Jen1964

Westchester, NY, US
member

First and foremost, Im a homemaker and mom of 2. My husband is supportive of my hobbies, which include knitting, crocheting, occasional needlework and or quilting. The hobby which gets the most attention is my painting. I do my own photographic references, and then paint in acrylics, in a style that resembles goache. Pets and wild animals are my favorite subjects, followed by florals. Then theres the writing. I wont go into that or Ill be there all day. Things of religious nature capture my interest most, followed by keeping in touch with the people I care about. In our home, we are all avid cooks, experimenting with recipes and creating the dishes that appeal to us. Im sure theres more, but I cant remember it at the moment. Creativity is the theme. If it doesnt come out one way, it comes out another. Im an avid reader, a health nut, and a fan of long walks. Fortunately, so is the rest of the clan. We have lots of fun.

craft interests: crochet, embroidery, fashion, gifts, holidays, home decorating, knitting, sewing, Charities, Ravelry

Member Since: 08/16/2008


recent comments

Re: How to Make Hand-Warming Gloves

What other grains work this way? Love it... esp the gal who wears them on her feet!

Re: Beautiful Disasters

I finished a crosstitch kit, and then decided that instead of framing it, I'd set it into the top part of an apron. However, to be machine washable, the bit had to be at least wetted & dried. So, out came the woolite.... and I soaked it in a sink with cold water. Everything right. Right?
Nope. The red threads bled all over the white background.
Don't these manufacturers KNOW that this stuff will be washed at some point in our century?
So I was annoyed.

Another project was an alpaca yarn, in a dove grey vest. Only problem was as it got longer, the yarn had no shape to it. Not right at all for the pattern I'd chosen. I never suspected it'd be completely floppy.
Since then, I try to discover what the yarn wants to be... as I'm knitting up the swatches. It isn't always what I'd bought it for, but these day's I've managed to get fewer unpleasant surprises. Some yarn is stiffer as it knits. Some just wants to be held.

Re: Make Your Own Buttons from Polymer Clay

Ooh! I can't wait to try this! One year, my son gave me a boxload of sculpey clay for birthday present (kids are so fun), and I just haven't known what to do with it.

We love making the canes and beads... but this is actually something I could use. I'm always looking for awesome buttons for my knitwear. Problem solved!

Have your thought of a way to make shank buttons? I could use beads... More ideas for creativity.

Re: Craft Quest: Southwestern Michigan

Sounds like a crafter's dream vacation town.
Seems like around here where I live the craft stores have a really hard time thriving. Could be greedy landlords or high taxes (both likely) or the slim base of crafty customers with actual time on their hands. That's a symptom of modern city life, and some of the nearby areas I've seen.
So I look for my supplies at garage sales and on vacations wherever I go.
I would buy at home if the stores were still here. The closest surviving is next town over. Some stores make the mistake of selling only mid to higher end stuff. That rules out all young moms and middle agers with mild-mannered incomes! Then there's the hefty competition of the already made stuff, where the finished product costs less than the materials to make it. (How'd they do that?) Not a nice thing to do to faithful crafters!
So my heart is with you on the towns that prize their crafts.

Re: Dress Up Your Bike with a Crocheted Seat Cover

If that doesn't say it all!

Re: How to Make Your Own Underwear

Grandma used to use existing clothes (seams ripped out) as patterns for new. Makes sense.
Mom tried making the homemade underwear back in the '70's. I'm telling you gently that the quality of the elastic is EVERYTHING. It's improved since then.
Is there a brand you find best?
For slacks, Mom used scavenged elastic from the guys' worn-out ftl briefs. It was encased, so no one knew, and it was the softest stuff she could find. What couldn't be made into something else had a reserved place in the "rag bag" for dust cloths. Makes the best, as a matter of fact.

Re: How to Make Recycled Cotton Art Yarn

I'm not sure my hands would welcome the spinning (due to repetitive strain injuries from over the years); but they are much prettier the way you've done them, than any of the original counterparts.
I had not thought of dissecting cotton sweaters. You see them all the time in tag sales. I don't usually care for them "as is" but admire the yarn. NOW I have IDEAS!
I mean the dog only needs just so many "sweater-sleeve jackets" for herself.

Re: Crafts I Want to Punch in the Face

Right along those lines are the people who come up to you and ask,
"Do you sell your work?"
It's that or some attempt to convince you that you're work quality is marketable. I've never been able to find a dodge for that question, and my diplomatic answer, "Sometimes" just doesn't placate their type.
I feel like asking them what they'd charge per hour, for a project of this length. Let them alone to figure it out for a while. When their expression changes to one of enlightened shock, see if they're open to changing the conversation topic!

Re: Retro Duster Bag

I'll be watching for your instructions. You see, we still do the old methods for dusting. I have stacks of folded "rags" from worn out t-shirts, socks, etc, since the softer cloths are the favorites. We're always wearing those out, but hardly ever wear out sheets or dishrags! My mom-in-law used old diapers, and liked them so well, she just washed all her rags & kept using them.

We use the rags for everything from painting & staining projects to putting under furniture to slide across wood floors without scratching them. They aren't just for dusting, wet-sudsy work, or cars' armor-all.

Re: Beautiful Disasters

I had an alpaca mess one time too. For some reason, it didn't shape up! It's too drapey for some knit patterns. Besides, I was terribly allergic to it, and couldn't wait to be done with it. I know what you mean about it felting up later on, with the projects that came out. I'd have been crushed if that happened with a sweater, unintentionally. Actually, I've found folks to fit, when they didn't come out as planned... or lol donated them, and let folks find them! Let someone else rip it out, if I can't bear to.

Re: How to Make a Reversible Swiffer Sock

OK, I'll bite...I'll try it, but first I have a question for folks out there with allergies: after you use it, could you pre-wash or handwash it, so as not to expose the allergic folks' clothes to the dust? OR does the washing machine really clean that well? I mean it sounds a little like washing the sneakers with the baby things.

Re: Knit a Mutt Mitt: Dog Washing Made Easy

The plastic sudsing tools all got tangled in Sarah's hair... and barehanding it wasn't very effective either... so this could be the solution! How does it work on the longer-haired dogs?
I'll bet you could do one for car-washing too... or waxing.

Re: Craft for Cats: Two Yarn-Scrap Toys for Your Feline Friends

We don't have cats just now, but minus the catnip, Westies & little kids love these things too! (Some DOGS were bred for mousing, too.)

Re: One-Skein Crochet Projects

OK, I'll bite. In fact I just downloaded a couple of their patterns! Both my daughter & I have Reynaud's (= cold hands), and wrist warmers & fingerless gloves are something I JUST HADN"T thought of making, for some reason.
THANKS!

