Category Archives: knitting/crochet

Winding Yarn into balls by hand – with or without a Nostepinne

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This is a very useful tutorial I found via Sheila Dixon’s Hand Spinning News, which has a video that takes the mystique out of how to use a Nostepinne, or any useful stick, to allow you to wind hand spun yarn, or just oddments of wool into tidy balls, manually.

It is copied directly from Roving Crafters – she calls them “cakes” – and she says on her blog that it can be freely copied – so I have!  I will be adding this to the i/sheet page so that you can always find it easily.


 

How to Hand Wind Yarn Into a Cake

Winding warn cakes

Confession #1: I like to wind yarn.

Its fun. Its an excuse to play with my yarn and when I wind up other knitters’ and crocheters’ yarn (I’ve been known to do that) I get to play with their yarn too. But its more than just play time. A nicely wound yarn cake will save you headache and frustration and make for a more pleasant knitting and crocheting experience.

A yarn cake sits flat on the table. It has a nice easy end to draw out of the center. If its done right, the yarn won’t tangle up and the cake won’t flop or bounce around. A yarn cake as a great and wonderful thing and nearly every yarn shop in the world will wind up your yarn into a cake with their ball winder.

But you don’t need a ball winder to make a yarn cake. You just need a stick. A dowel will work. So will a broom handle, a fat knitting needle, or the empty tube from your next roll of toilet paper. If you want to be fancy-pants about hand winding yarn, you can get a nostepinne. But only really hopeless yarn-geeks bother with those.

Confession #2: I own three nostepinnes.

small cake
I also own a ball winder but sometimes I make yarn cakes by hand and not just for fun. If I only have a small amount of yarn, say 50 yards or less, I wind it into a little cake using a small nostepinne thin stick. That works out much better.

 

 

 

 

Winding Yarn Into a Cake By Hand

 


 

Give it a try because it super easy. You’ll be making yarn cakes in no time at all and believe me, they are worth it. And grab yourself a copy of that yarn cake cozy pattern. Its a freebie and you’ll need something to carry your cakes in right? Right.

Also, if you like free stuff check out:

Enjoy!


A STEAL! – How to knit vertical buttonholes ….

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I don’t suppose knitting daily  will object to me stealing the latest offering I found in my email box just now – smile.  They are part of the Interweave Group, which covers spinning & weaving as well as knitting and other crafts.  You may find their books, e-books and tutorials useful, altho’ you will have to pay for them.  This is one of their rare freebies!

 

Learn It: The Vertical Buttonhole
Kathleen Cubley
Editor, Knitting Daily
KnittingDaily.com
16ButtonCardi2
Sixteen Button Cardigan
by Cecily Glowik Macdonald

We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of Knitscene, and I’ve had the pleasure of looking through my collection of back issues in preparation for writing this newsletter. I discovered a well-loved copy of the spring 2009 issue, featuring a wonderful tutorial on buttonholes, by technical editor Karen Frisa. It also contains a pattern called the Sixteen Button Cardigan. Yeah. That’s a lot of buttonholes. But it’s so cute!

I have a love-hate relationship with buttonholes, leaning a little more toward the hate than the love. Mine tend to be too loose, which is a bummer when the buttons slip out of the holes. For one cardigan, I had to resort to sewing up parts of each of the buttonholes to make them tighter, and they ended up too tight, so the cardigan is now a pullover. Not the best solution.

In her article, Karen talks about vertical buttonholes, which intrigue me, especially for buttonbands with vertical ribbing. Here’s an excerpt of that article for you.

Working a Vertical Buttonhole

What did you think of your last buttonholes? Were they a little loose? Too tight? Didn’t work well with the stitch pattern on your band? Maybe you haven’t even made a buttonhole before.

Knitters can take two approaches when it comes to pairing buttons and buttonholes: choose the button first, then create a buttonhole that works with it; or choose the buttonhole first, then choose a button that works with it.

