Sep. 12th, 2012

[identity profile]
Hi all! I'm a new member, saw the comm on the spotlight page and couldn't resist :) I've always loved working with crafts, and would love to hone my still pretty newbie skills into something that actually produces worthwhile stuff ^_^

I'm currently in the process of teaching myself crochet, and picked up the chain, slip stitch, and single crochet last night. I'm learning the half double right now, and will hopefully move onto the other stitches tonight. My question is, does anyone have any tips? Any secrets of the trade? My biggest problem so far is learning to tell the chains apart, and my left hand gets cramped sometimes from holding the string. I know that last bit will get better with time though. Also, any favorite patterns that would be great for beginners to practice on?

The other question I had was on sewing machines. I happened to mention to the boyfriend last night that I almost bought the stuff to make a throw out of Green Bay material, but the size would have taken me forever to hand stitch. That resulted in a whole planning session on where best to put the machine, and would I actually use it, and you get the general idea :D I've worked with sewing machines when I was younger - my grandmother taught me sewing, knitting, and basic crafts, and I grew up on her antique sewing machine - but the new ones completely mystify me. Any recommendations for good brands, best prices, what kind of thread I need, should I buy a kit to go with the machine? Basically, what would you do, if you were going out to buy a sewing machine?

TIA, crafters, for any and all advice and suggestions! I'm very excited about the crochet, I've knitted for some time now but have always been drawn to crochet, and the idea of making my own blankets is beyond cool :)

ETA: THANK YOU so much to everyone for the incredibly helpful tips and suggestions, on both the sewing machines and crocheting. I've learned a ton from this post, and I'm just getting started. Y'all rock!! :)
[identity profile]
A commissioned piece....
Royal Dragon 001
Photos don't do it justice....too much sparkle for the lens :-)
[identity profile]
I've recently received many crafty items of different kinds (googly eyes as mentioned in this post, felt, scrapbooking paper and stickers, paper cutters, knitting needles, etc) from a neighbour. Her mother, the original owner, gave everything away and now she was getting rid of it as well.

There was however a drawer full of these shiny little bits and bobs and I don't know what they're for:

Since I can't ask the original owner of the items, perhaps you girls can help?


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