Re: How to Make a Pet Bed from Recycled Sweaters

I've been crocheting with old bedsheets & cotton shirting, but they give off lint & threads... contemplating braiding, but that takes too long, and you have the extra step of sewing. So far, I've done placemats, a potholder, and a craftbag with pockets (lined with fabric from a shortened dress. Pockets are same stuff. Except I threw in a zippered pocket from an old pair of cargo pants... just for fun.
SO, I like your method of joining sans thread... and will try it next project. And I bet the knitted cotton doesn't "shed" as much. Besides, it's another look.
I've found that the 1 inch material gives a neat larger size, but a 1/2 inch makes another weight of product just as nice. Must have strong hands for this, so I don't do it often or for long. Wouldn't want to aggravate tendon problems or RSI (repetitive strain injuries).
As for dog beds, my Westie is brutal on them, pawing and scratching. I think this type of yours might actually hold up! Oh, I'd have to use stronger materials, probably, but even if I used the softest stuff available, it would take her years to paw & claw through that crocheting.

Re: How to Crochet a Rug out of T-Shirts

I've been crocheting with old bedsheets & cotton shirting, but they give off lint & threads... contemplating braiding, but that takes too long, and you have the extra step of sewing. So far, I've done placemats, a potholder, and a craftbag with pockets (lined with fabric from a shortened dress. Pockets are same stuff.
SO, I like your method of joining sans thread... and will try it next project. And I bet the knitted cotton doesn't "shed" as much. Besides, it's another look.
I've found that the 1 inch material gives a neat larger size, but a 1/2 inch makes another weight of product just as nice. Must have strong hands for this, so I don't do it often or for long. Wouldn't want to aggravate tendon problems or RSI (repetitive strain injuries).

Re: Crochet a Sweet Heart Garland for Valentine's Day

Sweet! Are those mini safety pins or the mini clothes pins? Quilter's instincts see those in blocks... on a rocker... all crochet or applique on something old-looking and irresistible! It would be worth fiddling with them just to try. I love them the way you have them, too.

Re: Crafting Your Personality

Knitting, crocheting, sewing, embroidery, making dollhouse furniture, macrame,, quilting, kitchen crafts - with food, painting on wood, ceramics or canvas, refinishing furniture, ALL makes sense to me. It's my key to never being bored. I CAN'T STAND boredom! I tried it once as a kid, and never again. Not if I can help it. Not that I was high energy, or any lucky thing like that. Curious, yes. Observant, sure. I love hearing people look and say "I can do that!" It's fun to inspire someone else. I love trying new things... doing things with my hands... going for old favorites.
It's all part of who I am. If it wasn't there to start with, it sure is now. I love the old fashioned ability to be reasonably frugal... to make something wonderful out of "next to nothing" -and then make someone's day with it. Better than magic! I think it's in our wiring to create. Each one who answers that call puts her own stamp (or his) on the world of creativity. Together we make something that will be worth handing down for generations. We continue the chain of wonder that our grandmothers & mothers gave to us. It's like being part of a club -unofficial though it is- or a secret tribe of really great people.
O.K. so I have an imagination, but isn't that what makes this work?

Re: How to Make a Super-Quick Dog Toy

... and a dental scrubby too! Nice! What other fabrics would work? Stay away from anything metallic (hurts them)... and avoid dental floss or long strings, since that can lead to wrecking their insides.

Re: How to Make Mittens for Lovers

Love that! "Holding gloves" just isn't the same... Would the "scarf for two" be a figure 8?

Re: Get Crafty with the Orla Kiely Home Collection!

I was on "bins" for craft storage for many years... then something wonderful happened... we rearranged a bunch of furniture and wound up with a spare dining room hutch in the living room. (Still don't know why, exactly)... and no where to stash the yarn, embroidery, and ceramics... You guessed. Everyone loves the display, and the drawers & cupboards are SO handy, I just parked my recliner next to it, and added a light. HOME & HEAVEN! Now my bins work for other stuff, and family time = craft time.

Re: How to Make Sweater Dog Toys

Looks like fun! We always donated an old stuffed animal to the dog. Pre-loved was favored. One problem some dog-owners have had: if their dog toys looked too much like the still-used human stuff, dog bridged over and claimed anything that looked like it, as chew-worthy. You know, puppy antics, not outgrown... Smell is a big deal, so you could store your new dog toy in his bag of kibbles, for long enough for the scent to be all over it. Nothing else will compare, I guarantee!

Re: A Christmas Miracle: My Close-Knit Family

Congrats on your lovable family!
The fellows here are still shy about such things, but my daughter really took off with it... including getting a knitting group going at her school. At first it was just herself & one other girl, and a teacher willing to volunteer. Word has gotten around and there are about a dozen, and lots of donations of yarn and needles, now- and a site on facebook. Some of the guys are captivated and trying it too.
You never know how many will catch on through those you've taught.
And I had the same stunned reaction, when asked to "show me how"... from someone who didn't want to practice, etc, so many years ago.
One thing, though... you can't make them want to, or force them to stick with it... that'll drive people away. Just keep having fun with it yourself - you're an inspiration!

Re: How to Line a Knit or Crocheted Hat

Fleece + Knit is my favorite, for warmth & comfort & fun. Up till now, I've only seen the machine made ones. Thanks for the nudge in the right direction!

Re: How to "Doilify" Your Hoodie for $5 or Less

Looks like a new take on the lace collars! What true lace-lover could complain? It does take the masculine edge off the hoodies. Great idea!

Re: 1,000-Strand Extreme Knitting

Thanks for the tip - always interested in other good knitting sites, since no devoted knitter ever really gets enough!
Have to love the giant knit! It has the appeal of the giant legos, for the fun-at-heart. I've knitted up to 4 strands, but that's it. You know, thick placemats, on oversized needles. I guess I'll have to try more! Can't wait to see what you come up with.

Re: How to Recycle a T-Shirt into a Tote Bag Using Duct Tape

You really have to see this one to believe it. Amazing! More bags for knitting to go and that sort of thing! Just a few questions: does the duct tape get sticky or slip in the HOT summer weather? Or does the fabric it's bonded with solve that? And how do you clean stuff made with duct tape?
My bags get hard use, so they might be a great gift idea, next time my daughter has cast-offs from her amazing wardrobe. LOve those rotary cutters, too. They're so easy to use. As for Salvation Army, their prices (I was told) are virtually fundraisers for their work; and when the truly needy come to them, they give them vouchers for the store. Their local Corps always have a women's group interested in craft projects that are quick and fun like this. All women are welcomed.

Re: Restyle Sweater Sleeves into Leg Warmers

Love the lace ones especially. Do they stay up? I never got used to using leg warmers. Never got used to thermals either, really. Love the idea of something to go with the fuzzy robe! Seems the P.J. industry forgot about that, and not all of us like flannel... The dog version IS something I've tried - on our little dog, one sleeve = 1 doggie sweater, with a little sewing and crocheting. I'm not the type to match the dog, or... ... ... is suppose you could - but I think we're all safe, since I haven't seen any 3 sleeved sweaters! I like your co-worker's idea of making pillows out of the body. almost no waste!

Re: Reorganized Craft Room Resolution Redux!

