Tools For Making Clothing

Posted by Kat

As far back as one can remember, in fact back to ancient times clothing has been made. If you think choosing clothing making tools in modern times is difficult, just think what it was like a hundred years ago. Whether you sew, knit, crochet or quilt, you need to choose the right tool for the craft.

If sewing is your preference there are some basic tools you are going to need. Most important are the thread and needle. In fact you should have several size needles in your collection as well as several different tipped needles. Certain needles are designed to work with best with certain types of materials.

You are also going to need a soft cloth tape measure, stick pins, safety pins, a good pair of sewing scissors and a seamstress marker. Consider purchasing a pair of pinking sheers for nice edging and a seam ripper to easily remove mistakes.

Before you start you are going to have to buy a pattern or make a pattern. If you have the skill to make your own you can save some money. You'll also have to choose and purchase the fabric for the job.

Once you've got your fabric and material you can lay out the pieces and cut. You can then start stitching the pieces together as per the pattern directions.

If you plan to do a lot of sewing a sewing machine would be a very good investment. After all stitching by hand is going to take you quite some time to put that dress or blouse together. A basic sewing machine can be purchased for as little as $100 and it will save you hours and hours of time, as well as provide you with a tight stitch that won't let go.

Most sewing machines also come equipped with a variety of other stitches that can make button holes, do blind hems, and a host of other tasks. Certainly worth the money if you are going to be doing more than basic repairs.

If you are thinking of taking up knitting the first thing you'll need to do is buy some knitting needles. You'll need to purchase a few different sets so you have the right ones for the job. A short and long thin set as well as a long thick set for starters. You'll also want to purchase a pony which allows you to do curves such as those of a sleeve.

Next you'll have to decide what you want to make, then find a pattern. Once you've got the pattern you'll know what type of wool you will need. Always buy all the wool you need at one time and make sure to match up dye lots. It doesn't hurt to grab a ball or two extra either. This is because once a dye lot is sold out another dye lot replaces it and often the colors are off just a little bit, but it can be enough to be noticeable. That's it your ready to start knitting those gorgeous sweaters.

If you are thinking about trying crocheting you'll need to buy a crochet needle. First you should find a pattern for an item you would like to make. Start simple until you get the hang of it.

Once you find the pattern you will know what size crochet hook you need and what type of thread you need as well as how much thread you need. Buy all your supplies at once especially your thread. Then you never have to worry about trying to match up dye lots later.

What ever the clothing type you are planning to make you need to know what tools you will need to do the job quickly, efficiently, and with quality. Making your own clothing can be a very rewarding experience and a great hobby. Enjoy!


Blitz Brigade Girl

Posted by Kat

Here's an old photo of my baby girl, Kelly, when she was 6 months old. Aww, isn't she the sweetest thing. I made the head myself too when she was still in my womb.

But now, she's just as crazy (not in a bad way) as any boy kids, 8 years old now by the way. She love to play her iPod and there's a game called Blitz Brigade that she won't stop talking about it. 

And surprisingly, she has also been talking how she can hack the game. Talking stuffs like, jailbreak ios, modified ipa and deb, using Charles with proxy and all, my mind goes all blank and speechless when she goes into these topic. Now she can hack unlimited diamons, coins, money, I don't even know what currency the game uses, but she named everything that she can do with the game now.

I did a little research, with her help, she pointed me to this site whom managed by a hacker team called Playberries. She said she got some lessons from them. I was like girl, didn't I tell you not to talk to strangers.

So I did send an email to them, turns out they are bunch of nice kids, so I'm relieve.

Hmmm... wondering if she's a pro hacker prodigy. Ops, I am thinking too much here, let's go back to knitting.

Not done by me but boy, look at that! Knitting level 99 as Kelly said haha


The Basic Knitting Tools

Posted by Kat

The basic supplies most knitters require is yarn, needles and a pair of scissors. But there’s a plentitude of tools available to assist with knitting projects. Here’s a list of the most commonly available tools for knitters:

The true friend to color knitters, bobbins allows knitters to work with multiple yarns avoiding a tangled mess. Typically a plastic tab shaped similarity to bread bag closures. Instead of knitting from more cumbersome balls of yarn, color knitters use bobbins with a small amount of yarn wrapped about them. These bobbins are carried at the back of the work. Create your own thrifty bobbins by cutting out pieces of cardboard in a similar shape to their plastic cousins or tie up small bundles of yarn. 

