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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Newbie q: is there EASY software that will convert a hand-drawing for a machine? on: July 05, 2014 11:54:14 PM

I realize I probably sound ridiculous... oh well!  Roll Eyes  Oh and also, I don't understand a lot of the words and embroidery jargon so when I've googled in search of this answer, I don't get very far!

I'm considering buying an embroidery-only machine, after no luck of trying to figure out how to decently hand-embroider (from books and youtube).  Even called around and there appear to be no teachers in my town to teach me for money!  Crazy.  It may not help that I'm left-handed, I don't know.

Anyway, in this case at least, I'm more interested in the end-result as opposed to the process (e.g. more quickly making gifts for multiple people, which takes time, as opposed to the slower, zen experience of going into the zone during the homemade process) if that makes sense.  I have other things for said "zen" experience e.g. knitting, playing instruments, etc.

All that said, I'm not super happy about the idea of making embroidered gifts based on other people's designs, within reason.  I'd really like to be able to "write" (embroider) short sentences for example onto fabric that will be cut and appliqued onto something like a pillow, but using my own handwriting so to speak.  Especially when I think of giving something like that to my children.  I'd basically like to cheat but without losing that personal touch (the style of my own handwriting) without it taking as long as hand-embroidering would!  Same with drawings/designs although frankly I'm not to that point yet.

So, I'm wondering if there's extremely simple software out there (particularly Mac-friendly - or friendly enough) that will allow me to hand-draw or hand-write onto a piece of paper (or digital screen?) and then will convert it to a digitized image that can be transferred into an embroidery machine WITHOUT my having to delve into the technical, preparatory aspects of the digitization.  In other words I'd love to find software that will take what I've drawn (via scanner?) and not ask too many questions of me, for a beginner's level at least.  E.g. I'll say the size I want it to be and what type of thread I want to use or how wide I want the font to be maybe (?) and it will do the rest - or at least offer a simple version with the option of growing into more details and options withint the program later maybe.

Is there such simple, rudimentary, intuitive, automatic software out there for beginners??  Can I have my cake and eat it too???

2  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / New knitter - Will I EVER get better at seeing mistakes in time/fixing them?! on: November 25, 2012 02:06:10 PM
I've been knitting for a few weeks and do it a lot (I could start a whole thread on what the draw is - what the attraction might be - and how addiccting it is)!  But I keep screwing up.  Slipped stitches, crossed stitches, accidental increases even while knowing how to start the row properly (though I think I might be getting better in that regard), etc.

What's the most frustrating is that I am not usually able to stop the mistake in process - or sometimes when I see it in process I don't even know how to go back to fix it even though it just happened!  And then of course sometimes I see the mistake after the fact - not just in process.  Ugh!  I have friends who just grab my work and go "oh, yeah, here" and then they go bibbity bobbity boo and it's all back to normal.  Will this truly come in time, or do I have to go take some class or get a tutor who can literally take me through the steps of common mistakes?  I've seen some videos which have helped although the "fixing" the mistakes portion is pretty hard for me to grasp.  Still not ready to give up though. Smiley  Not just yet!

FYI I'm doing the double cast-on which I learned from youtube, and the continental method (I'm left-handed) which I also learned online and that seems to be going well with the exception of these issues.  I recently learned how to pearl, though don't know how to do it using the wrap/tension (of either hand, actually)!  I figured out how to do stockinette and rib plus of course just the straight knitting.  I want to learn how to cast off, next.  I have several started swatches. Wink  I finally went and bought some big fat needles and chunky yarn - having become convinced it might make things easier - and am making the world's biggest and ugliest scarf - or at least I'm telling myself I'm going to go further than a swatch this time!

So now I have size 8 metal, circular needles and appropriate yarn (which I learned on) as well as size 10.5 circular and matching yarn (yet to use) and size 13 gigantic long bamboo needles and super chunky yarn for my crazy scarf. 

I'd also like to learn how to slip the first stitch so that I can have a nicer edge - although I've yet to figure out when I would slip it as a knit versus a pearl.  And I'd ALSO like to learn how to have an edge all along the entire perimeter of a stockinette scarf so that it won't curl up all over the place.  I can figure out how to make a ribbed edge in the beginning and end of the entire scarf (short ends) of course.  I'm assuming for the long sides of the scarf, I could just count in the same amount of stitches at the beginning and end of each row?  Would that work?  E.g. if the first 5 rows of the entire scarf (short end) are ribbed, then that would mean I could make the first 5 stitches and last 5 stitches 5 sets of stitches each, too?  Well, one day maybe I'll use markers...maybe that would help?  So far I don't count.  I just go to the end then start over and keep going, and if it looks like it's widening, I decrease by stitching two loops at once!  Although I seem to be needing to do that less which is great.

Oh god - I wrote a lot - sorry and hanks for reading all this!
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