You could use that system for button collections, embroidery floss, lots of ideas. Love the idea.
Can't wait to see how the rest of your craft room does!
We're in here too snug to have room for a whole room for such fun; but I've got a shelf here and there dedicated to baskets of (organized) materials for my favorite fun. You have to do at least that much, or the rest of life "chokes out" the space for crafting. 22 years ago, when we lived in the Bronx, we lined up the table saw and band saw, and tool drawers IN THE FRONT HALL! It was the only space we could find for it, and we couldn't bear to give up my husband's workshop. So that's how it goes in our family. Crafts are ALWAYS more important than decorating - when they're our passion they're beautiful.
Just keep it safe! ...and INSPIRING!

Re: How to Turn '80s Sweaters into Fashionable Floor Cushions

Great idea! YOu know how many of those sweaters are turning up in garage sales, rummage sales, and the like... and in great condition too... Would a "sweater swap" party be another source? Just don't tell your friends what you're planning to do! Might even work for the shrunken woolies... for the pet beds. Our dog always goes for the pillows, when she gets up on the furniture. Oh, and she's learned to claw down any afghans resting on the backs of the furniture. Do all dogs love the feeling of yarn? Anyway the floor pillows would soon be her favorite spots in the house. I could live with that.
We love re-covering old pillowforms. It's more efficient than buying the new ones all the time. And the covers do wear out.
Once you've secured the edges, while I know you could sew them, you could probably crochet them together, with both sturdy and decorative stitches. Has to be tight enough or they'll stretch though. I liked the idea I saw somewhere that put knitting in log cabin quilt patterns... if the sweater itself isn't already loud enough for you. Anything's possible once you start cutting them up!

Re: Happy Holidays From CraftStylish

We have been so busy, I haven't had a time to look at much on line. But that's a good thing. Thanks for your encouragement along the way. In our world, Christmas goes clear till Little Christmas. We don't try to make an exhausting marathon out of it: it's a marathon of love shown in as many ways as we can think of. There's the 40 days of advent, to prepare spiritually, and then the flurry of parties and caroling and church events, and the stories told along the way, from people you haven't heard from since last Christmas. The threads that run throughout the whole time are the baking & special cooking, and the knitting, crocheting, and all sorts of crafts that give shape to the family time together.
I guess what I'm saying, fellow crafters, is It wouldn't be Christmas (season) without you.
So as we transition back to life as normal, I hope everyone can take just a little of the Christmas magic with them, and glow with happiness and inspiration for a long time to come!

Re: How to Make a Gingerbread House to Outlast Even the Sweetest of Sweet Tooths

Love the cloth-felt stuff. It really stays cute and inspiring over the years. We still have some of the projects my husband's sister did, while she was alive. Felt is a great starter for your young sewers and would-be crafters.
You know, once you've made the templates, if you have made spares, you have your cookie house templates as well. And here's a tip for those who don't fancy gingerbread: make them out of rolled sugar cookie dough - plain or chocolate! It isn't hard at all, and if you flour the counter enough, or use waxed paper (like for pie crusts) everything comes up fine. The key is to let people eat them -if you want. Otherwise, I wonder if the bread dough craft people have ideas for (sugarless) house projects to last.
One year when funds were sparse, we blew a lot on gingerbread house makings, and then took pictures as the project went along. Can't say for the rest, but it made memories we'll never forget. I'll bet the Felt would be even more economical. ... and just as dear!

Re: How to Make Papier Mache Bowls with Your Holiday Leftovers

Could be a way to say thank you to grandparents, when kids are too young to write much. We love our assorted crazy bowls for the holidays. There's always something to use them for.

Re: Coats and Clark Introduces RedHeart.com

MOre genius! I finally tried one (last year) with black as the background color, and love it. I never thought I would, but I do. I have one with forest green as the background, and it's been with me since I first finished it in 1978. Why I never thought of tan, I don't know, but that's a beauty! With my kids being such fiends for orange rust and eggplant, I can imagine that tan being the perfect foil for it.
RedHeart seems to be one of the few who have kept a bargain line out there. Not to be biased, since I love Lion Brand too, but I wish there were more yarn companies who loved us crafters that much! Would you let me know if you know of others who have good durability, variety and price? Thanks!

Re: How to Make Hand-Warming Gloves

Neat!
How long do they stay warm? We've bought little handwarmers, that don't have to be cooked, but they set off the store alarms! Must be what they're made of. Anyway, your pouch would be enough to hold them, before you add the rice.
For the people with Reynaud's Syndrome, nothing beats keeping those hands warm. Thanks.

Re: More Crochet Art: Allyson Mitchell's Granny Square Wreck Room

This exhibit is inspiring, even if I can't look at it long! Do you think Granny squares would hold up in upholstery uses? I've seen people use them on walls, but more in a mounted effect, not such a patchwork. I've seen quilts used as tablecloths, for decorative effect. Afghans have wound up in cars, and everywhere from the dog's basket to the kid's room... and been treated accordingly. The prettiest I think I have ever seen was done by my sister-in-law's grandma. It was a tight cottony, shimmery yarn, worked in a tiny crochet hook... in squares, on the angle, ending in with all zigzag edges all over the afghan. She used a mauvy rose, and put crocheted buttery yellow flowers in the direct centers of certain squares. Little touches of green leaves accented them.
For my crafting, I have to have calm, and a feeling of space around me. I'd love a cozy room for a library or den though.

Re: Start with a Clean Slate in 2009! Resolve to Keep a List of Your "I Dids" Instead of "To Dos"

That sounds like fun!
This is the time I transition back to "business as usual" since everyone ELSE in the house goes back to school. It's too easy to forget everything you've done, and just see the mountain "to do" ahead. So, yes, the journal techniques of listing what you've done, periodically, really helps. When I'm really down, I do 2 columns: one of projects and stuff I've finished, and the other is the junk (and health issues) I've been up against during that time. THAT gives me the whole picture, and I can see whether it's a Mt. Everest I've been climbing, or just one of the local foothills! The view is more amazing when you've climbed the tougher challenges, for some reason. The problems may still be there, but if you've made magic out of next to nothing, that's some accomplishment.
A picture album of your projects is a great idea too. Fabric samples or yarn samples may go with it, or even use your stitch gauge swatch here... My kids loved that album as much as their picture books, because of the stories that went along with each picture. Now my daughter puts pictures of her favorites on her phone and proudly shares them with her friends, when they ask what her mom does. Nobody today seems to understand what a Homemaker is, but those pictures -and the cookies she bakes and brings into school- tell the thousand words! More kids tell her they wish their moms were stay-at-home moms.
So craft on! Keep up the great work: you are inspiring the next generation to be everything our grandmothers would have loved.

