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-   -   Bunch of random sewing and knitting questions... (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1329230)

MothyrGrimm 12-29-2011 03:51 PM

Bunch of random sewing and knitting questions...
 
It sounds crazy that I'm doing both at once, but I'm new to sewing and knitting and kinda learning a little of each as I go... I'm trying to find a bunch of places to help me learn as I go, so any help would be amazing.

Best books for beginning sewing?

Best blogs to follow?

Is there anywhere with a compiled list of sewing machine reviews?

Somewhere I can learn about all different types of fabric/different stitches and how to use them?

Best books for learning to knit? Best project books (childrens/hippie/crunchy/green living related items)

Best blogs to follow?

What are all the differences between types of needles?

How do I know what size needles to use?

How to price wool?

Different styles of knitting?

I have no idea why but Google won't work on my phone and my comp has a trojan, so any help would be amazing. And if I missed something that helped you learn to sew or knit please let me know. I need all the help I can get.

Rdesonia 12-29-2011 05:15 PM

Re: Bunch of random sewing and knitting questions...
 
I love prudentbaby.com for sewing. They have cute sewing ideas/patterns and some great tutorials. (it's a blog)
I recommend a trip to the fabric store for learning the types of fabric. If you know someone that sews -aunt, grandma,neighbor, random old person(you live in Florida so I had to say that!)... take them with you. you'll get to feel the weave and thickness. Flannel isn't just flannel... some is soft and thick. Others are not as thick and some are not even very soft! It would be hard to explain the difference between a polyester knit and a cotton but you'll feel it instantly! Most people think of a project/thing they want to make and then go buy the fabric for it. For example if you wanted to make a baby blanket... you would decide what to use based on what you wanted it to look like. Flannel, minky, fleece, cotton (quilt fabric).... but you could make it out of a Polyester-cotton blend, a knit,velvet, satin or even terry cloth. Or a combo of any of them. That is the fun part of sewing. You don't have to be conventional! If you wanted to make a Satin & terry cloth blanket you can! Once you know the fabrics and have confidence, then go thrift store shopping and internet shopping for fabric. (you'll save a ton of $... 2 weeks ago, I purchased 11 yards of designer fabric on Ebay for 99 cents plus 9.00 shipping (an auction)! Yes that is less than $1.00 a yard! Oh and it is spectacular fabric!)
My machine came with a stitch guide. If you have your manual... you should consult that. Most anything can be made with a straight stitch or a zig zag. There are specific stitches that make sewing hems for dress pants, patches (fixing a hole), button holes, or elastic. (Most machines have those). But most stitches are really just used as decoration by the average person.
You'll need to change stitch legnth and width for projects. (For example you would use a very tight -little legnth/width zig zag for a button hole but would use a wide/loose zig zag to sew on thin elastic in a channel. (sew over the top of elastic but not through the elastic) I learned a lot by looking at how commercially produced clothing/items are made. Also I own like 3 seam rippers! The best lessons are through trial and error!
Also you don't just change the stitch for sewing different things. You might need a heavier thread and needle for denim than you would silk. OR you might need a walking foot for lots of layers. The best advise I can give on thread.... ALWAYS use the same thread in the bobbin as you do in the top spool. If you want some sort of visual effect of a diffrent color bobbin thread....Buy the same brand, kind, weight. Otherwise the tension will be off and you'll be pulling out your hair trying to figure out what is wrong! I take a corsage pin (t-pin would work too) and pin the bobbin to the top of the spool it belongs to. I use to try to "conserve" thread and use left over bobbins (since nobody would see the inside seam) and I didn't have enough bobbins. I didn't want to unwind the thread and throw it away. Just save yourself the headache.... buy extra bobbins. You can always find a batch of 20 for less than $5.00 (with shipping) on ebay.
I think what books depends on what you intend to make. I'd just watch a ton of old "sewing with Nancy" videos on youtube. She was the best!

fallaway 12-29-2011 05:17 PM

Re: Bunch of random sewing and knitting questions...
 
Knitting: become best friends with knittinghelp.com and ravelry.com (both free - Ravelry you have to "join". And if anything comes up in a patternt hat confuses you, a term or technique, ask on the Ravelry Technique group, or look it up on YouTube. It's all out there - have fun!

kej 12-29-2011 05:32 PM

Re: Bunch of random sewing and knitting questions...
 
I second ravelry.com. I get lots of ideas from there and help. There are even folks on there who will untangle your yarn for your for free. And the patterns are great.

Check out a local yarn store for lessons and other great info.

Knitting needle types: everyone has their own faves for various reasons. You just need to find what you like. I started with cheapos from Michaels or AC Moore and then moved on to bamboo which I liked more, and then got Addis which I love. Just try different ones.

Patterns or else the tag on yarn will tell you what size needles to use for a project.

Wool pricing: you can get inexpensive wool at local stores and hi end stuff online. It depends on what you want, your budget and project. Also, check into local festivals. I find great deals on beautiful yarns at festivals.

MothyrGrimm 12-29-2011 07:27 PM

Re: Bunch of random sewing and knitting questions...
 
