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31  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Celtic knots & Irish dance dresses *lots of Qs!* on: June 27, 2010 10:33:47 AM
Right, prepare for a long thread, filled with a lot of questions.

Two years ago, my sister left her current Irish dance troop, because they were horrible. Nothing was official and the main purpose of the troop's leader was to get as much money as possible. After looking to all our options, we (our family) decided to start our 'own' troop. We are a smaller troop under an official school here in Belgium, called Taradance. Many of our dancers are training for their grades too.
After almost two years of dancing together and trying to get ourselves organised, things are starting to look up. We did a pancake afternoon and earned a lot of money from that, plus, we have another jig in August. Things are going great, so great even, that we are thinking about proper dresses. We have plain black dresses, and we just spiced them up with some colour for jigs. But we want something that is truly ours...

So... Recently, exams over and waiting for the summer holiday to start, my sister took up some sewing, and she has made some great drafts for dresses. With an old sheet she was even able to make a decent example. The idea is simple... It would be a bodice, very corset-like, that can be laced in the back, just to make it tighter. Plus a skirt underneath. One of my father's colleague's is a seamstress, but nevertheless, I want to ask your opinion too... So, unto question 1, what would be the best fabric? The idea of the bodice and the skirt seperately is for the washing up. Washing just the bodice would be easier... *my mum's job :p* The fabric of the bodice has to match the sleeves... Now, the sleeves are a bit special. My sister wants something see-through, nice flowing. Not attached to the shoulders, but to the armpits of the bodice... *does that make sense? I'll look for pictures later!*
So, the fabric has to match the special sleeves, it has to be washable and it has to be pleasant for the skin. After all, we dance in it for quite some time...

Next part... We would make something vest-like for our boys. Very simple. To spice it up, and to make it match out outfits (despite the obvious colour-latch of course) my sister wants some celtic inspired embroidery. On both the dresses and the clothes of the boys. I can see why, and it would be really pretty. But expensive too, no? To be honest, I haven't got a clue... The kind of embroidery we would need (that I personally love) and that would present the best is the satin stitch embroidery. I have never stitched anything like that, but just by the look of it, I'm guessing this is extremely time consuming. I mean, our troop is still growing, and there are up to 15 dancers just now. This all leads to an awful lot of questions... Here I go...
1) How can I best practice this satin stitch? Are there small packages out there, or do I just buy yarn and fabric (what kind of fabric?)? This would be just for me, maybe for smaller embroidery, if ever needed! For example, on our black dresses, but that's some kind of stretch fabric.
2) I know this kind of embroidery can be done with a machine. Does it have to be a special sewing machine? Or can you just use a regular one too?
3) I can imagine we cannot do this ourselves. How expensive will professional embroidery be? Anyobody out there who does it? Or maybe you have done it already?

I think I have forgotten half of the questions I wanted to ask, but I'll be back soon. I'll try to make a picture of the bodice that my sister has already produced. Ow, I do have a picture of other crafty work with did before.

I'm on the right :p. We made the sashes and the hairbands. This isn't the colour scheme we want to stick with...

Other brilliant idea. Blue stockings (over the flesh coloured ones, ieuw) and a blue shrug!

Peeps, I would to hear c&c, we need it so much!!
32  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Can I avoid this? [yarn twisting as you work] on: February 08, 2010 05:15:55 AM
I've been fascinated by filet crochet ever since I started crocheting. My mum loved it, and my cousin made a birth cloth for my brother, in filet. I'm slowly getting used to the process, but the yarn just doesn't want to co-operate. In the beginning, everything works out fine. But the more yarn I pull from my ball, the curlier it gets. Until it is all twisted, and I have to unwind (funny faces on the train and all that). Even with the unwinding, it makes my work sometimes ugly, because it's twisted. I'm crocheting something for a swap (can't tell you exactly what) and it keeps happening. It annoyes the hell out of me, to the point where I refuse to continue. I made a picture, to make it clear. I just hope someone knows a little crochet trick...

--> You can see the yarn and the twisted part. This is only the beginning. If I do not unwind at that point, it gets messy.

33  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / Where to post this? on: November 27, 2009 01:49:20 AM
Hello everyone! I apologize in advance if I have misplaced this topic. I'm just unsure if I can post it here, or if I should make a Helpdesk ticket right away.

Right, here it goes...

My parents collect nativity scenes. Ever since I was little (I'm 23 now). It started out with two scenes, one in blue Venetian glass, and another one from France. We try to collect special scenes, from all over the world. Currently, we have close to (or even over) 80, and we just bought three extra scenes, plus a gift for my dad (Habba nativity scene, in wood). I want to make this collection grow!
And that's where Craftster comes in. There are member of Craftster all over the world, so I want to give it a go and ask everyone here, if they are willing to help. But I have no idea where to post this kind of topic. Or if it'll be appropriate, of course... I will post pictures of several scenes in the thread when I have a place, for sure. There are some nativity scenes that we LOVE to show off.

So, can anyone tell me where this question thread would fit?
34  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Painting the stairs on: September 26, 2009 03:27:10 AM
Well, technically, not really the stairs... Let me explain myself.