Re: Make a Cute Crocheted Mini Stocking for Your Tree

Thank you for the tip - to make them from hexagons. I sat down and tried it, and since they were so easy (on the 23rd of December), I went on to make 18 for place markers for Christmas dinner. Instead of crocheting it shut, I liked them with the cuff end open, and stuffed with candy-cane kisses. And you know, they went over like they were the fanciest things in the world! Thanks - not only was it a great way to use old odds n ends, but the variety was such fun, I forgot to be nervous!

Re: Make a Cute Crocheted Mini Stocking for Your Tree

I always thought they were from squares for some reason! I like them all the same. Love the cranberry and teal green combo - and the winter white is so old-fashioned... like the color of popcorn. For some reason these are the fastest things to make, and everyone loves them forever. I'll bet they'd be great on presents too, for that extra touch.

Re: Stripe Generator

It is hard to picture the effect, and it's often by chance or trial and error that I get what I like. So where do we do to find this bit of genius? I'd like to see it on the shelves of the craft stores, next to the pattern books and yarn... or free on a download site, sponsored by some amazing yarn company.

Re: How to Crochet Cute Christmas Ornaments

Inspiring! We have some pretty ribbons that would look good on this sort of thing too. If you do the sequins, plus a pearl bead, to hold it in place, they'll glitter on another level. One year when I was really bored, and had yards of navy blue felt, we appliqued a bunch of scenes on it, and the sequins were the accents. It hangs from a rod, and can cover a door, or just decorate a wall. Your knitting is a good complement to the felt ornaments my sister in law (now deceased) made when she was in school. Thanks for a new idea!

Re: How to Knit an Easy Holiday Ornament Adornment

By the way, do you have the recipe for the sugarplums you showed? I always wondered how to do them and since we love fruitcake, it's likely to be a blast. Thanks.

Re: How to Knit an Easy Holiday Ornament Adornment

You've got my attention. Handmade and natural are our preferences for our tree - and ornament making has become a fun part of the Advent season here. Then seeing the handmade stuff calls back peaceful memories and inspires calm amid the clamor. I can't imagine how many people would love to get one of your knitted wonders (or a set of 4) for a extravagant present. Money isn't what makes things extravagant, you know. It's love. Funny thing, too, when the collection of ornaments grows too much, there's always someone who needs some-like fire victims, or family members going out on their own, or community projects and fundraisers. Things aren't meant to be hoarded, but rather shared.

Re: How to Make a Cable-Knit Scarf in a Weekend

Cables are the coziest, softest way to do scarves. I don't know why I didn't think of doing the giant sized ones! Just one question: how do you get the jumbo yarn to stay woven in, when you camouflage the ends? I haven't sewed them down, but am tempted to, since they keep popping up in our giant granny squares afghan from last winter. Also if you're interested in a quickie, but not so giant, or if you can't get the jumbo yarn, 2 strands of knitting worsted on size 11 needles works well. That's about a size K hook, for crocheters.

Re: Make a Pretty Swirls Cap with This Crochet Pattern

Looks like a winner! All my family loves this kind, but no one has seen one out of yarn yet.

Re: Prayer Shawls for Every Occasion

I imagine that guys who knit must get a lot of nurturing and attention from their knitting pals. It goes well with T.V., though not so well with the buffalo wings! Love that pattern. I think I'll look up the site you mentioned. I've done some of my own ideas, but wouldn't mind some other fresh inspirations too. Love doing cables, by the yard. Sometimes you just have to do other things, though!

Re: A Dream Comes True: The Lion Brand Yarn Studio Opening in NYC

I want to go see this place! When does it open? I've grown very fond of Lion Brand yarns over the years, and they've gained my respect as a descent quality yarn, too. I can't imagine a store like that, but I'm glad they gave you the "royal" treatment! If they have suggestions for patterns it's going to help. I always falter when I see great yarn, since I don't remember so well how much for which patterns I've loved! Too many and too much to keep upstairs, in my already fuzzy mind!

Re: How to Make Perfect-Fitting Pajama Bottoms

That's what Grandma used to do sometimes! Very reliable. Don't laugh, but the softest, strongest elastic (and it's free) is what my mom used to save from worn out fruit of the looms from the guys in the family. Those things don't last forever, but the elastic is so comfy and broken in, you won't be sorry. And it lasts longer than the new stuff.
This ought to work on kid's P.J.'s too. Thanks!

Re: Gifted Hands

Some day I'll get to do this again! For the moment, I'm on efficiency, just to keep a family of 4 fitting into a 2 bedroom apartment. When I was in 7th grade, and we moved into the house in the woods, my room had a cupboard bed, 5 feet off the ground. There was a small floor plan, not much more than 6x10, I think. There was room for a small desk, a small upright dresser (on the wall opposite the bed/closet)... and a small stuffed chair. Under the window at the far end, I had my little sewing machine in it's case-table and a small wooden chair. I remember doing my first afghan in that room, lots of macrame, 2 suits, a caftan, lots of blouses, skorts, and other clothes in there. At the window, I hung lots of plants (macrame hangers of course), had a macrame owl over the desk, and lots of ivies and ferns in yellow and white pots on the windowsill. Walls were creme, and so were the woodwork & doors. Carpet was industrial grade forest green. It wasn't fancy, but it was flexible, and had a variety of workspaces. I've never gotten so much out of such a small space since.

Re: Crafting Memories

That's the best way to get into warp speed knitting! I started knitting in front of T.V. back when I discovered my husband was going to watch every Yankee game that T.V. covered! I didn't mind the baseball, but there were times when I WAS getting a little fidgety and bored. (Don't tell him!) Then I learned to knit while reading. The thing is, you're starting out at normal speed, and 2 hours later you've got some incredible amount done, and hardly remembered doing it all. Later I learned you gotta stretch every 1/2 hour or so, to prevent repetitive strain injuries. O.K., so now it's a little slower. With computer, same deal. Get up and walk around and stretch every so often, and refocus eyes a lot. I don't find I remember the shows, though. I just remember a warm glow, and how much I love knitting!

Re: Scarves from ApartmentCat's House of Handiworks

Do you ever get the hard edge, from the chain row? I didn't care for that, so came up with an alternative, that is just as quick. I do a 1-2 inch wide "scarf" the length I want, and then do rounds of crochet around it in whatever colors or stitches I want... until I get to the width I want. No hard foundation edge anywhere, inside or out. Love those color combos.

Re: wool skeins and luxury fiber hanks

OOHH pretty! I want to try this stuff. Is there more to this story?

Re: The Cosby Sweater Is Back!

Actually, this reminds me of the British flare for color and loud pattern, except you have done it better! If you make a pattern too memorable, it limits how often it's going to get worn; but if it's in their favorite colors, or they help design it, it may get worn lots. To me that's success. Some guys don't care as long as it's soft and doesn't shrink when they throw it in with their jeans on laundry day. (My son) Thankfully there's washable wool and super soft manmade yarns. This is the kind of project you get to let your creative side run wild... or not! Sounds like fun. So my opinion on sweaters going out of styles? There's no such animal. Tailor it to the individual. Bill Cosby was lucky to have so many fun sweaters; and Mr Rogers really did have the most comfortable sweaters in existence. By now we should be calling them classics!

