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Monthly Archives: April 2012

  • 10 Tips for Washing Your Handmade Items

    There was a time when I did laundry and the most sorting I would do for my loads would be to separate the whites and colors.  I washed everything in hot water, and threw them all into a hot dryer to dry.  Needless to say, my cashmere sweater was no longer a recognizable garment.  It shrunk incredibly and had multiple holes in it; that sweater was dead.  Thankfully it wasn't a hand-made item, but it still hurt to lose it - so today, I'll share some tips on how to properly wash those yarn-crafted goods that you spent your precious time and energy on.

    1. Check Your Label:  The ball band will indicate with symbols, and in text how to wash and dry the yarn.  There will also be a symbol indicating whether or not you may iron the fabric. (When gift giving, it's best to give the care label with some scraps of the yarn attached to the intended recipient).
    2. Test Your Gauge Swatches: Another reason to gauge swatch! Not only do you want to make sure your gauge is correct, but you want to see how the fabric reacts when it's washed.  Note your initial swatch measurements, then take note of any size, color or textural changes after washing it (if applicable).
    3. Hand or Machine Wash?If the label says hand wash, hand wash the fabric! If you throw it in the washing machine, you might damage your final piece.  If it's machine washable, keep it on a low, gentle setting (also to ensure your weaved ends stay in place).
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  • 6 Wonderful Knit & Crochet Wedding Projects Made by Customers Like You!

    On tomorrow's episode of YarnCraft (our radio-style podcast about the wonderful world of knitting, crocheting, and yarn), we'll be talking about projects for formals, proms, and weddings. As we enter the warmer months (at least here in the northern hemisphere), it seems like there are more parties, both indoors and out--which is why we'll be talking about purses, shawls, and even some non-traditional yarncrafting projects that you may want to tackle.

    In the meantime, we often hear from customers that they've made special projects as gifts or to decorate for their own or their friends' weddings. Here are just a few fun projects that I spotted in our Customer Gallery (click on the photos to read their full stories):

    Paul created this very cool blanket for his youngest step-daughter's wedding--his own design, with a little help from his wife. He made it using Pound of Love, and you can really tell a lot of love went into this cool playing card-inspired design. Janice B. made an adorable little bunny bride & groom--and bridesmaid too!--based on our Cake Topper pattern. It was for a recently-married friend who loves bunnies!

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  • How to Invisibly Seam Granny Squares

    I love granny squares because they make it so easy to play with exciting colors. Often, my squares end up with different colored borders, so how do I choose a shade to seam them? The answer's easy: I can use any color because I use an invisible seam! This super easy technique creates a durable seam that disappears into your crocheting. Ready to get started? Gather your granny squares and follow the steps below!

    How to Invisibly Seam Granny Squares

    Step 1: Gather your materials: finished granny squares, a blunt needle, and your seaming yarn (I used a contrasting yarn for demonstration, but you may want to use matching yarn). Lay your granny squares side to side with the front side facing up.

    Step 2: Insert your needle into your first crochet stitch from the back to the front.

    Step 3: Repeat Step 2 on the opposite side. Continue this process on each stitch, alternating between sides. It's sort of like lacing shoes.

    Step 4: Ready for that seam to disappear? Lightly pull on both ends of your seaming yarn.

    Step 5: Repeat with all squares, and that's all there is to invisible seaming! Remember to weave in your ends and enjoy your new granny square project.

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