1Vertical-buttonhole
Vertical Buttonhole

In either case, aim for a hole that is a little snug for your button, so that the button won’t slip back through the hole unexpectedly. Here’s how to make one of the lesser used but very nice buttonholes, a vertical buttonhole.

The vertical buttonhole can be sized to fit your button, but the opening is vertical rather than horizontal. This variation can be nice when working in ribbing or another stitch pattern with a strong vertical line, but it is a little fiddly to work. The vertical split for this buttonhole is made by working up one side of the buttonhole, then breaking the yarn, rejoining it at the bottom of the buttonhole, and working up the other side.

Make this buttonhole as follows: Work to the buttonhole location. *Turn, work to end of row, turn, work to buttonhole location; repeat from * until buttonhole is the correct height. Break yarn. Rejoin yarn to bottom of buttonhole. Work to end of row. *Work to buttonhole location, turn, work to end of row; repeat from * until buttonhole is the correct height. On next row, work across all stitches. This last step closes the top of the buttonhole.

The yarn ends can be used to reinforce the top and bottom of the buttonhole.

—Karen Frisa, Knitscene Spring 2009

The topic of buttonholes brings up buttonbands. Here are some tips for knitting great buttonbands.

Buttonband Tips

• Use a knitting needle one or even two sizes smaller than the one used for the body of the garment. This smaller size will make a firmer band that is less likely to droop.

• When picking up stitches for a band, consider the stitch gauge of the band pattern versus the row gauge of the garment. For example, if your band stitch pattern has five stitches per inch, and if your garment has seven rows per inch, then pick up five stitches for every seven rows on the garment. You could do this as follows: *pick up 1 stitch in each of next 3 rows, skip 1 row, pick up 1 stitch in each of next 2 rows, skip 1 row; rep from * for length of band. This sequence makes a band that lies flat.

• Buttons don’t need to be evenly spaced. Clustering buttons in groups of two or three along a band can be pretty and unexpected.

• Choose buttons that complement your garment in terms of size and weight as well as style. Too many heavy buttons on a lightweight garment can pull it out of shape; tiny buttons on a heavier garment can be lost. Shank buttons create some room for the knitted fabric behind the button. If you have a delicate fabric, place a backing button (a small, thin button) or a piece of felt on the wrong side of the band (inside the garment) behind the visible button.

• Traditionally, buttonholes for a woman’s or girl’s garment are on the right band (as it’s worn); for a man’s or boy’s, they’re on the left.

These are the types of articles you’ve come to expect in Knitscene , along with fashion-forward designs and styling. We’re offering a terrific collection to celebrate Knitscene‘s 10th birthday: a collection of every issue of Knitscene since it’s debut, plus all of the Accessories issues. Get yours today, in print or digital.

Here’s to better buttonholes, and to 10 years of Knitscene.

Cheers,
1KCsig

Some thoughts on “A Gallery of Your Work”

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This is a follow up to the GALLERY OF YOUR WORK, that appeared on 31 May 2015.

this beautiful summer dress was made for Val's holiday - we had a bit of a panic, because it seems Royal Mail lost her package - so I sent her another 4m of this very popular red poppy material - listed in julzcrafts supplies shop on etsy - and on the 85solway account on ebay.

this beautiful summer dress was made for Val’s holiday – we had a bit of a panic, because it seems Royal Mail lost her package – so I sent her another 4m of this very popular red poppy material – listed in julzcrafts supplies shop on etsy – and on the 85solway account on ebay.

I have just updated it to include this lovely dress that a customer of mine made out of one of the fabrics that I sell.

This was the first GALLERY  that I have tried putting together, and it has given rise to various comments from readers, and the information from the POLL I put up, has been useful.

I have been mulling over the idea, and the problems with it – smile.

It takes quite a lot for people to send it photos of their work, and actually, I am as shy about showing some of mine, especially when I don’t think I’ve got it quite right!  I’m not sure I would immediately think – oh what a great idea, I’ll send a picture to this blog – and if I didn’t know the writer – I’d be uncertain about how they would use the pictures.