Re: Baby Blanket and Hat

Love your choice of stitch & color. that dusty rose in a cotton is also irresistible for baby things, and warm too. What's your stitch called? I've seen something like it, but yours is really elegant.

Re: The Gift Guide for Guys

Don't forget the aprons, with his favorite saying or quip on it! We did those one year, and you never saw prouder cooks. My husband always said he was a "logical procrastinator," so that's what I put on his. Had a boat collection, so that's what inspired the "logo" I painted on it. Love the baking idea: but also, what guy doesn't want the favorite family recipes? Cooking lessons -no criticism or nagging guaranteed- are also a good one for the hungry fellows. Our no-fail pie crust (from our high school cooking teacher) is a winner for everyone: 3 c. flour, 1/2 tsp salt... 1 c. margarine or butter, cut in. ... a mixture of 1 egg (slightly beaten), 1 tsp vinegar, and 5 Tablespoons icey cold water... Just use enough of that in the butter-flour mixture to make a dough that holds together. You can't overstir this recipe, and you can roll it out as many times as you like, without it turning into sidewalk cement toughness. That means you can make the crust out of leaves or cookie cutter shapes, or whatever suits your fancy... or just get used to pie crusts without the failures. Guys like that. If they still don't have the pie crust knack, set them on to the bread - they're like opposites, and if they're terrible at one, they'll probably soar at the other. Guys and kitchens are a natural! Who knows, the cooking lessons could be couched in a gift basket of all the ingredients & tools for his favorite pie, or dessert of main dish... With the promise of hotline help or in person guidance. The thing is, if you're going to welcome someone into your kitchen, make sure you really mean it, and MAKE it a welcoming experience. We want to foster their enthusiasm, not kill it.

Re: How to Machine-Embroider Freestanding Lace Napkin Rings

How do they hold up? They're beautiful, and I'm a sucker for lace. I'm not above cutting it out, either, and have to embellish a wedding scrapbook. Used the bridal lace that was extra. Might be an idea for preserving a memory.

Re: How to Make Cocktail and Dinner Napkins

What a winner! And so simple... & elegant. I could see it as a gift idea for some, too. For us, in our little city, cloth napkins are one of those things that sets the atmosphere, and cheers up the tiny space. They're the over-the top welcome for people who come to your table. (Yes I assume the food's already great, and the people happy to have you.) That and flowers or candles. In fact, don't ever underestimate the power of a pretty table to draw teenagers back to the family dinner. We aren't above migrating, napkins & candles and all, to the T.V. once in a while, too. Bend to the mood of the family, and they'll make room for each other better. Treat them like your best company, and they'll always feel welcome and loved.

Re: Rosey Cozy Neck Warmers

From a long-neck perspective, this looks good and practical both. We love the old buttons too, but I never thought of crocheting just to use them! Good one!

Re: Free Amigurumi Pattern

cute! Hand or hug size is great for little folks.

Re: The CraftStylish Caption Contest: Knitwear Comes Back to Haunt Us

So I see you've met the rest of my family.

Re: The CraftStylish Caption Contest: Knitwear Comes Back to Haunt Us

This reminds me of the little fellow who got unusual knitted gifts from his aunt, I believe it was the movie a Christmas Story... and one year it was a pink bunny P.J. suit, because for some reason she always thought he was a little girl. There are magazines that recommend you take a photo of you wearing "it," and send it with the thank you note... then donate the item quietly. It never hurts to be compassionate. Still I wonder what mom-in-law did with the sweater I knitted her, years ago, since I've never seen her wear it, and my daughter might fit it now, and loves those colors.

Re: Make a Quick and Easy Newborn Hat

I know this is a delayed comment, but when my first child was born, in 1987, I was absolutely thrilled with the little cap the hospital gave him. You can only guess! I've been knitting caps & mittens ever since, but never knew how to get involved with the "newborns" needs.
One random question, I like to knit whenever I travel, and although some object to knitting in the car, I was wondering, do airlines object to knitting projects onboard? And would security give a person a problem with it? I'd hate to lose a project to that, so haven't tried bringing it - or else put it in suitcase, but then time is precious on vacation, and it's hard to get to it much OFF the plane?

Re: The Un-Cosby Sweater

One quick question: how did you secure the knitted work, so that it didn't unravel once you cut it? So many times, reworked clothes don't look the way I imagined. Still, I'm willing to try. I think if the stitching is matched to the use, it should help. My Grandma used to cut anything and re-stitch it to fit, but she never did the work around us, so I never got to see how she did it. She was old-fashioned trained, and could make her own patterns from brown paper. Came in awfully handy. No sweater or knitted thing was safe from her scissors! It's fun to be that brave, sink or swim, and I like to hear from other people with that kind of guts.

Re: How to Craft with Gourds

This idea is definitely a keeper. We've blown and painted goose eggs, and that was a blast. This looks like twice as much fun. With canvas & paper having gone up so much in price, I'm always looking for more paintable surfaces. Love the marker work as well. As long as it's sealed or shellacked afterwards, it ought to be able to withstand time and perhaps weather.

Re: Accent Your Home Décor with Ribbons!

I Love, LOVE, LOVE that woven look. Maybe some day I'll have that much patience - and coordination sense! If anything I'm timid with ribbons and trims. Probably has something to do with the embellishments my mom used on my homemade dresses when I was in 2nd grade... and wearing them for years until they got too short to be decent even as mini's. Still I like the things... have used wide embroidered yards of ribbon to make camera straps for family. They went over well too. My daughter is a natural with pillow design. Maybe they'd be good on aprons too. (Don't laugh, but some of us still use kitchen aprons, cleaning aprons, shop aprons, whatever.)

Re: Survivor Socks

I Like! What yarn did you use? She must have really felt loved. Keep it up!

Re: The CraftStylish Caption Contest: Knitwear Comes Back to Haunt Us

Ma Barker's family Christmas photo?
(No one will ever know.)
I needed a good laugh! Not that it didn't take talent- and I understand the need for warmth, being from the midwest, where the snow often covered our driveway hip deep, and the wind howled in sub-zero frost as we tried to get to bus stops half a mile down the road. I understand the "why" -sort of. I just don't understand what it's got to do with apple pie! or that apron? Maybe there's a reason ski masks took the form they did. So to make this one right, what WOULD you do, to make ski masks? Animals? Wizard of Oz? Even a lacey knit would have been warmer than nothing. Something about cables or ribbing up the face make it look like somebody's old rag doll - in ghostly, giant size.

Re: How to (Re)Make a Custom Board Game

Sounds like fun, and a good surprise. We always enjoyed homemade games the best. You can tweak the rules to really get people going, and enjoying the game is the whole point, isn't it? One warning: not all families have a sense of humor. I'll bet you could alter something as simple as a deck of cards, to make the solitaire crowd happy.