Thanks for all the tips!! And oooo festivals! There's bajillions of festivals in Florida all the time. Also what's the best beginner knitting projects, and should I always use wool? Idk when its more appropriate to use wool versus a cotton or synthetic yarn.

PerfectFifth 12-29-2011 07:50 PM

Re: Bunch of random sewing and knitting questions...
 
http://www.makeit-loveit.com/ is my favorite sewing blog. She has so many awesome tutorials that are so cute!! She's going through a little series right now for beginning sewers, so you should definitely check it out. :thumbsup:

Queen_Celeste 12-29-2011 07:58 PM

Re: Bunch of random sewing and knitting questions...
 
If you are in FLorida, I wouldn't really use wool. First off it will be harder to find down there. And, unless you are doing diapering I would probably start with something inexpensive like acrylic. Even then, I have a few pairs of knit pants that are made from acrylic and we use them all the time, mostly over pocket diapers since you have to wash once it gets peed on.

As for sewing, what sort of sewing do you want to try? A simple project that was my first sewing was pajama pants or pajama shorts. You can get an Easy Sew or maybe Qwick Sew pattern for less than $2 and make it out of old cotton bed sheets if you want to practice on cheap or free things. Really sewing and knitting are two very different and equally expensive hobbies, so it might be better to just start with one at a time.

EskimoStitches 12-30-2011 03:46 AM

Re: Bunch of random sewing and knitting questions...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Queen_Celeste (Post 14357837)
If you are in FLorida, I wouldn't really use wool. First off it will be harder to find down there. And, unless you are doing diapering I would probably start with something inexpensive like acrylic. Even then, I have a few pairs of knit pants that are made from acrylic and we use them all the time, mostly over pocket diapers since you have to wash once it gets peed on.

As for sewing, what sort of sewing do you want to try? A simple project that was my first sewing was pajama pants or pajama shorts. You can get an Easy Sew or maybe Qwick Sew pattern for less than $2 and make it out of old cotton bed sheets if you want to practice on cheap or free things. Really sewing and knitting are two very different and equally expensive hobbies, so it might be better to just start with one at a time.

I disagree. Especially because she lives in Florida, wool might be encouraged. Wool is far superior to acrylic (man made, plastic, essentially) or cotton in allowing the body to remain comfortable in extreme climates. Disagree with me? The Army issues and requires soldiers wear wool socks even when in Iraq and both the low and high lands of Afghanistan which gets FAR hotter than Florida does. Now, acrylic has it's place, I am sure, but when recommending it, all sides should be disclosed. Acrylic will not allow for the wearers body to self moderate, if they sweat (and they will, if they are wearing plastic) that excess heat will be retained by the acrylic and make them more hot... vicious cycle. Ever wear polyester pants in the heat? Why would you subject your kid to doing so, especially if you already have them in a pocket diaper which is probably loaded with other non breathing, man made fabrics? Microfiber and PUL work at their intended purposes but they do not breathe (which is why they don't leak!) so you put your kid in 1-2 lbs of plastic clothing and expect them to be comfortable? I'd sooner suggest sposies! I'm not really trying to be argumentative and any edge to my words should be chalked up to it being the middle of the night and I'm not sleeping like I should be. However, wool is far superior to acrylic and I'd recommend cotton before acrylic because at least it has some benefits. Now, cotton is not that much cheaper than some commercially available wool yarns BUT does not have the benefits. As far as wool being available in FL, I can't speak on that but most yarns that are available in craft stores are more expensive than online and not any "better". Wool does not have to be super expensive to be good, if you are willing for it to be a little rougher, not come from a certified humane, domestic, small farm with specific breeds, you can get a much better deal, price wise.

In summary, acrylic is not "bad" but it needs to be used in applications where the knitter is aware of it's properties. Personally, I'd rather not knit than use acrylic. I can't stand the feel of it and it really defeats the "benefits" to the earth I am responsible for by being ego friendly. $1 skeins of Red Heart is as rough or rougher than the roughest wool I've ever felt but with no benefit. Blends with a high wool content are not completely bad and are cheaper than 100% wool if price is an issue. Wool has it's own issues like felting but what material doesn't require special care? You can machine wash acrylic but if you dry it, it will melt! Anyway, I'm sure I am rambling now and every knitter is entitled to use whatever her wallet and hands can afford, but since OP asked for advice, I gave mine.

Fabric.com has some really great fabrics and you can get some super discounts. Ebay and Craigslist are both great places to get "used" fabric, or, lots of uncut yardages bought by someone else. Etsy is a great place to get patterns and some sellers run sales or discount codes for their patterns... You can get patterns from ebay, but I don't find deals that way very often. Sign up for Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Joanns newsletters. Even if they are not near you, they all will usually honor the others coupons. If you have a Joanns near you, or get their newsletter, several times a year you will find them running 10 for $10 patterns or something... where you can pick what you want within a pattern line. Good deals can be found since commercial patterns can run up to $20 each! When you get your computer up and running again, or if you can use someone elses, just do searches for tutorials. Good luck on both sewing and knitting. It is really amazing to be able to see what your hands can produce, and don't be afraid to break a few rules, some amazing things are discovered that way!


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