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Monthly Archives: February 2011

  • Non-Slip Slipper Bottoms

    Slippers are popular winter projects for both crocheters and knitters. However, the soles of handmade slippers can be, well, slippery. Here are a few ideas for making your slipper soles non-skid.
    Felted Slip Ons

    • Pre-made soles. Our suede soles are durable and warm. They also add some traction to your slippers. You can also find leather soles or anti-skid gripping fabric that can be attached to your project.
    • Puffing craft paint. Simply dot the paint on your slipper bottoms (like the bottoms of commercially produced slippers). Although your paint may wear off a bit with heavy use, you can just reapply the dots.
    • Liquid rug backing. Found in craft and home improvement stores, this product can be painted onto slipper bottoms. It then dries to form a durable, skid-free sole.

    Do you like to make slippers? How do you make your slipper bottoms non-slip? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Saturday Morning Hoodie Knit-Along, Part 4: The Nature of a Raglan

    This certainly was a good week for me to work on two sleeves that are both identical and symmetrical.  It is that time of the year I find myself at college swimming meets for my daughter, which gives me time to enjoy watching her swim and also work on a great take-along projects--like sleeves to the Saturday Morning Hoodie!

    Whenever I finish knitting the fronts and back for a cardigan, I think about how I can work another part of the sweater before I sew in the sleeves.  If I could have started the hood at home while my sleeves-in-progress were in my knitting bag, I might have done that but...this is a "raglan" sweater, which means that the top edge of the sleeves are part of the neck.  In raglan sweaters, there are no shoulder seams just the diagonal seams that connect the sleeves to the back on one side and a front on the other.  So, I have to complete the sleeves and sew them to the fronts and back before I can work on the hood.

    One question I always ask myself when making a sweater is whether the length of the sleeves will be long enough.  I have longer arms than most, and usually I have to add an inch or more to a pattern.  For a cardigan that does have shoulder seams, I have my knitting students (as well as myself) sew up the shoulder seams and try on the sweater before they start the sleeves.  Then we can measure how long the sleeves for their sweater should be.  But for this raglan, there is another easy way to if you need to make the sleeve longer or shorter.  Remember that the reason that raglan sleeves look so long is because they are knitted all the way up to the neck.

    If you look at all the schematics for all sizes of the Saturday Morning Hoodie, you can see that the length of the raglan itself is the same on the sleeves, back, and raglan edge of the fronts.  Looking again at all the sizes, I see all the total length of the sleeves are 2" more than the total length of the back.  So, if you have already made your back the length called for in the pattern, just hold up that back to yourself (as if it were the sleeve) with the top up to the neckline.  When I did this, I could see that a couple more inches in length would be just right – so I kept the sleeves the same length as called for in the pattern.  If you do want to shorten or lengthen the sleeves, then you only have to add or subtract length before you work your raglan shaping.

    After I worked the sleeves, I lightly blocked them like my back and fronts and using detachable markers, I have attached one of my sleeves to the front and the back.

    I always use markers when sewing up any seams and just work from "marker to marker."  This makes finishing a little less daunting and I won’t have to worry about one side ending up longer than the other.

    I sewed together the stitches that were bound off for the underarms by sewing stitch to stitch as shown below:

    But for sewing up the raglans, I use the "mattress stitch" (below), sewing together the "bars" of the stitches.

    I also always sew up my raglans with the right side facing me and since I worked my raglan decreases a stitch in from the edge, it makes for a much neater and easier seam to work!

    Now, I will just sew in that other sleeve and then I’ll be able to pick up stitches and start the hood!
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  • 5 Goodies on the Lion Brand Site You May Not Know About

    There is so much we offer for free on our site to help you with your yarn crafting but I have the feeling you may not know about all of these goodies.  Here are 5 kinds of freebies you can get.  Please check them out and let me know what you think.

    1.  Charity Finder
    If you are looking for a charity to knit or crochet for, or if you are part of a group of knitters and crocheters who knit for charity, the Charity Finder will be a great resource for you.  We have over 1,000 groups currently listed.  It's easy to use.  Just indicate if you have a preference for a type of organization or a type of garment, the Charity Finder lets you limit the choice so you find just what you want.  You can also select a group within a few miles of your home.  When you go to the Charity Finder you will also find a useful listing of some of our most popular free patterns for charity.  We would love to hear from you and find out how your charity group search or organization listing goes.

    2.  Free e-Cards
    When it's the last minute on an important holiday or birthday, you can dash off one of our free e-cards for yarn lovers.  We have a wide range of designs to choose from.  Just personalize your message and go.

    3. Stitch Finder
    Over 100 knit and crochet stitches are explained and shown on our Stitch Finder.  It's a great way to grow your skills and learn to make some changes to the patterns you tend to make over and over.

    4.  The YarnCraft Podcast
    It sounds hi-tech but it's just a 30 minute radio show that feels like you're listening in to a couple of friends sitting around and chatting about ideas in yarn crafting, interviewing designers, or sharing what they know about fashion trends. Listen to it online or download it through iTunes.

    5.  Yarn Substitution Information
    Are you about to start making one of our free patterns and you realize you don't have the yarn that is called for?  We have a chart that helps you figure out what yarns can be substituted.  We also have articles that review the process of substituting yarns in case you'd like step by step instructions.

    What other goodies and information would you like to see us have on our site?  Leave us a comment and let us. know.

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