Re: How to Insert a Crocheted Lace Band into a Hand Towel

Beautiful! It makes me remember my great-grandmother's crocheted lace-edged pillowcases. There was a ripple or scallop to her edges. Your version sounds like it would hold up really well too. Maybe it'd horrify people, I don't know, but I always believed these beautiful little touches were supposed to be USED in real life, not just stored away for company (although that's nice too as long as they get USED!)!! It's so much nicer to treat family like company when you can.

Re: How to Recycle Yarn from a Thrift-Store Sweater

I may have to try this one. I've watched yarn go from "supercheap" to incredibly expensive, in just a short time. So it seems, and it's really annoying. Quality is still quality. I'm not above reusing stuff "with a lot of wear left in it" though I never really thought of unravelling sweaters to get it. I know that's a lot of work. The soaking to remove the kinks is one of those "why didn't I think of that" brilliant strokes. It's sure to make the difference like blocking at the finish does. When your sweaters are too felted or itchy for humans, I've absconded with sleeves, to make doggie sweaters. They don't mind, and it's really cute. Those seams are there, exactly as you say. Once you get them undone, it's free sailing. I know when crocheting was kind of new, in the '70's, some folks unravelled stuff, to have yarn to work with. Just be careful, if you have carpal tunnel, or other tendon problems, and go easy on the winding stage - or better yet, let family help too.

Re: How to Make an Embellished Blanket with Recycled Sweaters

Ingenious! I have to admit, I've never thought of quilting with sweaters. I've seen people quilt old t-shirts, but not as nicely as this. I love the crazy quilt appearance, and the cuddly sweater factor. Just nutty enough to be genius. (Yes, that's a compliment) Some folks swear by tufting, but I like what you've done better. The backing is SOOOO important. For this kind, I'll bet you want it to breathe, too. Wouldn't hurt if it was as fuzzy as fleece or a light knit velour. Just watch out for static electricity! Sometimes the stores have $10 lap robes, in good washable fabric. Sounds a little like cheating, but not if you're just after the fabric. They make excellent slipcover fabric as well. Betcha could do some cute pillows from your idea.

Re: Painted Shoe #2

They look like fun. Our color alterations have been limited to marker -to eliminate unwanted white on black sneaks, though we have used watered down acrylics to add spice to t-shirts... What media did you use?

Re: a PINK cozy for your handbag

Just a question from a non-felter... is there anything besides wool that "felts" like that? Totally cute, but some of my family can't handle wool without breaking out. Crafter's felt isn't as pretty (or durable I suppose) as the woolie version.

Re: Confessions of a Polygamist Crafter

You've got me laughing, and that's good! As long as you can finish a fair amount of the launched projects, you're not too distracted. Actually, I LOVE doing crafts of all sorts, but RSI problems (Repetitive Strain Injuries) demand that I rotate them. Do some of several, and remember to stretch. If there's too much temptation, and you do more hours of one than you expected, run for ice, and try hard to think of something else!!! Once upon a time I was distressed about how I was going to fit all my favorites into my life -and still have a life. That's when it hit me: shift some of them like the seasons. That reduces the risks of overdoing it. As for the wide interests, I think it's inherited - you should see what my son does to tennis balls... and his smallest origami crane was about 1/8 inch in wingspan. With the things he came up with in high school, they nicknamed him MacGyver. By the way, what's tea bag folding? Never heard of it but it must smell good. It's a trip to see a family member or friend develop a new passion. And that's truly what crafts are about: need and passion.

Re: The Lion Roars:The Rebranding of an American Yarn Company

Sounds like fun! I used to go downtown to Chinatown just for the Ten Ren tea. Would you suggest any other stores (or outings) while a person was down for the yarn? I like to double up on errands, to save the cost of travel. Make it a day, and like some suggest, entertainment of sorts.
I've been very impressed with what Lion Brand has been coming up with in the recent years, so they have my attention. Yes the free patterns were interesting, but I'm fussy about those. If a pattern isn't just right, the whole project isn't as fun. It does help, though to give you ideas for what that yarn would be good for.

Re: Crafting in the Current Economy

Wow! Just a few responses! Is there a single person in this country who DOESN"T have either pioneer blood, Native American blood, or immigrant blood in them? We're a nation of belt-tightening, creative, intensely generous people. Why wouldn't the crafts be soothing and the perfect answer to us in hard times? In 1978, my uncle gave my little brother & I each "display cases" he'd built for our collections. At about 14x12 inches, with green plaid removable bottoms, and glass in the wooden top, they were perfect and we never had anything like them. RockHound's dream. Years later, I found out that he'd been embarrassed that it was so inexpensive to make. We loved them. It was instinct and need that made him think it up.
When you get someone's handmade gift, we believe they've given you a little bit of themselves with it. Not so with shopping and store-bought stuff.
Yes, one of the biggest family areas to save is the gift budget. But you have to be thrifty to get the materials at a good buy. ... or else creative to use what you already have stashed away. One year I sewed aprons for the extended family. The kids had a ball, kibitzing. As long as you pre-wash the fabric, there are so many possibilities, and they'll last for decades with a little care. There've been other gems, like the candy-making years, the gingerbread houses, and the quilting times. My favorites were the road trips with needles clicking in the backseat. Never have my brothers been so well-behaved! Well, anyway, you had something to do during the boring hours, and it was FUN. It was bonding time, the way we did it; and when it was solo, it was time to really cherish the person you were crafting for. Love in any circumstance is a treasure, and giving is the best place to find it.
I guess I'm saying, when money is harder to come by, Love makes up the difference. People stand by each other, help each other, are more considerate, and maybe their best selves. I like genuine much better. Money doesn't = happiness; caring for others DOES. Never underestimate the power of a cable scarf!

Re: Make It Pink: Breast Cancer Prayer Shawl

Looks really pretty; the only problem I've got with the extra bulky yarn is that it tends to shift, even once it's knitted... and how do you get the ends to stay tucked in? It's all due to the shifting. Otherwise, love the texture, love the speed, and LOVE the warmth & look. Really I would like any suggestions that help.

Re: How to Wind Center-Pull Balls of Yarn

I'l be glad to try this one as soon as I need to . For the meantime, when using plain old balls, I FOUND OUT that you can keep them corralled well in a canvas bag or whatever your traveling project (crochet or knitting) lives in. One loop or handle hangs well over a knee or chair arm, and you're off. I can see how your winding method could help even more. My son used to play with the yarn like a kitten when he was a little whelp. In response, I learned to work fast, and unsnarl just about anything. Came in handy, years later, when all our daughter wanted was LONG, long hair. Such tangles! and no tears. Anyway, let the kids love the yarn too. Eventually they learn to help you wind it. So happy crafting!

Re: How to Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel (Part 1)

Love it! When my daughter was 8 and wanted to learn to sew, I found she couldn't handle the skinny material easily. The practice kits were too simple and unrealistic, so we decided to start her on felt, and a needle big enough she could thread herself without getting frustrated. Felt is so forgiving, and your hands don't cramp when you hold it... and it stays put while you get used to the thimble. Everyone loved the applique pillows she made.
We never thought of anything like this though. I'd love to try this as a mother - daughter project, fit for any first timer or expert who just wants to have fun. There's something about the hugability of felt, too.

