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1  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Do my Holiday Crafting For Me Swap on: October 04, 2007 07:53:27 AM
As crafty people, we all have a list of people for whom we need to craft. Maybe a list is a little overzealous this early in the season, but we certainly all have an idea about such people.

I propose a swap where we exchange the details about 3-5 family and loved ones and have someone else do the crafting for them, while you craft for their family and loved ones. The idea being that for each family member that your partner crafts for, you craft for one of their family members, so that you are both end up with a finished gift to give for the holidays.

An alternate idea would be collecting the details about 5 different people and matching people up by the crafts they would like them to receive. Each person would make three crafts and get three crafts.
For example, Mary wants a gift for her mother-in-law (jewelery), her sister (jewelery), her husband (football fan), her teenage daughter (wrist warmers), and her father (Corvette fan). Mary can sew up a storm and make soap. Jane, on the other hand, is looking for gifts for her three sisters-in-law (soaps and such), her newborn nephew (baby stuff), and her uncle (coffee theme). Jane makes jewelery and customizes pre-made wooden storage boxes.
Jane could make jewelery for Mary's mother-in-law, and Mary could make a spa set for Jane's sister-in-law.
With this method, each swapper would be sending to up to three different people, and would receive from as many as she sent to. If this method was used each swapper could indicate on the survey if he prefers to have only one partner, or would rather swap with many. In the example above, Jane and Mary could just as easily craft for all three of their compatible family members, but they would just miss out on the variety of swapping with different people.

Each person would make a medium sized gift for the people they were given, regardless of which method is used. The only hitch is that each swapper would have to answer a pretty detailed survey about each family member in order to get a gift that would work well for them. Also, gift wrapping would be out so that each person can check everything out before they give it away.

Despite all of the above, the only thing that would really concern me is, how do you tell people that they should only send things that non-crafty people would appreciate without being rude. For example, there are times in swaps when we make something to fit a theme because the person we are crafting for is available for questions, and we feel certain that they would love it (and they do, of course). But at the same time, we would never choose those items to display for sale. What I'm getting at here is that there are many people who wouldn't appreciate a gift simply because it was hand made. There are qualities about many hand made items in which crafters find charm and some non-crafty people find flaws. I have no idea how to word that in a polite and concise manner, but I think you get the idea.

So I probably over-thought this way too much, but what do you think? Sound like something you'd be interested in?
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Cheap and Classy Cocktail Cozy on: March 31, 2007 05:12:41 PM
Just because it's cheap, doesn't mean it can't be classy, right?

This may look like your standard wine holder, but this is designed to hold a liter of nothing less than 40 proof liquid refreshment. It rejects all that froo-froo wine business and heads straight to the bottom shelf B-)

This is so much prettier, nicer, and softer than those horrible paper bags. Plus, it's reuseable!

It's knit with 2 skeins of Lion Brand Bolero. I hit the jackpot on them at Good Will the other day.

That's 11 "Learn to Knit" kits, each with an insanely long pair of sz. 15 needles, and 2 balls of Bolero.

And there's my reciept. Each kit was marked $2.00 on the shelf, but the store was having 1/2 off their Purple Tree kits, so each one ran me $1.00.

$11.00 = 22 skeins of yarn, thus my total cost for this project was $1.00 ($1.07 with tax).

Here's an in progress shot (knit on the loom because I didn't think the sz. 15's were knitting a material loose enough to felt well):

And the contents of each kit, and a test swatch knit on the needles: (I hope they get more varieties of these!!!)

I had fun :-D with my $1.00.
3  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Scarf Advice needed (or How Cristmas Killed a Craftster) on: February 03, 2007 04:46:10 PM
So this year, I decided to make scarves for the boy's relatives, because they all live where it gets cold. Heck, everywhere gets colder than Florida.
That was the first of many mistakes I made involving this project. Next, I took the boy to Jo Ann's to pick out yarn. He picked Jiffy in an interesting variegation. I liked it, so we left.
When I started knitting with it, I realized that I liked it for me, not for his business-professional cousin. I tried three different scarf patterns, and even knitting it on the loom, and it all looked too girly to me.
In the mean time, I'd already given said cousin the yarn as his gift with a little note that the next time he saw it it'd be a scarf.
So I couldn't change yarns, since the cousin had already approved, and I hated the yarn for a male.

After much googling I found a pattern for "the Manly Scarf." It was my last-ditch effort to not knit it into a noose for myself instead.

