Sunday, January 28, 2018

Building a Drop Spindle.....some assembly required

This past summer I spent some time learning to "spin". Not only did I want to spin my own yarn, but I also wanted to make my own spindles. I stuck with the k.i.s.s principle and kept it simple.

What I did not already have on hand only took a trip to the hardware store, where I was able to pick up some wooden wheels, beads and dowels.
Now, they don't need to be pretty to function.....but heck, why not make them nice to look at too! I decided to try colouring them, wanting the beauty of the wood grain show through, but not wanting to go buy several cans of wood stain (would have been expensive and wasteful) I found that my transparent textile paint worked just fine. I used Seta-Colour transparent paints thinned with water.

Once the parts were dry, the spindles were assembled and a couple of coats of varnish were applied. I pre drilled a tiny hole to make it easy to screw the cup hook in the center of the dowel. In order to get a nice tapered end, I just used a pencil sharpener.  Told ya I kept it simple.

Not only do my spindles work great, they are a little less boring to look at now.

I find it interesting that a few bits of wood and a cup hook can transform a pretty pile of fluffy fibres (this is a Merino and Tencel 50/50 mixture) to a beautiful finished yarn ready for my needles.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Review - Sewing Knits from Fit to Finish

If you sew at all, you have likely made a garment or two, if not for yourself, perhaps for your children or grandchildren.....and if you have sewn garments of any sort, you realize rather quickly that there is a lot to learn about fabrics, threads, handling, finishing techniques, patterns, fitting and more.

Garments made using knits are especially nice to wear, more and more of them are finding their way into our closets and drawers. Sewing with knits presents it own set of challenges, but being armed with the right information can take the apprehension out of buying and working with them.
That's where this book comes in. I received a copy to review and was immediately impressed with lovely presentation and wide range of topics within.

Sewing Knits from Fit to Finish
Proven Methods for Conventional Machine and Serger
Author. Linda Lee

Anyone wanting to sew garments using knit fabrics will find this book to be an excellent resource.

The subject matter covered in this book is extensive and impressive
In addition to the expected construction techniques, (which are terrific) you are given in depth information about the different types knits available, providing guidance on how to identify which knits work best for the type of garment you intend to sew.  Covering the individual characteristics and properties of each, their fibre makeup and what you might expect when working with them such as ease or difficulty of handling, and what of the “hand”?, is it soft, drapable, fluid or firm and stable, will the knit unravel easily or have edges that curl? and how to determine the amount of stretch your selected knit fabric has.

With so many choices, shopping for knit fabrics can be a bit confusing, this book takes the guesswork out of making a fabric selection that will best suit the garment you wish to make. There is even a chart giving you the estimated yardage required by garment type and fit.

Contents Page
Sections on fit, basic pattern adjustments and understanding ease are all extremely helpful. Provided in the book, is a measurement chart not only telling you what measurements you will need, but also good descriptive and visual information to help ensure these measurements are taken as accurately as possible.
You will be guided through the sewing process with options for using a conventional sewing machine, serger and or cover-stitch. In addition to the topics touched on above, sections covering fabric preparation, interfacing, pressing, marking, needles and thread choice all come together to put you on the path to success in creating your garment.

In addition to clear, detailed instructions accompanied by wonderful photographs, you will find helpful tips scattered throughout the book. So if you are thinking this is the year you plan to make some flowing summer dresses, a few tees, or something a bit more challenging and want to know more about working with knits, I think this is a great reference guide.

Find the book and more reviews here on Amazon and Quarto Knows  or head on over to the author's web site The Sewing Workshop for patterns, tutorials and more.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Drawing Daily

Sometimes, it seems so difficult to settle on what to draw that I end up drawing nothing at all. I have done prompts in the past, but I don't think I have ever done a "series".  I do enjoy working in the mandala form so December saw me designing/drawing snowflakes, one snowflake each day.

Drawing this way (in a series) meant that even when the stylus was not in my hand I was thinking about what I wanted to design next, an excellent way to keep the creativity flowing. These were all drawn on my iPadmini2 using Concepts.
Thank you to  Singing Bell for allowing me the use of their music for this video.

Copyright Jill Buckley