been knitting, I would have been fiddling with something else. Engaging my hands actually helps me engage my brain...

And the proof, as they say, is in the pudding: the highest marks in my undergraduate career were from the classes in which I knit. In fact, in my theory of anthropology seminar, I wrote an exam on Geertzian thick descrption entirely using knitting as my example --- basically, exploring the complex layers of what-do-you-think-I-think-you-think-I-think-I'm doing, and so on. I got a 98%... (This was for the same professor who remembers when all his female classmates, and later students, knit in class. I was riffing on a feminist-renegotiation-of-femininity theme.)

I'm not trying to start a fight. Just trying to explain that what's inappropriate in one situation may still be welcomed in another!
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Knitting in Class on: August 01, 2005 05:56:43 PM
I knit in class too. Not often, though --- I am (or was, since I graduated in June) an an Arts major, focussing on Anthropology and Religious Studies, so most of my courses were heavily lecture-based, and there wasn't much time for knitting in between note-taking!

I had one year-long seminar, though, which was a three-hour stint once a week on Tuesday evenings, and I had to do something to keep myself awake. Our marks were based on our own research and presentations, and we weren't tested on the content of each other's presentations, so the only time note-taking was necessary was if the prof or a fellow student made a point that was directly relevant to our own projects. In other words, it was a perfect knitting course! I mostly knit little dishcloths and scarves, simple things that I could do without needing a pattern or fancy techniques. (I did, of course, make sure I had the prof's permission. He recalled a time when most female students knit in class, as a way of proving that they were feminine even if they were intellectuals, and thought that my feminist knitting angle was an interesting alternative!)

I also found that I could read longer, and get less fidgety (and have fewer munchies!), if I knit something simple while reading. I propped my book open on a table, and knit away while I read. I made a loooooooooooooot of dishcloths that way!
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Islamic Knitting? on: July 29, 2005 09:46:09 AM
Thanks.  There is a bit of a twist to it, like what they call a 'mobius scarf'.  They do it in a very fancy (needlessly complex, if you ask me) way that invovlves casting on just a few stitches on circs then doing some increasing...  The better way to do it, I think, would be flat and then just give it a twist before sewing it into a loop.

Or you could just use circular needles, and give your cast-on row a half-twist before you join and knit into the first stitch. (All the stitches from then on will naturally follow that twist.) Goodness knows, I've done that accidentally enough times when trying to knit a tube!
6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: purses from pant legs! on: July 14, 2005 01:15:48 PM
Happy to see this thread gettin' some action! I'd love to see other people's versions of this idea...

But is there a reason why you flip it upside down to make the bottom of the pant leg the top of the purse?

Simple. Laziness! The bottom hem is already a finished edge, so the ONLY seam that needed sewing was the raw/cut edge that became the bottom of the purse. If I'd used the pant leg the right way up, I'd have had to make a bottom seam AND hem the top. (For the record, I handsewed this at a time when I was away from my sewing machine, so the fewer seams, the better!) Anyway, I was happy to preserve the original hem-stitching, since that's part of what makes the purse so obviously (and, IMHO, enjoyably) reconstructed... Otherwise it's just an ordinary denim bag!
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: ribbon scarf - Tutorial on: June 18, 2005 09:24:16 PM
Thanks, everyone --- glad you like the result. I can't wait to try it out with The Dress!

Thought I'd mention that I bought some beautiful ribbon yarn (can't recall the name of it at the moment, but it's wide, and silky) and used that in the shawl, as well as standard ribbon. I don't think the ribbon yarn is quite as durable, but it's lovely and soft, lightweight and floaty, and you can get a LOT of scarf out of a ball of it. It's a good way of stretching your ribbon supply, and it's not as scratchy/stiff as a lots of ribbon. Just a thought!

Unfortunately i live in the UK and don't know where to get the sulky from, so i'll have to improv (the way only crafty people can).