So, let me try and reassure you – smile.

My intentions are nothing but honourable!

The idea was simply to give people a place to showcase their work, to give encouragement and to perhaps inspire others.  You see a great idea and it creates a spark that leads to you using some element of it to improve the work you do yourself.  It may not even be in the same medium, or directly comparable!

Now, a long time ago, I briefly started degree in Photography – this was after I had already been working as a Photographer for quite a while, and had initially trained with a quite well known commercial advertising photographer in London, so I was a mature student, and joined to see if I could improve my work – and well, to be honest, to get my hands on the large format cameras the college had, which I couldn’t afford!

Not for the first time I was subjected, along with the others on the course, to the vicious system of ‘crits’ – supposedly creative criticism of your work by the tutors.  With everyone else standing by and watching, and waiting for their turn.

I don’t know why these supposed ‘teachers’ thought it was fun to rip people’s work apart – the same happens in art colleges and other creative courses.  At best it might give you some idea of how others view what you have done – at worst – it totally destroys your enthusiasm for the subject!  Makes you feel worthless, and want to give up – even if you are incredibly talented!  And all abilities should be nurtured and encouraged by tutors – that’s what their job is supposed to be about.

this is a standard advertising still life I took years ago!

this is a standard advertising still life I took years ago!

Well I might not have been the best photographer around, but I knew that the course wasn’t going to give me what I wanted after the first term – so I left!  (OK – the courses were free at the time and I didn’t need the degree.)

The point is – besides me having a chance to show off some of my old work – smile – (you can see a selection of some of my other photos on “the spare“)

– that, if you were subjected to that kind of criticism in the past, you probably don’t want to put up a photo on a GALLERY HERE!

On the other hand, if you want to promote the work you sell, you might well be interested in getting some FREE PUBLICITY!

But the idea of the Gallery is not just for those few who, rightly, take any opportunity to publicise their work – it is for EVERYONE!

I am just as interested in seeing your first attempt at something, with all its faults, as the work with the professional finish that comes with years of experience.

You may find that someone who sees it can help you out with any problems you are having – and certainly, anyone who puts up their work here is not going to get ‘pulled to pieces’ – I moderate all comments, and will not allow any nasty ones to see the light of day!

It also seems that I have not made myself clear enough about what kind of work I will put up in a GALLERY.

THE ONLY STIPULATION IS THAT IT IS CRAFT RELATED – ANY CRAFT –

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A TEXTILE CRAFT.

There are too many crafts to mention, but I will mention a few, just to make it obvious – there’s pottery, sculpture, glass work, ironwork, jewellery work, leatherwork, paperwork (not your accounts tho – smile), woodwork, re-cycling projects, mixed media etc etc – and of course anything to do with fabric, fibres and yarns.

What doesn’t qualify as a craft for the purposes of this exercise, is art work as in paintings etc (there are plenty of other places to show those) and videos – simply because they take up too much of my storage allowance!

And talking about storage space – please just send in ONE PHOT0. 

If you do send in more, I can, if I think it will show your work better, create a grid to put the other shots into the format of one image.  If you are not sure which photo will be best, you can send in more and let me choose which one to use.

THE PHOTOGRAPH CAN BE OF WORK YOU HAVE DONE IN THE PAST OR JUST RECENTLY.

NB:  If you would like to be featured in a SHOW & TELL you can send in as many photos as you like!

If you look at the bottom of the current GALLERY OF YOUR WORK, you will see that there is a note about copyright.  You own the copyright of the work and the photograph.  By sending the picture to me, you are only allowing me to use it in the Gallery, and I will ask your permission if I want to use it in any other way – as should anyone else that sees the blog – I strongly disagree with the idea of ‘stealing someone else’s work’.  However, it happens, so please don’t blame me if your picture appears elsewhere.  See my copyright info at the end of the blogroll on the right hand side of this page – and all pages!

this useful widget at the end of the said blogroll shows where the viewers come from

this useful widget at the end of the said blogroll shows where the viewers come from

The joy of the internet is that people from all over the world can see this blog and do! – I just took a snapshot of the latest figures for this blog – the widget here tells me where you all come from – and if you click on the actual widget at the end of my blogroll – you can see the that you are a truly INTERNATIONAL lot!

