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Inspired by Cathy's sweater for Jack, I thought we might enjoy a forum about our various non-food hobbies and crafts stuff.

 

I'm a moderately skilled cross-stitcher (believe me, it's not that hard). I like it because you can do little short-term projects and get quick satisfaction, and you can do long term projects which you can start and stop and start....forever.

 

I need to go to a good embroidery store in Manhattan because I'm tired of all the sampler books I have - anybody have a suggestion? It's the books I"m after - I have all the threads and stuff I need for the moment.

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Erica Wilson, 63rd and Madison, 2nd floor. I actually completed one of her needlepoint pillow kits. I did it during one of the summer Olympics -- multi-tasking -- and by the time I finished, I realized if I had that much time on my hands, I had better start thinking of doing something more productive with my life. I ended up getting a master's degree. I know, some people wouldn't think that was necessarily more productive, but here I am. No more needlepoint for me, although I love my pillow and I'm glad I finished it.

 

Erica Wilson kits. My pillow is the one on the far left in the second row from the top.

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My dear grandmother was skilled in many needlecrafts, which I've inherited to some degree.

 

When I was a starving, recent university grad and had to wear sharp, conservative suits and carry brief cases to work, I enjoyed learning about tailoring. I actually sewed better suits out of Vogue designer patterns with obscenely beautiful silks, mohairs, cashmeres and lovely but fragile wool gabardines that fit better than anything I could by off the rack and at a lesser cost.

 

I used to volunteer time and fundraising work to the Junior Guild for the Cleveland Ballet Council and was often attending many charitable event balls. Prom relived. :o And with my limited starting salary, I also looked to Vogue for some sharp Carolina Herrera gowns with some outrageously expensive silk fabrics. I even sewed all of the bridesmaid dresses for my best friend's wedding. That was a true chore and prolly why I haven't looked at my sewing machine ever since.

 

I made all of my two year old neices a bunch of dresses as holiday gifts as well.

 

But I enjoy embroidery and cross stitch. It really helped with the hours and days of that long week I took the Alaskan Ferry (aka the "Blue Canoe") from Bellingham, Washington to Sitka, Alaska. Needlepoint doesn't thrill me, however there is a Rennie Mackintosh rose pillow pattern I feel I simply must have....

 

I also learned to crochet but haven't done anything with that and wish to learn to knit. My cousins are fantastic knitters and can bang out a quick and attractive sweater in one afternoon. One of them even knitted socks for everyone as holiday gifts which were fantastic.

 

I learned to sew beads into my native Tlingit designs from a very distant cousin at one of the National Park Service Visitor Centers (in Sitka). She was a wonderful woman that I enjoyed spending time with throughout the afternoons whose work is now displayed in the Smithsonian.

 

Thinking of beads, that just reminded me of the huge amount of beads I got from my grandmother that are just sitting in a box; a very heavy box at that. I enjoy making necklaces and bracelets now and shop regularly through jewler catalogs for pearls, findings and gemstone stuff to string and also fashion into some sort of holiday gifts. I'm quite pleased I've learned and able to restring my pearls as the silk never seems to last forever. :D

 

 

Yipes. This is quite a rambling. :D The effects of a fine wine.

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  • 1 month later...

Blame it on the wine. I forgot about this thread!

 

No, I don't have any photos of any of the beaded projects I was a party to. I never did anything big though, and have considered the task of taking on a traditional Tlingit button blanket. But I want the buttons to be real sea shell and the felt to be wool. A bit costly but well worth it as it becomes heirloom quality.

 

When I had to travel to return to Alaska for my dear grandmother's funeral, I ended up going through Anchorage with a lay over of several hours. I was charmed by seeing one museum like display case with my dear beading teacher's work right outside of my departure gate. She is now revered as an artist, but at the time she merely considered herself as a teacher and someone who sews. I made friends with those that are highly revered as artists -- those that carve totem poles and silver bracelets. I saw Nathan Jackson every day and thought nothing of it! Incredibly talented man.

 

I managed to commandeer a traditional wolf pattern which is appropriate for my clan "house" to wear on such a native blanket when I was last in Sitka, one year ago. It was my grandmother's pattern, so why not make use of it?

 

I've attempted to knit. Oh my! It would seem to be an easy project. It is a silly scarf with the newish hairy/frilly/thready rayon yarn. It is paired with a chenille to beef it up and add substance. Grrrrr. Chenille can not be ripped back!

 

I've browsed the dresses at Nordie's just to gather up an idea on fit and similar styles, despite it is an entirely different season, and may be reconsidering the Vogue designer pattern route yet again because I've a wedding to attend in June. I worked for some time at an Ann Taylor and was a complete clothes horse. (Oh, new season shipment days were heaven!!!) While I am a petite (5'3") I cannot wear petite clothing, but need to have anything off the rack re-fitted for arm length, etc. Grrrrrr again! I need to pull out that sewing machine again, check its oil and check my patience! I'm thinking a sharp "lady who lunches" look since it will be an afternoon affair. I'm sure I'll change my mind several times beforehand....

 

Who else sews? Beads, cross stitch, garments? :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, I make stuff....Actually, I knit in highschool, then picked it up again about 20 years ago, cuz I wanted a reindeer sweater, and the store I went into had sizes for people with very short arms...So, I retaught myself, but go thru phases now, becaaue, like ALL my vocations and avocations, it's hard on my wrists...I was going great guns on a black cabled turtleneck, til I helped the Commodore rake his lawn a few weeks ago...have to lay off for awhile...

 

And I sew, because when I was a plump schoolgirl going thru my "awkward" stage, there weren't any clothes bigger than a size 13....So, I made all my clothes back then...Now, I fit into normal people's clothes(except that they're all to short), so I'm too lazy to bother doing anything except maybe a bark cloth mini-skirt or two...but I do home decor stuff, like my fringed, bark-cloth bedspread and pillows...My heart must be in the '40's.....

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I've almost finished the sweater I'm knitting - a simple V-neck pullover, in a beautiful lavender merino wool - and am pondering the next project. I was thinking of a form-fitting black chenille evening cardigan, to replace one I adored that my dry cleaner ruined :D, but Beans' comment that chenille can't be ripped back gives me pause.

 

Helena, any nice eveningish sweaters in the latest Vogue Knitting?

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Guilt, guilt. I haven't started the cross stitch project for my nephew yet. And he picked the animals and everything. I bought more thread colors and a new canvas and some new needles, and even a new cute alphabet book.

 

But my Mom is almost finished with a truly beautiful cardigan she's knitting for me. I think I'll probably get it at Thanksgiving. :D

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I knit. I bead. I embroider. I'm a crafts person.

 

And for the person who recommended dental floss -- bad idea. Look at it closely: it is made up of fibers. They eventually disintigrate and shred apart. I know from experience as I beaded a bunch of earrings in the 80s on dental floss when I ran out of good beading floss. They lasted about a year...

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Guilt, guilt. I haven't started the cross stitch project for my nephew yet. And he picked the animals and everything. I bought more thread colors and a new canvas and some new needles, and even a new cute alphabet book.

 

But my Mom is almost finished with a truly beautiful cardigan she's knitting for me. I think I'll probably get it at Thanksgiving. :D

Before I began knitting (again), around 1982, there was a pattern for a Perry Ellis Dimple-Sleeve sweater (his first cutting edge knitwear desing) in Family Circle, of all places, that you could KNIT IN A WEEKEND!!!!!!!

Mom made it for me...it took two years...By the time she finished it, I was notably smaller, and the sweater was WAYYYYY out of style......

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