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Topics - Ploshkin

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Today... One thread per day / Tuesday 26th October ( I think)
« on: Yesterday at 07:00:21 »
Morning all.  I got up for a wee and it was too late in the morning to go back to bed though it is pitch black out there.  It might be raining, I think I can hear water tiddling down the drainpipe but it could just be the sound of the river.
Nothing particular planned for today as we thought we might be dipping (sheep) today but that's now next week.  So, I'm just having a leisurely cup of tea while I get my head into gear.
Have a good one when you emerge.

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Access All Accessories / Backpack pattern help
« on: October 16, 2021, 12:53:59 PM »
I want to make a backpack for a 6 year old girl - nothing too complicated, I've only done a minimum of bag making previously, and not too large.  Something she could put her swimming stuff in for example.
Any suggestions for good patterns? 

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A Good Yarn / I've finally finished a sweater
« on: October 14, 2021, 17:22:23 PM »
I finished knitting this about July last year but with everything packed away and 11 months of building dust I've had nowhere to lay it out to block it - until now.
I don't have any need for big, heavy sweaters and I can't stand anything woolly with a high neck.  Patterns are hard to come by that fit what I am looking for but I liked this one.  The yarn is Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal.  It's 95% wool 5% cashmere I think.  I baulked at the price but it didn't take much - only 2 balls and I got it in a sale.  I don't think it is available any more.  I soaked it in Eucalan wool wash before I blocked it and it is soft enough not to make my arms itchy.  I would always wear at least a sleeveless cotton top under anything woolly.  (I'm not really an orangey colour - light was odd)

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A Good Yarn / Seaming rib knitting
« on: October 07, 2021, 21:43:45 PM »
I hate sewing up knitting, in fact where possible I knit in the round to avoid seams.  I find it hard to sew up neatly especially ribbing.  I use backstitch for stocking stitch seams which is usually reasonably tidy but am never sure what is the best for ribbing.
Hos do you sew yours?

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House Beautiful / Machine or hand sew curtain linings?
« on: August 03, 2021, 18:41:25 PM »
I've just completed my first pair of curtains and they are diabolical.  Even DH grimaced when he saw them!
I have always hand sewn curtain linings but as I have so many pairs to make I thought I would do them by machine.  I used a largish stitch (3.5), tension is spot on and I stretched the lining fabric as I sewed.  It all looks lovely and flat when laid out and I've ironed the bejesus out of them  but when hung they look absolutely dreadful.  The side seams are clearly too tight and look wavy and it gives the impression that the hems aren't straight.

Is there a trick I'm missing or shall I just do them by hand?

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Well, it's a start!

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Your Favourite Suppliers / Etsy
« on: April 30, 2021, 17:06:57 PM »
I have had some very good fabric buys from Etsy sellers.  I tend to go there when I can't find what I'm looking for on my usual sites and often find something different.  I've always had very quick delivery too.
I've just had delivery of a 60m bolt of cotton sateen curtain lining fabric which cost £150.  I only ordered it this week.  I've got 11 new windows needing curtains.

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A Good Yarn / Baby's Lambing Shed Jacket
« on: January 28, 2021, 12:43:57 PM »
I've just finished this jacket for my next door neighbour's 6 month old baby.  I've only seen him once a few weeks after he was born and his mum was already  making plans for having him out in the lambing shed so I thought I would knit him something warm.  I hope it is big enough - he was a lumper, just shy of 11 lbs when he was born.  His name is Hedd (pronounced like the first syllable of Heather) which is Welsh for Peace.
It is Aran weight and a pattern that I first used for my nephew when he was born - he is 30 this year!  My sister liked it so much that she asked for a second one in a bigger size when he grew out of it.  The buttons have sheep on them.
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A Good Yarn / Ploshkin - Weaving Along
« on: December 29, 2020, 17:14:45 PM »
Having got a small 10" rigid heddle loom at the beginning of December I haven't had a lot of time to try it out but I have managed a bit just using some left over knitting wool.
I wound a narrow warp using up the remains of a dark green DK yarn and started off with some plain weave. 
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I can see that my beating is inconsistent but in my defence the yarn is stretchy and spongy and probably not the most suitable for weaving with. I have had to keep cranking up the tension of the warp (though I don't actually know how tight or loose it should be). I'm pleased with my selvedges which seem reasonably tidy and that the piece is a consistent width.
That's where it got left until today.  The instruction booklet that came with the loom has instructions for a sampler so I tried out a couple of different weave patterns.
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I like them both and it was a useful exercise in spotting errors.  I realised that I had unwanted weft floats on the basket weave pattern but I could see what had happened and was able to make sure I avoided it.  I found the bit with the blue bits in tricky to get the edges neat and though the left edge has gone ok the right hand side is a car crash.  I stopped trying to work out how it needed to be done - that's for another day.  I think if there was just one more warp thread on that side it would be work ok.  It's useful doing this because I am finding out things that I need to learn to do like weaving in ends when the shuttle runs out and you start a new one.
I haven't got much spare knitting yarn but I have quite a bit of grey and pink which is thinner so when this warp runs out I will have a play with that.  Enjoying the journey so far  :).