So – of course – the offer to host a picture of your work is open to anyone who reads this blog, or is a customer of mine and doesn’t bother to read it (smile), all over the world.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS IDEA?

How about I keep this GALLERY IDEA GOING?

I am thinking about having constant open submission, without any deadlines.

(Open submission means that anyone can send in a photo of their work – and anything you send in gets published, unless we have agreed that this photo is not suitable for any reason)

However, the current gallery is now closedBUT as soon as I have at least 10 photos waiting to be published, I will create a new gallery and then the next set of photos will form the basis of the next gallery – with any luck this could run & run!

Your comments & ‘likes’ would be greatly appreciated – I am not on twitter or facebook, but would be happy if you would spread the word for me!  I will direct my mailing list of customers – who are several hundred in number – to this blog in my next “newz from julz” – so hopefully we will find that there are enough people interested in this idea to start the ball rolling!

(If you would like to join the mailing list – please fill in the form at the bottom of the SHOP TALK PAGE)

I LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVING YOUR PICTURES!

If you don’t have my email address – I took it off the site because I was getting too much spam – please either fill in the form on the SHOP TALK PAGE or the one on the CONTACT ME PAGE – and I will reply to your email address so that you can send me some pictures!

THANKS

julz signature

A Gallery of Your Work ….31 May

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scarfcopysThe Gallery

This is the Gallery of Your Work as it stands at the end of May 2015.

Are you shy, or haven’t got around to sending your work in, or just don’t trust me????

I really, really want this blog to be interactive and a place where you can go to get some ideas and inspiration!  I’m always offering to showcase your craft work – smile – either as individual “Show & Tells”, re-blogs, or to author an information sheet.

This was my invitation to contribute your work to this Gallery of Your Work.

And here are the 6 contributions – one of which is mine!

The text explaining who made the item and any details about it is accessed by hovering over the picture – to see the picture in larger definition, please click on it, and you will get a slide show.  The full text will be easily read, and you can even leave comments on any picture, for the maker!

Having taken inspiration from a fellow blogger, who put up a poll to ask people what design of crochet table runner she should make – smile – see here ……I thought I’d put up a poll to ask you to let me know whether you think I should extend this gallery idea or not!

Please tick to tell me what you think on the poll at the end of the gallery!

If you would still like to contribute to this Gallery – I will keep it open for longer – so you can still send your work in!  You can send me an email, or if you don’t have my email address, please fill in the Contact Me Form, and I will reply by email so that you can attach a picture.

3 June Update – one new submission – so I’m adding it here for now!  The response from the Poll gives me hope that there will be some more coming in – so please do continue to send me your photos.

I think what I’ll do is keep adding the pictures as they come in, and at some point – will renew this listing as the First Gallery of Your Work – so that the new photos get a chance to be in the most recent blog spot.  And then hopefully have Second & Third Galleries etc, as an ongoing theme – so – keep it in mind!  Your photos will always be welcome – smile!

9 June Update   – a beautiful dress made by Val one of my UK customers

 

This is the poll I mentioned above – 

I’ve never run one of these before so if I have got the questions wrong or anything else wrong – my apologies in advance!  The Poll lasts a week, so please do click on your preferred answer, and you will also be able to see what answers others have given as the week goes along.  Thinks – hope someone actually does use it!

Please also add any comments, or thoughts about the Gallery, that don’t fit into the set answers, in the comment section below – Many thanks – your feedback is appreciated!

 

 

NB: COPYRIGHT OF THESE PHOTOS IS OWNED AND RETAINED BY THE MAKER OF THE ITEM SHOWN – PLEASE SEE MY STANDARD NOTICE ABOUT COPYRIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BLOGROLL AT THE RIGHT OF THIS PAGE.  DO NOT REPRODUCE WITHOUT PERMISSION!

