Swishing!

fabrics-001We’re all a bit guilty of hoarding a bit more fabric and yarn than perhaps we ought to, I know a few ladies who can scarcely confess to their partners the extent of their stash (but will gladly give you a guided tour!). To try and alleviate the guilt, we will be holding another one of our glorious SWISHING! afternoons and you are cordially invited.

Swishing is when you bring a few items you can bear to part with, be they fabric, yarn or haberdashery, and swap it for something you do want. Don’t have anything to bring? That’s fine, just pop a modest donation in the charity jar (this year we are supporting Papworth Hospital Trust).

The date is Sunday 23rd March

Place is 41 North Hill Road, Ipswich

Time is 2-4pm

Yay!

xxx

Understanding your yarn stash

One way of determining the weight of an unknown yarn is to use the wrapping method.

Wrap the yarn around a large needle or a ruler. Make sure the yarn lies flat. Push the yarn together so there are no gaps between wraps. Smooth it out so it is neither too loose nor too tight. Measure the number of wraps per inch (2.5 cm). For better accuracy, measure the wraps at the centre of your yarn sample.

Standard Yarn Weight System Yarn Type (US) Ply (UK, NZ, AU)
m/100g Wraps Per Inch (WPI)
0 or Lace Thread, Cobweb and Lace 1 – 3 ply 600-800 18+ wpi
1 or Superfine Fingering 4 ply 400-480 14 wpi
2 or Fine Sport 5 ply 300-400 12 wpi
3 or Light DK 8 ply 240-300 11 wpi
4 or Medium Worsted 10 ply 120-240 9 wpi
5 or Bulky Bulky 12 ply 100-130 7 wpi
6 or Super Bulky Super Bulky Less than 100 5-6 wpi

Women in Wool part I

Starting the series, Women in Wool is an introduction to a lady I would regard as having been rather influential in modern knitting trends in the UK.

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Despite her tender years, Laura Parkinson has quite a following. She runs a successful blog, writes for Knitting magazine and somehow finds time to be a mum too. I asked her where it all began….

As for so many of us knitters, Laura’s mum was a major influence in getting her started, teaching her to cast on and make squares at the age of five (if Laura is anything like me, she’ll still have a few of these kicking around!). As time went on though, the knitting got put aside for her teenage pursuits only to stage a comeback whilst she was at university. “I needed a hobby” she said, “and knitting seemed a natural thing to pick up again”.

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Picking up where she left off Laura got herself a copy of one of my favourite magazines, Rowan, and ambitiously started making a pair of arm warmers in lace yarn with a cabled pattern, something that even many experienced knitters would shy away from. Her infectious enthusiasm soon wore off on friends and she started a London branch of the famous Stitch & Bitch knitting group. It soon snowballed into a 3000 strong membership of ‘Stitchettes’ as they are known.

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As a mum and wife, Laura gradually stepped back from the group to write for Knitting magazine where the column ‘Purl About Town‘ was born. She now comments on social trends in the world of knitting so I asked her what she thought would be in season in 2013. “Garter stitch is still very much here to stay. It used to be a beginner’s stitch but it’s having a revival. Cables too are very much in, make them big and heavy!”. I asked her about the trend for more adventurous knitwear for men on the high street “Greys and vivid yellow hues are very much now for men. I am enjoying seeing pastels too”.

Read more of Laura’s blog here http://purlabout.blogspot.co.uk

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Sewing (& knitting) Gauges

One of the things I sell more of than anything else are sewing gauges (also known as knitting gauges). They are a handy little tool, about 6 inches in length and made of aluminium. They have so many uses I can hardly begin to tell you all about them but here’s a few…

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Their rigid shape means they are great for measuring seam allowances with ease. They can also give you a perfect hemline every time (well you have to be able to sew straight but it’s an aid), measuring tension squares in knitting, marking out distances between things like buttons and buttonholes, and poking pins out of the carpet.

While not a vitally necessary tool, it can make sewing much easier and more pleasant. In addition to measuring tapes, rulers, and other tools of the trade, the sewing gauge will help a seamstress turn out products with a crisp, professional look. It is also useful in quilting and the crafting arts, and some other trades, such as woodworking, have adopted the tool as well.

If you’re now thinking you can’t live without one of these little wonders, pop on over to my ebay store and help yourself to one for just £1.15 +p&p

 

A bit about us

Crafty Baba`Crafty Baba is a Suffolk based crafts school offering a range of courses to inspire and instil confidence. We have a variety of courses from Beginners to Advanced Sewing evening classes to more specialised courses like curtain making, real nappy making or learning to crochet granny squares.
More traditional skills like knitting aren’t neglected and are available as a one-day weekend class.
Crafty Baba was begun in 2012 by Zoe Woods following the birth of her daughter. Zoe had been crafting since her childhood but after a series of City & Guild qualifications, felt it was time to turn her hand to teaching. She has since been joined by Cybele de Jong teaching crochet, and Howard Snow and his green woodworking skills.
New for 2013 are green woodworking courses in rural Suffolk. We start off by sourcing green timber and slowly fashioning it into a stool on our weekend course, or a Windsor chair in the week-long class.
Classes can be booked online at www.craftybaba.co.uk or by calling us on 01473 232 791. We look forward to giving you a warm welcome!
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