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In the wardrobe / Child's Sweatshirt
« on: December 20, 2020, 12:23:38 PM »
I've made this as a Christmas present for my neighbours' 5 year old fosteree.  I got the fabric from an Etsy seller having failed to find anything I liked on any of my usual go to sites.  I'm pleased with the way it has come out, I just hope it fits.  I did borrow a T shirt as a size guide.  I was just about to cut out and had a sudden crisis of confidence and went for a size bigger.  I used a basic online raglan pattern but added the pockets and did a curved hem instead of a band.  I think the pockets took as long as all the rest put together.  I fussy cut so that the pattern was not interrupted.  The pockets are literally 'patch' pockets.  The outer and lining are seamed along the top but raw edges round the rest.  It was just going to be too thick on a small garment if I had seamed the outer and lining all round.
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Technical Help / Child sizing help please
« on: December 06, 2020, 11:23:54 AM »
I'm unaccustomed to making children's clothes.
I am making a sweatshirt for the 5 yo girl who is fostered by my neighbours.  I borrowed a t shirt that fits her and the chest measures 22".
I have traced off an age 5 sweatshirt pattern and the finished chest size will be 25".   Is 3" sufficient ease for a child?  The fabric is standard brushed back cotton jersey with a bit of stretch.

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A Good Yarn / Looms and Weaving in General
« on: October 31, 2020, 16:22:21 PM »
Ever since Celia posted a picture of her Inkle weaving loom I have been looking at weaving stuff.  I've always wanted to be able to weave but have never had the space for a loom (or so I thought)
I have already discovered that table looms come in many sizes and it is possible to weave some sensible sized stuff without a humongous piece of furniture.  I definitely intend starting but it will have to wait until completion of our building works.  My sewing room will be the first bit to get painted!  In the meantime I can research.

So, apart from @Celia and @BriarRose are there any other closet weavers out there?
How and when did you start weaving, how did you learn, and what do you weave?

Everything I read suggests that a rigid heddle loom is the best thing to start with.  I understand that the next thing 'up' from that is a loom with shafts but I can't for the life if me work out which bits 'shafts' refers to or what they do  -  I know that you can weave patterns if you have shafts.

So, can anyone recommend the best sort and size of loom to start with and the best type of yarn for first attempts.  Also what is a good source of instruction.
Do I need an inkle loom to scratch the itch before I can get started?


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Your Favourite Suppliers / Ewe and Ply
« on: October 30, 2020, 09:38:18 AM »
I've used Ewe and Ply (online) for knitting wool a few times.  If I ever go to Shrewsbury I will seek out their shop.  They have a really good selection, fast delivery and the parcel always comes with a cheery hand written note inside.  This time there was a message written on the outside of the packaging too.  It made me  :)

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A Good Yarn / Brioche knitting
« on: October 21, 2020, 17:43:02 PM »
Has anyone done any brioche stitch knitting?
I really fancy giving it a go though I'm still on the second sleeve of a sweater I started ages ago.
I did a one colour swatch and i found it easy but my brain is frying trying to do 2 colour.  I have just found some instructions that make a couple of things a bit clearer so I'll have another try.
I'm better with written instructions than video which is probably as well because most of the videos are done by people who knit continental style and the techniue looks very different  from how I did it.

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Sewing Machines / Pfaff stitch problem
« on: September 06, 2020, 17:16:39 PM »
My neighbour has a problem with her Pfaff Ambition 2.0.
She has been sewing lightweight canvas bags and the issue started on the very last seam.
I spent an hour with her this morning and we've done all the standard things - cleaned between the tension discs and under the needle plate, changed the needle (twice), changed the bobbin, threaded and unthreaded many time, sused different threads etc.  I don't think the timing is out because I looked in the bottom while turning the handwheel and it appeared to be picking up ok.

There are no clunks or rattles and the machine is running smoothly and quietly.
The top stitching looks perfect from the top, the bobbin thread is navy and the stitch looks normal.

This is the UNDERSIDE of the stitching and the pink thread is the top thread.
Every 3 or 4 stitches the top thread is pulled through in 2 chained loops the first lying flat and the second sticking up.  It is very consistent.  It has me completely baffled - I suspect something going wrong in the thread path but why it should suddenly go wrong is beyond me.
Any suggestions or thoughts?
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