Art and Needlework by Rebekah

Art and Needlework by Rebekah: March 2011

Mar 28, 2011

3/28/11: Knit and Crochet Now

When I have a written crochet or knitting technique that I just cannot grasp visually, I normally head over to YouTube for some help. Quick, 3 minute videos may be very useful at times but truth be told, they do not offer much inspiration for me. That is why I love to watch knitting shows on T.V. The first one I ever tuned into was Knitty Gritty on DIY, then later it was Knitting Daily on PBS. Both shows were a joy to watch but my favorite would have been Knit and Crochet Today on PBS (which later was changed to Knit and Crochet Now!). This was probably due to the fact that the show included crochet and many of the designers (including the editor), from the Crochet Today magazine, appeared in person.

For about a year, though, my local PBS station hasn't been airing Knit and Crochet Now! (K&CN), which I am very disappointed about. But there is something I am more concerned about. I learned from this blog about the desperate circumstances K&CN are up against. You wouldn't believe all the work, funds, and amount of time that goes into the production of PBS shows and Candi Jensen, the producer of K&CN, needs your help.

This is what is posted on the front page of the K&CN website:
Lots of you have have been asking when Knit and Crochet Now 's new season will be airing. Good news- we're working on it now, and we expect to bring you new episodes soon! But first we need your help.

As you may know, Knit and Crochet Now is 100% independent, commercial-free programming. We are a small, women-owned company, and like many small businesses, funding can be a challenge. While we do our best to keep production costs down, we still need a certain amount to produce each season of the TV show.

Help us bring you 13 more episodes!

We need to raise a whole lot of money to put the show on the air.

So, from now until April 11, we're having a fundraising drive!

We've brought you dozens of shows, tips, expert advice and patterns.
If you can help, now is the time to give back.

Imagine : If each of you gave $10 or $20 (or any amount you can afford), we'd have it in a snap!


So if you can help this show stay for another season, please take the time in sending a donation. Just click on the button below. Thank you!


Mar 24, 2011

3/25/11: A New Way to Add Length to a Dress -- Part 1

No posts in the last week or so but that doesn't mean I haven't been up to some mischief. I've created something rather special a few days ago but that will be under wraps for just a little while longer. In the meantime, let me bring you my latest work in progress:

No, no! I didn't make the dress, I actually bought it from an online clothing store. Strange, huh? I wouldn't typically buy a ready-to-wear dress (I rather sew one!), but this particular dress is not typical. This dress, The June Wrap as it is called, was designed by my eldest sister when she entered a dress design contest that was held by the indie clothing line: Christa-Taylor. Unfortunately, Christa-Taylor went out of business last year and when we heard that this was happening, I quickly snatched up this polka dot wrap mainly for sentimental reasons.

Isn't it such a pretty dress? I wish I could have worn it as soon as it came in the mail, but there was a problem. Way too short for me! I'm a tall person so the dress's hem fell above my knees. I sort of knew this would happen before I bought it so it was no shocker. You see, I had a plan. And that is what I am working on right now. I am going to add length to the dress without altering my June Wrap in any way. Intriguing, huh? I'll tell you more about it as soon as I make some headway into this project. Just wait and see!

Jump to the other parts of this series:

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Mar 15, 2011

3/15/11: On What is to Come

You might have noticed that I changed one of my buttons below my blog header. I changed "Etc." to "Tutorials" in preparation of creating some more sewing and knitting tutorials. As you probably know, I am a big fan of online tutorials and as I am quickly discovering, I like to make them myself! :) So far I've done one on threading a needle and another on creating and inserting an inseam pocket. I have a long list of other topics I want to cover--especially those sewing questions I had when starting out--so be expecting them soon!

You also might have noticed that all of the buttons direct you to multiple posts except for "Watercolor." I have dabbled in watercolor a few times but haven't yet posted about my work. In all honesty, watercolor for me is one of the hardest things to get motivated about. From past experiences in many things I do, I've come to realize that it is difficult for me to branch out and do things outside a set of "rules." In watercolor, there is an explicit need to act quickly, precisely, and try to do it your way. There is no one set of instructions to follow--like the step-by-step instructions you find in knitting and sewing--so I get. . . Nervous from all things!

