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1  UNITED STATES / Massachusetts / Any knitting/crafting groups in Cambridge? on: October 22, 2006 07:37:34 PM
Hi All.

I've finally moved back home to MA.  I'm hoping to find a knitting/crafting group in Cambridge.  I work in east Cambridge and live in mid-Cambridge.

2  UNITED STATES / Minnesota / Minneapolis Community Ed Classes... on: September 27, 2005 02:44:48 PM
I'm thinking of signing up for a couple of crafty community ed classes (probably crochet and sewing).


Several classes are available at multiple locations, with different instructors.  Does anyone have recommendations about where/with whom to taking sewing or basic crochet?


3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / Sewing for Groovy Girls Dolls? on: August 25, 2005 04:36:59 PM
My four year old neice currently has a bit of an obsession with her Groovy Girls dolls (and I have to admit, I like her obsession because she has latched onto a toy that I bought her!!).  The groovy girls dools are fairly cool.  They have normal, child shapes (i.e. no twisted Barbie proportions) and cool hair (I'm currently looking at a brunette with a few dark red streaks).  And as much as dolls have ethnicity, they come in a variety of skin and hair tones.  The clothes they come with are almost funky - they all wear tights or knee socks.  The clothing tends to be in bright, fun patterns.  Most of them come with simple skirts that are basicly 6.5 inch X 3 inch rectangles that fasten with a bit of velcro.  The tops are a bit trickier, but still have little shaping and use only velcro to close.

Anyway, I'm a novice sewer with loads of fabric scraps.  I'd like to try making a few things for these dolls.  The skirts seem pretty simple.  Does anyone have any tips on making tops?  Or any idea about how to create patterns?

Many thanks.
4  UNITED STATES / Minnesota / I want to learn how to sew!! on: July 26, 2005 09:08:18 AM
I can't sew.  I'm terrible at it.  I have a machine (a present from my mom when I was in college and recovered a couch my hand).  But everytime I go near the machine, it ends in tears (usually mine, and in one particularly horrid case, also my husband's).

Can anyone recommend good classes? 

Or does anyone want to teach me?  I will pay you.  I have some free time next week.  I just want to know how to thread my machine, and how get the tension adjusted so that my attempts to practice sewing stright seams don't always fail.  I don't want to creep anyone out, so we could meet somewhere public (I live near Lyn-Lake in Mpls, so maybe Urban Bean Coffee Shop??) and I could bring my machine.  PM me if you are interested.
5  UNITED STATES / Minnesota / FYI - Tidbits is Moving from Lyndale to Hennepin on: June 29, 2005 09:21:41 AM
I stopped into Tidbits (31st and Lyndale South) yesterday to do some looking and the owner mentioned that the shop will be moving to 28th and Hennepin (next to BobbyBead).  This move is happening really quickly, so she hasn't had time ot publicize it.  Tidbits should open in its new location by July 10 (or so).

If you have never been there, Tidbits has great stuff.  Lots of stuff handmade by crafters and artists, lots of cool design stuff, bags by Angela Adams (my downfall - never thought I'd be a handbag 'collector' - but now I have a cool brown leather bag...), clothes by Marimekko, etc.  Many things are on sale before the move.  I think the owner said they will be moving this weekend, so I'd try to stop in before Saturday to get some cool sale deals.  If you shop at BobbyBead, stop by Tidbits when it opens.  Meed Nadia (the owners exceptionally cute dog) and check out the awesome stuff.

Support independent businesses, artists and crafters!
6  U.K. AND IRELAND / ENGLAND / knitting emergency - visiting the midlands - need double pointed needles on: October 01, 2004 05:09:39 AM
Hi All.

I'm visiting the in laws for two weeks.  We're not far from Birmingham - in the countryside a few miles from Solihull (umm, Earlswood to be exact - not too far from Tamworth in Arden).  My husband and I live in Minneapolis, but he grew up here.

I usually spend a lot of time on these trips knitting.  But I have a bit of a dilemma.  I brought the pattern and yarn (1 skein hand painted mohair boucle, one skein mission falls 1849 wool [a worsted weight] - the pattern calls for them to be knit together) for a pair of mittens.  It calls for 5mm and 6mm double pointed needles.  Being the idiot I am, I read it too quickly brought US size 5 and 6 double pointed needles.  These are very different things (5mm = 8 US, 6mm = 10US).

We went into Solihull and tried John Lewis, Beatties and a specialist shop - Stitches (? - I think).  None of then had larger double pointed needles.  They all had 2, 3, and 4 mm double pointed, but nothing larger.  The woman at Stitches said I could try to use a 5mm and 6mm circular needles -she had a 5mm in a 40cm length. She also mentioned that she hadn't heard of anyone knitting mittens or socks in years.

I think this is one of the fundamental differences between the UK and Mpls - it is so cold in Mpls that everyone knits gloves and mittens.  You simply can not have enough pairs!

I decided to give it a shot, but I can't seem to get the round tight enough.  I could try a different pattern and the smaller double pointed needles, but I only have one skein of this lovely boucle and I'm afraid I won't have enough to make another pattern.

I think I really need the larger double pointed needles, but I'm at a loss.  I'm willing to go into Birmingham, but my husband is probably not willing to go into every shop in the city center, so I have to a fairly clear plan of where to go.

So - where can I get larger double pointed needles?  Birmingham, Stratford and pretty much anywhere in the countryside are all options, I just need to know where to go.  I may go nuts without something crafty to do while I'm here (and there is a bit of a moratorium on buying yarn at my house - my existing stash is large)!

7  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Craft The Vote! / Political Crafting Ideas on: April 21, 2004 08:03:18 AM
I'm looking for some of your ideas.  My local 'Bake back the Whitehouse' sale was incredibly successful.  It raised a good chunk of change despite a shortage of baked goods (they were out of food in less than three hours).  The local organizing group decided to keep trying to have them every other Saturday to continue raising money.  The next one is May 1 at the corner of 33rd and Bryant in Mpls.

I've volunteered to produce things for the next sale, which will be for both baked goods and crafts (have I mentioned I love my neighbors...).  I need so craft ideas about things to make.  

I have loads of melt and pour soap.  Any ideas about cool things I could put in it or ways I could package it that would add a political slant to things?  I don't want to get very issue oriented - I'm just looking to involve the idea of grass roots politics in some crafts.  I also have loads of temporary tattoo paper and other supplier, so let me know if you have other ideas.

8  COOKING / Dessert / Wedding Cake on: April 20, 2004 02:19:23 PM
To make a long story short, I was volunteered to make the cake for a friend's wedding in January.  

I've been taking a cake decorating class and practicing, but most of the things I'm learning are fairly cheesy (clowns, nasty super sweet frosting with Crisco, etc) and I'm worried about finding better recipes and themes.  I'll be taking more advanced classes which cover cooler topics, but I'm still a bit concerned about finding good ideas and inspiration.

Does anyone have any good ideas?
9  U.K. AND IRELAND / ENGLAND / The Midlands on: February 18, 2004 02:06:07 PM
OK - I don't live in the Midlands, but I often spend quality time there with my in-laws.  Any tips on places or events I should try to check out?

10  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Knitting with beads? on: September 08, 2003 09:17:13 AM
I'm currently making a groovy pair of mittens with a 7 row cable repeat.  Inside the cable, I'm knitting in a couple of beads.  This project has lead me to become slightly obsessed with knitting with beads.  My knitting shop has an awesome sample of a felted wool purse.  The handle is some kind of knitted string with loads of beads.  Of course, the shop is out of the pattern for this fantastic bag and I'm at a bit of a loss.

Does anyone have any resources for knitting with beads?
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