This is what is has turned into. I officially hate this scarf. k3p3 repeat is killing me with boredom.
My question for you is this: should I make it longer?
I want it to be something like a silk scarf is for a woman. He won't have to wrap it around him and knot it because it's very wide. I want it to be something he can easily put on and tuck into his overcoat (he lives in D.C.), which is why I don't want to make it too long. His chest isn't much wider than mine is at it widest, and the scarf currently hangs just about level with my erm...wide points.
I have one vote each way (excluding my own vote for burn it) so you, fellow knitters, please help me decide!
Thanks for any input.
4  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Nintendo DS Lite Case (a.k.a. My first sewing experiment) on: January 19, 2007 09:30:19 PM
I'm new to sewing. My previous experience is sewing a single straight line on a sheet of paper with no thread in the machine and sewing a 6" egg-shaped (a.k.a. no external features) monster with a pouch. That's it, hehe.

I bought a "for dummies" pattern last week, but it's all Greek to me. I can't even figure out what to buy for the interfacing. My mom (who used to sew) has never heard of sewing with canvas (which is on the materials list) and the final straw: she hasn't used the machine she bought two years ago at all. So, I'm on my own.

Well, at Jo Ann's (through tomorrow) all their fabric remnants are 75% off. I saw some nice ones today, and among them was this terry cloth-like material with pretty butterflies embroidered on them. I thought I could buy it and hem the ends to be washcloths for a gift. When I got home and unwound the remnant, it had tons of butterflies on it, most of which were cut in half. So I changed my idea, and this is what came of it.

I paid $0.68 for my 1/3 of yard, and I have enough left to make at least two more with proper butterflies on them. I think I want to make the next one have a flap-closure and probably be lined.

There's a lot of room at the top because I wanted to do a snap-closure, but the snaps are kicking my butt. Maybe I'll go back and add a big button.

Too bad it's going to have to sit empty for a while. My pink one is still on back order Cry The model is the boy's.

I just can't get over the fact that my stitches are (almost) straight. I might try a Jordy bag if I get over confident tonight.

Comments, and especially learning-to-sew tips are appreciated!
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Recycling my first Sweater: a WIP (pics + questions) on: January 16, 2007 10:11:18 PM
I've been wanting to recycle yarn for a while. At first it was because I saw it in my SnB book. Then I saw more and more of it here on Craftster.

I saw the tutorial linked to in the KAL thread, but it only showed a picture of a "good seam," with no "bad seam" to compare it to. I was confidant, however, that as a knitter I could identify what was and was not knitted in one continuous thread.

Boy was I wrong. I found myself looking through all the isles of sweaters at my local Salvation Army and feeling quite distraught. From what I understood, it was the norm to see "bad seams," and everything I had looked good to me.

I picked up an ugly green sweater because I wanted to try the technique, even if it was going to be a waste of time. Mostly, I wanted this particular sweater because it had hundreds of fake pearls and thousands of seed beads decorating the front, and I figured that would be worth the trouble.

Then I spied a very large, heavy sweater. Upon touching it, I thought it was fake, given its softness. I looked for the tag and saw that it was not acrylic, but all animal fiber. I was very excited.

I looked at those seams for a good five minutes. Then I left it to look in the bric-a-brak and came back to look at them some more. I just couldn't tell if they were good or bad. Finally, I gave up and went home, empty handed, based mostly on the $8 price tag. $8 is a lot to spend on a sweater to destroy for potentially nothing.

I came home and couldn't stop thinking about that sweater. Upon googling, I found this guide and found out that the beautiful sweater had good seams. I decided to wait until morning after class to go and buy it in hopes that the green tags would be half off.

I had dreams about this sweater. Not just a dream where someone was wearing a white sweater, but this sweater asking me to disassmeble it into little piles of ramen.

This story has a happy ending. I got there and it was right where I left it, next to the ugly green one, and I practically skipped out of the store. I didn't get it for half off, but oh well. Now that you've read all my blabber, how about we get to the good stuff?

The sweater is 80% lambs wool, 20% angora and is amazingly soft.

I didn't take any before shots, because I was pretty sure that somehow I was still going to mess it up. This is with the right front pannel removed.

I must say it takes longer than I would have thought, but this particular sweater isn't giving up as easily as I am told good sweaters do.

This is the result of about 4 hours of work. I'm not very fast  Undecided The yarn is sooo soft and thick, though. I am holding on to the notion that I will be able to dye it if I decide to. The huge buttons are also neat, and it came with a nice belt as a bonus. It is not unravelable, though.
The big white rectangle in the background is my Physics homework for scale Wink

That's about 150g of very nice yarn. It's certainly nicer than any I've ever owned. I am keeping my estimation very modestly and I know I will get 500g out of this sweater.

So here are the questions: If you were to buy something like this in a store, what would you think would be a fair price? I mean if you needed to make a sweater and went to your LYS to buy it in skeins. I'm asking more out of curiousty than anything. I've never seen yarn to buy of such...special? materials (although all I have is Jo Ann's and Micheal's).
Just wondering Smiley

Day 2: Tonight I ripped a ton of seams (although I'm not done yet) and unraveled an arm. I think the sweater is punishing me for calling it hard because this was certainly harder. To add insult to injury, the sleeve seam was not nearly as clear as the others so I ended up with several breaks in the yarn. I know I can bind it back together, but it would have been nice to get a huge strand of yarn.