Re: Button Jewelry at the Expo!

I'm speechless! ... yes I'd wear it,... maybe I'm silly, but it reminds me of the essence of the native American work. It's something a person should probably make for herself, or for someone who's courage in life spills over to their clothes a bit. Remember how the headdresses were made for someone heroic in the tribe, and everybody donated feathers? It's like that a bit. Only this is about the women who do so much, and survive so well. That's what it says to me.

Re: Knit to Fit: Customize and Personalize Knitting Patterns

dear cjms - you aren't the only one built like that - my daughter is too. So we knit and measure and adapt as we go, and tailor anything. I'm sure this is the haphazard way to do it, and I have a lot to learn from these pros. Let me know how you do. I told my daughter that hers is the classic figure. That made her happy. Sure enough, classics sing on her... from 1800's to Hollywood to ann tailor and J.jill. That was a better response than I got when she once asked me how to camophlage her figure - and I suggested she learn to play guitar. I got cuffed at that! We all learn as we go. Since then she's learned to love her build and work with it. And she plays viola brilliantly.

Re: Using Your Crafty Powers for Good

I'm hopeless at keeping groups together. If someone else starts, I can do my part, but I have trouble finding those other groups (already in existence). I'll look through those resources for sure, and see where they lead. It should be a huge help. As with most relaxational knitters, I do more than my family & friends need, and I feel very happy to have just a few more to knit for.

Re: Create a Lining for a Knit Bag

perfect timing! daughter wants to knit a bag, and it's bulky, so it's sure to be a sieve for her pens & eyeliner, and all the stuff that costs to replace. This is the cure, and I thank you from the bottom of my -purse.

Re: Organize Your Embroidery Floss

My mom used the 3x5's to wrap hers around. Just a slit or 2 somewhere, and you have a place to tuck in the ends. Decades ago, I got a "sorter" from a craft company. It's plastic with 1/2 or 3/4 inch holes, all around the perimeter. For individual projects, that's the best. But for long term storage of bulk or leftovers, I like your idea rather well.

Re: Create Your Own Prayer Shawl

You can pretty much design your own prayer shawl, if you do the basics: pick the stitch, do the stitch sample, and figure out the stitches for your goal width. It's a fun way to try new stitches, and have it look amazing. My favorite so far is a rippling lace from an old sewing book. Then comes the fun part. Sometimes I know who it's for at the beginning, and so throughout the creating I pray for her. (If you're doing it for a guy, please make it a scarf or lap robe, NOT a shawl! We want them to feel better not worse.) When I don't know who it's for at the outset, I pray vaguely for it's recipient, and sometimes I find out who needs it. Other times, it goes through other give away avenues. In any case, it's loads of fun. Prayer is a healer, both for the giver and the receiver, whether they know of it or not. If you want to tell me about your experiences with this (or one you're trying for the first time), you can reach me at jen1964@optonline.net and I will write you back or encourage if that's what you like. Be prepared for the blessings that go with this project!

Re: Recycling Just Got Easier

THANK YOU! Maybe it's my wagon train roots, but I can't stand to waste anything. We donate, repurpose, or pass along whatever we really can't use. But yarn from recycled clothes? If it's soft, and good quality (which means it's gonna last) I'm sold. Are local stores (like Walmart) going to be carrying it?

Re: How to Knit Everlasting Autumn Leaves: No Raking Required

Love the ribs and the colors. Very realistic. Curious about larger concept. Now that you've got that part awesome, what could a person do with it next? maybe set it off in freeform crochet... a border on a wrap? applique on pillows?

Re: A Gorgeous Collection of Free Crochet Stitches Online

Beautiful! Looks kind of complicated, but then again, what's the point of crocheted lace if you don't try the awesome stuff? I wonder how a person would incorporate this sort of thing in a triangle shawl. Any ideas?

Re: How to Keep Your Embroidery Machine in Tip-Top Shape

Thanks. I've heard good things about Pfaff, and yes it's the cost that's thrown that idea out, for the time being. The one with the quilting feet sounds really practical, knowing me. As for speed, don't think I wasn't tempted, last spring, sewing my daughter's curtains! Stitch witchery is a viable shortcut for some of the projects, but I haven't even used that in a long time. One mother I knew (a Brownie troop leader at the time) stapled her daughter's uniform insignia on! That's a first, I think. Anyway, I'll keep your recommendations in mind!

Re: Crafte's Inferno: Crafting For The Family

I feel better now. It isn't just my family! We're all big fans of handmade treasures, AND the funny stories that go with them. On my daughter's first scarf, she couldn't finish it in time for her dad's birthday, so he decided he couldn't turn older until she did... and that was 3 years later. He loved that on more than one level. In painting, I've been told that if 1 out of 5 canvases comes out amazing, that's great odds. I figure I have a similar allowance in yarncrafts. And looking back, in sewing as well. Sometimes a project really nails it, and all the other efforts are suddenly worth it to get there. My daughter's second project was a sweater. It's still under construction, but destined to be beautiful. I've learned if I want them to be in love with the results, let the recipient have a say in how it fits and looks, if possible. Sure it kills the surprise, but at least I know they'll use it, and they tend to have more appreciation for the love that went into it.

Re: Crafting Long Distance

Absolutely a great idea. Where do I sign up? For my part, I've never really been in a supportive crafting group like that. Most of my work, like my mom's and later my daughter's has been pretty much solo, or in twosomes. Would love to try it, though.
Grammy4, moving sure can be quite a setback. And yes, life can throw you some curve balls when you least expect it. I've moved too many times, and have some more to go. And then illnesses take their toll. The key seems to be just don't give up: people are pretty much the same (despite their differences). Crafty people are the nicest, by far. In some areas, you may have to look harder, because folks can be pretty shy when you're new. Hang in there, you'll find them.

Re: Recycle Your Plastic Bags into a Dish Scrubber

I can't wait to try this. Being in a city, we normally use the bags for the dog waste, but no matter what, we can't use them all up. In any case, my mom got me started on making my own dishcloths. Nothing you get in the store is anything like them. Only thing they were missing was the scrubby part. This should be perfect. Thanks! New gift ideas? Hmm!

Re: Craft an Innovative I-Cord Needle Cozy

SOooo Cute! Very intriguing pattern too. I've always sewn my knitting pouches in the past, but they're big and a little bulky for how much they hold. Sometimes you want something smaller. And I never figured out where to put the stitch markers like that. Looks like a fun weekend project (for my daughter & I).

Re: Hold Everything! Today's Must-Have Knitting Bags

Right on target! With the shift in today's styles, there are a lot of elongated purses or bags out there, and I've happily found they accommodate easily my needled projects. Nothing like having a bag you already love do double duty. I just make sure it's clean on the inside first. You can be so much more frivolous and cheerful with a knitting bag than a regular one.