Diary of Craft Events

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I keep asking people when various craft shows, trade events or group shows are happening, and then forget all about them!

SO

I thought I might as well create a permanent page – which appears at the top of the blog – that you can access any time without needing to search for it, or for the websites.

I have only added the ones I know about in the UK so far – but this is an International blog – so please let me know of any events in your neck of the woods – wherever you are – and I will add them to the list.

Have a look at the craft events page, and please send me the information, with a logo or picture if possible, that will fit the format I have used.  If there isn’t a website, then please add the contact email address of the organiser, as long as you have their permission!

Oh yes, and when I said CRAFT EVENTS – THAT MEANS ALL CRAFTS – not just the woolly ones – smile!


 

This page is intended to be a

Diary of Craft Events – large and small

please feel free to add an event you are running, or like going to – any time – anywhere!

You can either leave me a comment at the end of this page,

or use the form on my contact me page.

This is just to show you approx what it looks like – more info on the full page!

WEBSITE

DATE

PLACE

INFO

http://properwoolly.co.uk 30-31 May Holsworthy Livestock Market,  Devon….UK An event to bring together fibre crafters and producers in the South West.
http://www.woolfest.co.uk Friday 26 June and Saturday 27 June Cockermouth, Cumbria….UK Woolfest was founded to provide a showcase and a celebration of the best of wool and wool crafts.

New Fabrics and Yarns in Stock

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Once again, I have tried to find an effective way to list my new stock – the columns worked fine at first – smile – with the text lining up within the small columns – but each time I saved it, the text changed into continuous lines!  Having spent ages on this trial, I’ve left it like this!

I am sending a copy of this out to all my customers – as a newz from julz email – and thought I might as well put it up here too – so anyone can have a look at 

some of my new stock!

I have been branching out into buying some exciting fabrics lately – see previous posts with my other fabrics here  & here – and have just got a few more in, and another bolt of the multicoloured zebra fabric that has sold really well!

I have also added a few more silk yarns and a small stock of Axminster Rug Yarns to see how popular they are – there are lots more colours in the range and I hope to be able to stock more of them if you think you might like to use them for weaving or latching rugs.  (Only listed on etsy at the moment.)

I have a nice range of ‘storage solutions’ in the form of cotton and jute baskets – and have included the latest Jute baskets below – they come in three sizes.

I have tried to give you links to the listings on both etsy & ebay and hope the links work!

If you don’t have an account with one or the other – or neither – you are welcome to  BUY DIRECT – SEE HERE.

Hope you like this selection – any feedback gladly received!

multicoloured zig zag design multicoloured zig zag design – 100 % cotton/150 cm wide – click here for etsy listing – click here for ebay listing
fish batik blue fish batik design – 100% cotton/110 cm wide – click here for etsy listing – click here for ebay listing
tapestry black Upholstery Fabric- 145 cm wide- 70% Polyester, 30% Cotton – click here for etsy listing – click here for ebay listing
ecru jute Jute Fabric for Craft uses – Ecru – 120 cm wide
lt brown jute Light Brown Jute Fabric – click here for etsy listing – click here for ebay listing
ivory linen Pure Linen – 140 cm wide for dressmaking etc – Ivory (not as bright as White)
8592-3 Black Linen – click here for etsy listing – click here for ebay listing
DSCF0854 200 gm cone of Fancy Linen – click here for etsy listing – click here for ebay listing
DSCF0860 Axminster Rug Wool – 250 gm cones – click here for etsy listing
3 wild silk Pure Tussah Wild Silk – 3 thicknesses – 100 gm cones – click here for etsy listing
black flecked silk Black Mulberry Silk with multicoloured flecks – 2 thicknesses – 100 gm cones – click here for etsy listing
DSCF0856 Pure Chinese Wild Silk – 100 gm cone – thick yarn – click here for etsy listing
herringbone group Natural Herringbone Design – JUTE STORAGE BASKETS – click here for etsy listing – click here for ebay listing