Whoever owned this jacket must have had it dry cleaned shortly before they donated it because it smells wonderful.

Status: 260g unraveled, 400g (approx) raw sweater remaining

Day 3: I was going to try dying and felting the collar piece today, because the initial strands I pulled off were shorties, but while I was removing the side seams on it, I tried another strand and unraveled the whole thing Smiley It's like bonus yarn, woo hoo!

It ended up being about 90g of thinner yarn. It's the same as the yarn they used to seam, which is the same as the rest of the sweater, and also why getting this thing unseamed has been so diffficult Smiley

Status: 350g unraveled, 400g (approx) raw sweater remaining

Day 4
: I tackled the back piece tonight because I felt like a challenge. I tried a different technique for the sides and it worked wonderfly. I unraveled about 190g of yarn tonight, and 90g of it was in one huge piece!

Status: 550g unraveled, 230g (approx) raw sweater remaining
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Question about converting a pattern to circular needles on: January 13, 2007 01:19:24 PM
Here's the background: I have never before used circular needles. I got a needlemaster last night and I really want to try a project that's knitted in the round.

I found a project and did some math. This pattern from Lion Brand looks nice and simple, because I've used all the other techniques in the pattern. I have yarn of the same size, so I'll be using that.
Using the given gauge, the finished result should come out to about 20.5" (at 4.5 stitches an inch, and 92 CO).
The pattern is already written to be knitted in the round, but using dpns; so my question is this: How long should I make the circular needle so that it will not be awkwardly long, nor too short so that I have to cram stitches together while I knit? My options are 20", 24", and 29".
I just have never done anything similar, so I don't know if it's best to have the cord the exact length of the finished project, or if having it longer/shorter would work out better.
Thanks for any help you can provide Smiley
7  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / The Knifty Knitter sock disaster on: November 17, 2006 06:22:39 AM
I tried my hand (or should I say hook) at using my Knifty Knitter to make a slipper sock using this pattern/guide: http://yarngear.com/looms/projects1.htm.
All was going well until I got to the directions about moving the loops. It says
You will have 3 open pegs on each side of your heel.  Reach inside the loom, and place the loops on the edge of the heel onto the empty pegs, including 1 peg on each end of the empty pegs 4, 9, 13, and 24 which will now have 2 loops to knit off as 1 loop.
Does this mean the 6 loops that are currently on the loom?

Oh wait, I think it just dawned on me. These instructions are telling me to do the same thing as you do to create a brim, correct?
And as long as I'm clarifying things, when it says to only wrap pegs 1 and 12 once, that means once each time the thread goes by it, right? So if I went from one to 12, I would loop each peg, but on the return I would loop pegs 11 to 1?

Thanks for any help. I just don't want to make another sock with holes in it, I have plenty of those Wink
8  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Casting on in the middle of a project? Eep? on: November 14, 2006 01:18:25 PM
I found this pattern to make cute little sweaters to hang as decorations and ornaments. I picked this one out of the several I found because it's one dimensional, and all one piece, so I felt I could handle it.

Then came the problem. Here are part of the directions:
Knit 14 rows stockinette stitch.
Cast on 8 sts, K across. (start of sleeve)
Cast on 8 sts, P across.
Knit 6 rows stockinette stitch.

I don't have a clue how to cast on when I've already got knitting done. I've tried just about every way I can think of, but it isn't working.
I don't think that simply increasing stitches will work correctly because then part of the body of the sweater will be stretched to the end of the sleeve.
I've done some searching online and I haven't been able to find an answer.
Any help would be greatly appreciated Smiley
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Help a new knitter? Fear not a covered question, for I have searched well... on: November 08, 2006 09:41:19 PM
Ok, I have been through nearly every thread on Craftster about knitting and I am still having some serious trouble.

I literally only know two techniques: casting on (well, I know 2 ways to cast on) and knitting. I haven't ventured into purling or any complicated stitches because I find myself extremely frustrated.

I know what I am doing, and everything works; heck, I don't even mind how long it takes me to knit. What I can't figure out is tension. I have no idea if I am pulling enough, or not giving the piece enough slack. I am ending up with real problems getting into the stitches to knit them (whether I have just started the piece, or the row) and I think this is my problem.

I don't know of anyone in my family that knows how to knit, so I have no help there. I just know that from the videos I have seen (on a DVD I bought and various online tutorials) the knitting needle doesn't have to be forced into the knit, but rather just sort of wedged.

Any help would really be appreciated, since I am about ready to give up on this!

Thanks Smiley
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