I perfectly realize that this nervousness will subside if I practice. I remember painting and re-painting a red tulip a few years ago and now I have no problem whatsoever in reproducing it. It actually turned into my favorite flower to paint and is one of the few subjects I enjoy painting. So it goes to show that practice is the key.

In conclusion, I think it would be a good idea to take out my paints and brushes ASAP. I've been constantly sewing and knitting and now I think I am in need of something different and out of the ordinary. I need to do something without following instructions to the T, and watercolor is a great way to do this.

So be expecting some sewing/knitting tutorials along with my first post about watercolor painting!

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Mar 12, 2011

3/12/11: "Classy" Knitting

I done and did it today: I went to my first knitting class! Have been wishing to do something like this ever since I started out in knitting, but was never able to find a suitable class that was held outside my "busy time" (farming season).

The class was held at the New Ewe Quilt and Yarn Shoppe in Newaygo, MI, and it was given the title: Knitting 102. The class instructor, Jane, gave us students the option of knitting a hat or a purse that will eventually be felted. Never felted anything before so decided to go with the latter.

I arrived a bit early so I had time to browse and drool over all the yarn, notions, books, magazines, and bolts of cotton. What a blissful moment it was! I even had enough time to take a couple snapshots. Yarn photography has to be the most enjoyable pastime. :) I wish I did do a few more closeups but the class was about to start.

So how did my knitting/learning time go? Awesome! This would be my first time knitting along with someone else and it was great fun. I almost knitted the entire body of the purse during the class because the yarn and needles I am using are huge. Two strands of worsted weight wool and size 15 needles make fast work. I got the amazing opportunity to use Cascade 220 for part of the purse; it is the most popular yarn according to so when the time came to cast on with 220, I was hearing the drum roll in the background. :) The yarn is very nice to work with and sort of reminds me of my good ol' Plymouth Galway Worsted.

The days leading up to the class I asked the age old question: "What should I wear?" Can you guess what I chose? Yeah you're right, my Acorns sweater. Even after wearing it for at least four weeks since I finished it, the sweater looks pristine; not much pilling happening and the color is still strong. I've washed it three times, too!

This knitting trip was absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to visit the yarn shop again.

Oh, I almost forgot to add a picture of my Work In Progress. . .

It will be going into the washing machine very soon--I can't wait to see how it turns out!


Mar 9, 2011

3/09/11: Tutorial -- Sewing an Inseam Pocket + Pattern

Every sewing project I choose to do I ask myself at the very beginning: "What can I add to make it special?" A lot of the time I choose a different hemming or seaming technique, but I've come to realize that I like my pockets, especially inseam pockets. Inseam pockets are pockets that are sewn along the side seams of the garment and are almost completely invisible. I've added this type of pocket to a princess seamed dress, two skirts, and four pairs of pants.

Since I've used this type of pocket so many times I thought it would be a good choice for my second sewing tutorial. Hope you enjoy!
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Mar 5, 2011

3/05/11: Tutorial -- Threading a Needle

Presenting St. Gemma's Art and Needlework's First Ever Tutorial. Ahem. This is a momentous occasion for sure but I think a speech isn't necessary for a number of reasons. So without further ado, I will show you how to thread a needle. It may be true that it is the basic of basics when it comes to sewing. However, I'm sure the newbies out there would benefit and novices might pick up one or two things they hadn't heard before. So keep an open mind those who have been sewing since the age of five! :)
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Mar 4, 2011

3/04/11: Something New

Something new has arrived this week and it actually helped me with my last post about the satin pajamas. I'm talking about a new digital camera! I finally have one. Yay!

I've been waiting for awhile to get one for myself and have been a busy little bee today working on a top secret project with it. Nah, not really, for the secret will be made public this weekend. Make sure you come on back and see what it is. ;)

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Mar 2, 2011

3/02/11: Satin Pajamas #2 -- Finished!

I am very happy to report that my eldest sister is now sleeping in her brand new, pink satin pajamas made by me. There was a mountain load of alterations and scary decisions to make while sewing these, so it was certainly a joyful moment when I finished sewing the last button on!
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