We live in a pyramid shaped house (I'm not kidding) and I sleep in the attic. The stairs to my room are in my sister's room. Not a problem there, we love each other dearly. This past summer, we have redecorated her room. The last paint job was over ten years old and the colours were not really suited for a 17-year old (baby pink and pastel yellow). The new colours: Deep pink, flashy green and even more flashy orange. And yes, it works damn well.
The staircase is a bit of a problem. We have tried to make it look elfish, a couple of years ago, but failed miserably. So made her a promise that I would paint/draw a Celtic knot on the side of the staircase. We are both Irish dancers, hence the knot.

A couple of weeks ago, I've drawn the inside of the knot. This part will be erased (I work with pencil for now). I'm ready to start the outline if the knot, the part that will remain and has to be seen. Dad has adviced me NOT to do this in pencil. According to him it's close to impossible paint over crayon.
I'm a bit stuck now... I can finish the knot in a couple of years, but I'm not allowed to use pencil. The general idea was to design the knot unto the wood and pain it afterwards. Should I do the outline directly in paint? And what about painting straight lines then? Or is there something else I can use?

I really want to finish this... And yes, I'll post pictures!
35  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / How to become a good/better crocheter? on: September 17, 2009 05:20:32 AM
I learnt how to crochet was I was about 8 or nine years old. I grew up in a household where my mother used to make us clothes and my nan was an amazing knitter. When I was little, she was always knitting in her sofa, so incredibly fast, talking to her sons and grandchildren in the mean time. Over the years, her eye sight got worse and worse... She still knits, though she cannot see it anymore. She simply counts every stitch.
My first crochet work ended up as a (famous) triangle. I crocheted very tight and I missed a couple of stitches along the way too. This blankie eventually ended up as a cloak for that same bear...  Roll Eyes

Two or three years ago, it seemed like the world plotted against me to start crocheting again. Nan, the fervent knitting lady, also had a craft store when we were little. We used to play there all the time, though it was forbidden and we loved to rearrange the yarn. *those were the days* From that store, closed down years ago, she gave me an old book, about knitting and crocheting. She has still has loooooads of yarn and wool from that old store, plus needles in all the right sizes.
Together with the book, some girls form uni approached me with the question to start our own girl 'party'. We would come together every Wednesday afternoon to knit, crochet or embroider. After all these years, Purl & Stitch, our little group is standing strong and we stimulate each other to try out new patterns and stuff like that.

Sadly, my mother cannot help me with my crocheting. She actually avoids it, because if she tries to correct my work, she complains she gets tempted to start her own work again. Odd, I know...
Now, I've tried a lot, from the book, from old and new magazines, I worked with all sorts of yarn, yada yada yada... But my work is never consistent. I have made several flowers, and mostly, the work out just fine. When something goes wrong in that pattern, it's not so difficult to start over. I have tried several squares too, including the granny squares and I LOVE those patterns. Getting down to something more complicated, that seems to be impossible. I've seen several awesome hat patterns on the forum so far and I'm dying to try them out...
But I'm a bit reluctant to buy brand new yarn, because, what if I fail... So far, I have worked with left overs from nan's store. Plus, a hat is a very differtent technique... So far, I have tried to crochet a simple ball for over 10 times, and I still can't do it...

So, how can I improve my work? What are easy patterns to improve the crocheting? It's never easy to see if a pattern will be easy or complicated... Any ideas, tips or tricks?
36  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Introduce Yourself / Another member... on: September 15, 2009 05:55:47 AM
Hi everyone!

I'm Laoghaire, I live in Belgium, more precisely in the Dutch speaking part of the country and I'm crazy about all sorts of crafts. I'm 23 and I recently graduated from university as a Master Two Languages: Dutch-English. These English communities always present a certain challenge language-wise, certainly a craft forum. I hope you'll bare with me... *feel free to correct any mistakes too, btw*

I'm an avid reader and writer. Crocheting is my main craft. Two years ago I rolled back into it thanks to a couple of girls at uni. We now have our own craft group, Purl & Stitch and we try to meet as often as we can. Out of the eight girls in the group, seven of us are teachers, including me. Apart from reading, writing and crafting (I do like cross-stitch and I'm super fascinated by quilts), I also like (historical) fashion, listening to music (from Metal to Folk), and collecting Playmobil. I also am a Witch/Wicca/Pagan (whatever name you prefer) and I like to coorporate those aspects in my crafts.

So far, I have not crocheted that much. Being the poor student that I am, I cannot buy that many yarn. Luckily my nan had a yarn store, and after closing it down, all the left-overs (bag and bags and bags) are mine now. Sadly, a lot of the yarn is very old and the thread often breaks (ever noticed that it's often the colour yellow) when I'm working.

My last project? A fairy cross-stitch pattern and an ugly blankie for the three cats. Want to find out more? Just ask... I thought I'd seen some big forums by now, but this one looks amazing. can't wait to peek around!

Just asking... Am I the only one who's struggling with posting? It keeps flashing up and down and I can't see what I'm writing right now...  Undecided
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