Re: Traveling with Your Embroidery

Thank YOU for clarifying about the scissors. I've run into this in courthouse security, going to jury duty. They laughed when they saw the kiddie scissors, and it helped me relax. I regularly carry scissors and thimble, when I'm going to sewing group. Sometimes I forget to take them out afterwards! My daughter has flown with her knitting internationally, and it's been o.k. but when we're in doubt, she packs it in her suitcase. Love to know the routines for the knitting needles. The only time we've had trouble embroidering was on the long drives when the road was bumpy. Imagine a vibrating chair, and you get the picture! Otherwise it's out of this world fun to craft as you travel.

Re: How to Dress Up Your Curtain with a Crochet Tieback

Great solution! I have several places in mind....and just the right yarn, too.
I'd used beads on wire for another part of the curtain- we were hanging a rod in a doorway, and I didn't want to use anything obvious or nasty on the wood. My husband put in 2 eye hooks, and I put together these beads (from daughter's unwanted necklace kits) on wire... made loops to hold the rod. For some reason I never thought of making curtain ties. Thanks for the inspiration.

Re: How to Keep Your Embroidery Machine in Tip-Top Shape

Wow! I guess that explains it. For years, my first Singer and I got along great, and I knew it's dust points and care, and oiling and did it all. Then I started quilting. All was well, as usual, until I patched together a Queen size quilt -in velour. I had no idea it was that much more dusty and hard on the machine. Cleaning and oiling each session wasn't enough for that fabric, and alas my dear machine bit the dust permanently. (Yes I hand quilted the whole thing once it was pieced.) I tried replacing it, but wasn't happy with the new one. I've been on hand sewing ever since, and that was 14 years ago. Any recommendations that won't interfere with my 2 kids going to college? I'm amazed at how much more machines cost these days, and wonder if they're worth it. I could buy my next 3 wardrobes for that, and then some.

Re: Sweet_Pea's Crafts

Oh my gosh CUTE! I'm a long-time mom, and loved using those placemats for my kids. Very cheerful. Saved tables, dishes, and nerves. What kind of embroidery thread did you use? Cotton? Wool? Yarn? And I bet they rinse off in the sink just fine. (Before we got woolite, we used plain old dish soap for washing delicates.)

Re: How to Add Crochet Trim to Any Fabric Edge

Love the idea! Josefly, let us know how it works out! Some of my favorite pullover sweaters have that 1 or 1-1/2 (or even 2) inch "collar" standing up. If that's a mock turtle, I don't know. I can imagine your project with either the crew neck or that. My favorite thing to do with the too-tight, too-scratchy sweaters is to take the sleeves off and make dog sweaters out of them. (Fronts or backs can be bed covers for Westies & other small dogs like mine) Once you find the seam, it's not too hard to un-sew it. No need to cut that way. I suppose you would find a seam like that on your turtleneck as well. No need to stay-stitch if you do it that way. In any case, have fun!

Re: Losing a Best Friend

I've been living without my sewing machine for about 14 years now. We just couldn't find a great replacement to suit me. I'd learned to quilt, and just switched to doing it by hand. Loved it. Then I found I had a really strong stitch, and a really good blind stitch, and could tailor clothes really close by hand. So I haven't gone back. I tried, sure, but we just don't have the space. (And my place is a lot cleaner, for some strange reason!) Mostly it's knitting or crochetting for now, or painting. Creativity is funny stuff - somehow it comes out, and the media you use is really secondary.

Re: How to Make a Custom-Knitted Button and Win the Style Game

We used those button kits on our tailoring projects in home ec - they look better than anything you can buy! I never thought of using them for knitted projects. Can't wait to try! Thanks.

Re: Go Bowling: Contain Your Knitting with Money to Spare

Sounds good. When we first got married, Jack put a stop to my knitting in the car. I guess, given air bags, he's been right all along, so we compromised: crocheting in the car doesn't freak him out. Still, you need to contain the stuff! I've been using those oversized, lined, straw handbasket-type purses to keep my latest project portable. There's usually a little pocket in the side for the tiny stuff, and the rest is hard to miss. Always have a portable project!

Re: Finally, a Place for Your UFOs

I know it's not a lot of fun to bite the bullet when something isn't coming together, but I consider it a sort of purging (and therapeutic) to rip it out myself. Next part is the important part: it's relegated to the crazy projects stash- idea being, I can now use it freely, any way I want, without guilt. Try some new stitches, Do granny square afghans or ripple ones or just grab it for patchwork knitting of any kind. Teach someone with it, or donate it to a school or girl scout troop if you really want to. Let it have a new life. (The first one didn't fit the yarn's personality or yours, or it'd be done by now.) When my son was little, he liked playing with the yarn (until it was one big tangle). My daughter actually wanted to make things with it. No matter how it's used, the goal is to make someone happy, right? No guilt allowed! Have fun. -jen

Re: How to Make Your Own Newspaper Yarn

Just a few questions- How's the ink & newsprint problem solved? I would think it would come of on your hands, and anyone who wore-or-used the finished product. What do you do about wetness? Have you tested it to see how it reacts? I'd imagine it might harden a little, like basketry materials. Lastly, how comfortable is it, and durable? -jen

Re: How To: Five Handy Embroidery Stitches

If you can find that 1/8 inch yellow gingham, I highly recommend an embroidery project that you design yourself. Samplers were popular forever, and I learned on one. The center is where you put the simplified "home" you live in. With those stitches you showed, you can do so much. Each link in the chain stitch can be a petal or a leaf. Simple "x" stitches can add a nice touch for making large alphabets or borders. But any combination of stitches that you like can make a border that's both intriguing and fun. A message of favorite quote helps round out the piece. You get to pick out your emboidery floss colors, and make it so you love it. The main point is to have fun (and learn). Great way to help young girls (and some boys with patience) to learn to sew. -Jen

Re: PAPER FLOWER POWER

Beautiful! I was wondering how to work with raffia, and the like. My son does origami roses, 3-d, but they take him 45 minutes apiece, and his miniatures are something else again. I'll bet he'd love these. Thanks for the idea. We're always looking for handmade ways to dress up plain wrappings. Our simplest is the folded paper (accordion, like a fan), and while you could attach it at one end and spread out the other, we like to tack it down in the middle, and spread out both ends bow tie fashion. Embellish or stay simple.
jen

Re: How to Organize Your Yarn Stash, Part 1: Get It Together

I like your idea of getting it all together (literally). We've tried keeping our yarns in bins (which keeps the dust out), but lately, it's behind glass. What? Yeah, an extra hutch or display cabinet works great. The colors are beautiful, and the scraggly unsightly stuff goes in matching baskets. I don't know why, but my whole family liked the look of it, and since I could see it, I found it easier to work out plans to use it. And by the way, there are some schools which are doing knitting clubs. They would be so grateful for some of your excess stash.