I had a hard time tracking down the sulky paper (also called solvy paper) in non-online stores too. That's why I ended up using the tear-away interfacing --- it's much easier to find. It's also cheaper, and doesn't involve getting your ribbon wet, and comes in great big bolts that can be cut to length rather than in little packages. I'd still love to see the sulky in action --- or the hospital laundry bags that someone mentioned earlier --- but for now, I'm happy with the tear-away interfacing!
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: ribbon scarf - Tutorial on: June 17, 2005 05:40:16 PM
I've been saying ever since I first saw this thread that I wanted to make one of these scarves as a wrap to wear with my wedding dress. Yesterday, I finally got organized, and made it! I'm thrilled with how it turned out.

I used tear-away interfacing rather than solvy/sulky paper, because it was much more readily available. (Read: I got the tear-away stuff for about $3/m at Fabricland, down the street from my parents' place.) Here's a shot of the ribbons all pinned along the interfacing --- I don't think I've ever used that many pins for a project before!



Once the ribbons were sewn, and the pins removed, I just had to tear away the backing. Easy peasy! And in the end, I was happy not to have to get my beautiful ribbons wet --- I spent almost $100 on gorgeous ribbon, shopping at Mokuba and other trim boutiques in Toronto, since this is to be the showpiece of my wedding ensemble...



Some of the ribbons are solid, some are sheer, and I love the way the textures play together. (Note that the colours are really inaccurate here --- the shawl is mostly ivory, with accents of soft sage-y green, antique gold, and a little bit of lavender. It's not all peachy-pinky as it seems in these pics!)



I also love that this can be worn as a scarf, so it's really flexible --- it can be very formal, or much more relaxed.



(No pics yet of me modelling it with my wedding dress --- the only one around here to take pics of me is my fianc, and he's NOT allowed to see the dress!)
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: An honest question about race on: June 03, 2005 08:12:13 PM
What an interesting debate!

To answer the question you actually asked: of course I'd buy from a site that had models of different ethnic/racial background(s) than myself. I would venture to say that everyone else I know would too, especially those of my generation --- and more specifically, I think the type(s) of people who would be interested in DIY-type merchandise are especially likely to be open-minded about such issues.

But...

I would find it highly unfortunate if all the clothing you sold were size XS only. I'm 5'6", 145 lbs, and there's basically no chance that I'd ever be able to fit anything in that size. It's all well and good to say that the majority of models we see are skinny (they are!), but at the same time, I know that I can walk into most stores with skinny models and mannequins and still find a piece in a size 12, as well as a size 2. If you're ONLY going to sell size XS pieces, I think you'll probably find that a significant portion of your potential customers leave empty-handed --- and don't come back. (If all your knitting patterns are also size XS, and you have no way of working out how to adjust them for larger sizes, then what I've said about clothes counts for the patterns too. I'm not likely to buy a pattern that I have to completely rework, unless it's so incredible and unique that I absolutely must have it, and I can't find an alternative elsewhere.)

That said, I appreciate your position: you can only design items that you can test out on a body (your own or a friend's) and you don't have access to larger bodies for testing patterns on. You're in a bind!

I guess the only thing I can suggest, short of finding a dressmaker's form that you can adjust to various sizes, is that you downplay the importance of clothing and sized items in your business. Accessories are generally size-less, for example. (And even where I can find clothing in my size on-line, I usually won't purchase it because I can't try it on --- whereas I can buy accessories with confidence, knowing that I'm not risking a poor fit or anything.) If you really want to sell clothing, try making some skirts in other sizes: they're the easiest pieces to fit (only the waist measurement really matters!) and to scale up or down for different sizing. Shirts, pants, and dresses are much more tricky to fit, so they'd be harder to make in other sizes than your own.

Phew. This is getting awfully long-winded... Hope it helps!
10  COOKING / Dessert / Re: muffin recipes needed! on: May 26, 2005 04:24:10 AM
Hehe! I'm glad you liked the recipes and the home remedies. The cure for death by lightening has always been close to my heart, because my grandmother was actually struck by lightening once, years before I was born. To my knowledge, they didn't have to resort to cold, salty showers in her case, though!

(In Gail Anderson-Dargatz' novel A Cure for Death by Lightening, the historical cure to which the title refers actually involves turning the victim upside down and dunking him or her in a rain barrel, and again recommends the addition of salt if the water alone isn't adequate. I think I'd prefer the cold shower to the rain barrel...)
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