Cable Needles:
Used to make cables, and they come in two basic shapes: straight and curved. Cable needles are basically a mini-sized double pointed needle which allows the knitter to move stitches off the work to be twisted into a cable later. Straight cable needles can be a bit trickier than curved ones, since stitches can slip off easily. Curved needles keep stitches more securely in place.

Crochet Hook:
What’s a crochet hook doing in a line up for knitting tools? It’s a lifesaver for picking up dropped stitches or reversing backward stitches on needles. 

Needle Gauge:
A metal or plastic that allows knitters to measure needles – especially after the numbers have worn off. There’s a hole for every needle size. Just place needles into the hole until one fits. Most needle gauges also have a gauge counter – a small cut out window with ruler measurements allow a knitter to count the number of stitches per inch 

Point Protectors:
Rubber or plastic caps placed at the end of knitting needles before storing work away. Helps to keep the work securely on knitting needles. Point protectors are available in a variety of sizes and whimsical shapes like mini sweaters. 

Row counters:
A handy device to keep track of rows already knit. These devices are available in many different styles. Some are placed on the end of a needle; others have a plastic loop to place on a circular needle cable or are completely standalone devices. Newer additions include electronic counters that add and subtract rows. For a tried and true old-fashioned method, use a pen and paper to keep track of rows. 

Safety Pins:
Knitters should select safety pins without coils to keep them from getting snagged in yarn. Safety pins are great for keeping track of increases and decreases. Also handy for pinning together pieces before seaming.

Most wool yarns can be broken with hands, but many synthetics and cottons require scissors. Offered in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, petite folding scissors are great for portable knitting. When flying, use a thread cutting pendant instead of scissors.

Stitch Holders:
There are several different types of stitch holders – the most common type looks like a giant diaper pin (without any coils). Used to safely set aside live stitches to be worked later. In a pinch, create a stitch holder by using double pointed needles with point protectors or thread a scrap of waste yarn in a contrasting color through live stitches and tie off securely. 

Stitch Markers:
Typically a small circle of rubber or plastic used as a reminder for a particular pattern change such as an increase or decrease. Stitch holders are traditionally slipped over the knitting needle as a visible landmark. Offered in a variety of styles including ones that resemble mini padlocks that can be securely hung from a stitch instead of being placed on the knitting needle. Have plenty of different sizes to fit different sized knitting needles. Contrasting yarn tied in a small loop, paper clips and safety pins may be substituted. 

Tape Measure:
An invaluable tool for keeping patterns on gauge as well as using for body measurements to ensure proper size pattern is chosen. Retractable tape measures are great for carrying in a knitting bag. Keep in mind fabric tape measures stretch out over time, so it’s a good idea to replace it when needed.

Tapestry Needles:
Also known as a Yarn Needle, it is a blunt-ended needle used for sewing up seams and weaving in any loose yarn ends. The eyehole of this needle is large enough for yarn to pass through easily.

This is R. Lee Ermey Knitting On A Plane. :)



What Knitting is All About?

Posted by Kat

Dear Knitting Enthusiast,

Knitting is one of those time-honored crafts that has been passed down generation-to-generation, friend-to-friend for centuries. It has always been a family affair for me; my grandmother taught me to knit when I was only 7 years old. It was a labor of love for both of us and quickly became second-nature to me. I considered knitting a long forgotten skill until I found myself stuck at home recuperating after surgery. By the time I fully recovered, I had finished a scarf, a hand puppet and a Fair Isle cardigan for my niece!

After more than 10 years of teaching people to knit individually, I wanted to share knitting knowledge and fun with a wider audience and knew the internet was the place to accomplish that goal. But my forte is knitting knowledge, so…enter my partner! She is the technical guru who makes sense of the technology needed to run a functional and user-friendly internet site. Without her, there is no KnittingWidsom.com. Not only does she provide the computer expertise to ensure things run smoothly around here, she also has a keen design sensibility and is always coming up with great project ideas and challenging patterns for me to create.

My dream of teaching the world to knit may be a bit too ambitious, but with this free newsletter and our new website, SticksAndStringsKnitting.com, I hope to reach many new knitting friends. 

Enjoy my knitting project for cat.