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Topics - Ploshkin

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Sewing Spaces and Furniture / Finally - my new sewing room
« on: July 15, 2021, 14:26:14 PM »
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.

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  :).

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.

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?

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  :)

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.

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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Vintage Machines / A couple of 221k questions
« on: August 05, 2020, 11:08:10 AM »
This is my first foray into here I think.  You may or may not have seen my post in the cafe yesterday about the gorgeous Featherweight that my husband presented me with.  It would appear from the exterior condition to have been used very little or by someone who took extreme care.

It was sold as having had a replacement motor (time of replacement unknown) and I can see that all the wiring and possibly the foot pedal are new.  I've had a look at the innards that are all clean and fluff and dust free.  The belt is new. I have run it just for a couple of short lines of stitching but want to oil it before trying it in earnest.  I have the instruction book and can see that there are a zillion places for oil.

I have discovered, thanks to posters here, the Singer Featherweight Shop website and can see that there are tutorials and videos covering just about everything.

I have a couple of questions
Motor  The manual says that the motor should have a lubricant down two holes on the top - there is an original, unused tube of lubricant in the box.  However, the motor has been replaced and there are no holes for lubricant.  DH says that it is a sealed unit that doesn't need lubrication.  Does this sound ok?

Thread tension  On my stitching sample the top thread tension is too tight.  I have checked that I have it correctly threaded through the tension discs.  I have read that you should start by getting the bottom tension correct first.  When I hold the bobbin thread the bobbin / case drops very fast which would suggest to me that the bobbin tension is too loose.  Before I fiddle with bobbin tension, is there any common top tension problem that I may need to fix first?

Needles  There are 2 packets of new needles with the machine but they are all size 16.  Where can I get needles?

Thread Stand Is it normal on these machines to use a thread stand for cross wound reels of thread?

Tech Know How / HELP forum has gone odd ... And it's suddenly ok
« on: July 16, 2020, 15:08:01 PM »
I thought it was just my new computer but its the same on my Kindle.  The forum format has changed ana the print is quite small but everyone's avatars fill the entire screen - Wrenkins gnome is particularly scary!I

Its suddenly gone back to normal and I honestly havent had any  :toast: or  :gin:

In the wardrobe / Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan
« on: June 18, 2020, 12:28:35 PM »
First time I've used this pattern - I can't remember who recommended it (probably Vezelay, my pattern guru).
It's very quick to make and I really like it and it's one of those things that I know I will wear out and the pattern will definitely get used again.  I'd like to find a nice, sweater knit.
My only criticism of the pattern is the lack of instructions for attaching the front/ neck band. Apart from the centre back neck there are no notches for matching up.  The band is quite a bit shorter than the garment edge but you need to put a lot of stretch round the concave neckline, a bit of ease round the convex curve at the base of the V so that it lies flat and just a smidge of stretch down the straight fronts.  I have done jersey many times so I was ok but an inexperienced person could end up with a bit of a mess.
I used this fabric which is a bit unuaual.  The 3 layers make it a bit thicker than normal jersey, but I think to call it quilted is a bit of an exaggeration.  It has a very warm and comfortable feel without being too bulky.
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Dolls and Toys / Stegosaurus
« on: May 23, 2020, 10:53:48 AM »
Eons ago I used to make loads of stuffed toys (as teenagers @Flobear and I had a bit of a cottage industry) but it is more than 20 years since I have made anything and I have only ever made things in fur or felt which are very forgiving.

Anyway, my neighbours recently started fostering.  Up until now they have just done weekend respite for other foster carers for two 12 year old girls.  About a month ago they took in a 4 year old girl on an emergency placement.  She came with very little stuff and of course there are no shops open.  Neighbours with children rallied round and put together some bits for her and I had some things from when my niece and nephew used to come and stay. they're in their 20s now.
About 3 weeks ago DH told me that the little girl had told him that she wanted a dinosaur so I thought 'no problem'.  I found a pattern for cotton fabric and after a bit of searching realised that good old Bumbleberries quilting fabric was a good dinosaur look.  All the pieces are backed with fusible woven interfacing for robustness.  I was delighted to find a pair of googly eyes in my button box, goodness knows why I had them because I've never used safety eyes for anything before.  I washed an old pillow with a polyester filling and it was perfect for stuffing.  Just as I started to stuff I realised that one of the eyes had a crack right across the surface.  Damn, blast and botheration! 
I searched on e bay for some more googly safety eyes that weren't in China or in packs of 500 and found some in London.  After receiving an e mail to say they had been posted they arrived 10 days later!  It has taken me forever as my hands didn't like using a needle in confined spaces to stitch on the legs so I could only manage one every couple of days.

But, I have finally finished it - the moment has probably now long passed and my neighbour told me yesterday that the girl had just received a box of her things from home.

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Your Favourite Suppliers / Thumbs up for The Sewing Studio
« on: April 29, 2020, 13:08:45 PM »
I've just received some fabric from The Sewing Studio that I ordered yesterday morning.  I found a number of online suppliers had messages on their sites stating 7 - 10 days or delays for delivery.  They have a message saying that orders are going out as normal.  I placed an order and had an e mail less than 2 hours later to say that my order was being packed.  It arrived this morning.  :)

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