Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Stitch, Sew, and Knit - Rachel's Guide to Threaded Distraction

I'm going to be honest: right now, it's really hard for me to focus on reading (anything but Regency, Edwardian, and Victorian-era romance novels, that is). Aside from reading, my major outlet is making things - my Instagram right now is almost exclusively pictures of works in progress, mostly new garments for my wardrobe. It's rewarding to put time and effort into a usable product, but I definitely would not be making such great strides without some of the books we carry in the store. Here are a few that I can definitely vouch for:

Sew Step by Step by Alison Smith is THE BOOK if you need a veritable sewing encyclopedia. This book has everything (as Stefon would say): sewing equipment; fabrics sorted by wool, silk, cotton, etc; hand and machine stitches; types of finishes; how to make pockets, hems, button loops or button holes, and more; and even decorative techniques if you're feeling fancy. I reach for this book first because it has excellent pictures for every single step of every single technique. My sewing education was mostly by osmosis (thanks mom!), so I knew a few tips and tricks here and there, but there's so much more to learn. Get yourself some pattern tracing paper and go wild!

Another fun way to pass the time is to learn how to embroider. For basic techniques, I turn to my old friends Google and YouTube, but for the patterns, I have two books. One is Stitchcraft by Gayla Partridge and the other is Embroidered Botanicals by Yumiko Higuchi.

Between the two of them, my heart is content: one has all of the beautiful florals you would ever want, and the other has all of the creepy anatomical drawings you would ever need. I haven't gotten far into my first attempt at embroidering a Ouija planchette, but it's so easy and mindless that it's the perfect distraction from all this mayhem.

Occasionally, I do like to knit (I will confess, I have a wool scarf that I started a year before we moved here, and that was almost a year ago now). I wish I had Knit Step by Step by Vikki Haffenden and Frederica Patmore when I first started knitting because, just like Sew Step by Step, it has everything a budding crafter needs to get started. Well, aside from the needles and yarn. This one even has some starter projects to try, as well.

Finally, another really fun skill to learn is weaving. We have Welcome to Weaving by Lindsey Campbell, and just like the Step by Step books, it has excellent pictures that take all of the guesswork out of learning this craft. I bought my 12x12 loom on sale from a crafting store for around $14, and the great thing about a weaving project is that it packs flat and stays put if, say, you need to move 900 miles away.

If you're more into cross-stitch, quilting, or crocheting, we've got you covered - just don't ask me to add another crafting obsession because I already have too many. Happy crafting!

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