I have a lot of quilting and knitting gizmos that I love. Here are a few more!
This is an invention from a little company called Rollie. It's remarkably simple--a couple of plastic caps and a piece of elastic between them. When you look at it, you think it's something you could have done--but the truth is, I've thought about what you would actually have to do to make these, and quickly decided it would be a pain. I prefer letting Rollie do that job.
These gizmos hold double-pointed needles. You put a cap on each end, and the elastic keeps the caps held onto the needles. The project stays tidy, the needles stay on the knitting, nothing is ever lost again (or if it is, it's your own fault), and life is good.
This looks like an innocent, rolled-up piece of plastic. But it's not. I thas a grippy side and a slippery side. You put it grippy side down on the bed of your machine, the slippery side up, and free-motion quilting becomes a breeze.
I learned about it a few years ago when we were vendors at a quilt show. The booth next door sold nothing but Sew Slips. Over and over, for 4 straight days, I heard the Sew Slip Sales Pitch. Finally, on the fourth day, I gave in a tried it (which was a big part of the pitch).
I was completely hooked. For another 6 months, I tried to explain to Kim how cool the Sew Slip was. She thought it looked just like another piece of plastic. Finally one day, I shoved it onto her machine. She was assimilated.
Come on it. Try one out. You know--just to see if you like it.
For the rest of this entry, our theme will be hand-sewing.
Wait! Don't go away!
Hand sewing is part of both quilting and knitting. You need to do it to FINISH things. Do you like the word "finish"? I thought so. Please keep reading, because I am going to show you a few more tools to make it go more easily.
One day, a year or so ago, I started to thread a sewing machine, and I couldn't see the eye of the needle, which made threading it hard. I told Kim about it. Rather than sympathizing with me about how my eyes are going downhill, she explained that there is an automatic threader on the machine.
Thanks, Kimmie. Problem not solved. My eyes are still going downhill.
But now I will tell you, if your eyes are going downhill too--or even if they're not--about a similar invention for hand-sewing: The Clover Needle Threader.
This is the coolest little thing. You put the eye of the needle into a hole at the top of this little baby, drape the thread across, press the lever, and--voila!--your needle is threaded.
Once again--provided that you can at least discern between the eye end and the pointy end of a needle--you can put off buying those zebra-print half-glasses that are a feeble attempt at making the 40+ wearer feel "hip."
Between the needle threader and....
....Thread Heaven, I don't mind hand sewing the binding on a quilt quite as much anymore.
Thread Heaven is a simple little box of wax. It has a scattering of sparkles throughout the wax, which I was puzzled about at first, but finally figured out that these symbolically represent "heaven."
Thread Heaven lives up to its name. You just run a piece of thread across it, and you get no more tangles as you're hand sewing.
Speaking of heavenly, the next helpful thing I like is my business partner. I love her the most of all! Oh, Kimmie, just look at you--so smart, so beautiful!
Woah! Hijacked blog! I should have known to change the password. Let's be moving on. Quickly.
Knitting also requires a bit of hand-sewing to finish, and I have found several tools that make this process better too. The first is Knit Klips.
I used to use hair clips to hold my knitting together in preparation for sewing seams, but the problem was that they go caught in the yarn. About a year after I discovered the hair-clip idea, Knit Klips were invented. (I am pretty sure that I sent the inventors Special Energy Waves from My Head that made them invent the clips.)
They have a single hook in the center, which means no more tangles or catching.
By the way, all of you who know Kirsten (our Saturday godsend) know that she seems pretty mild-mannered. But trust me, that's just on the surface. If you want to dare test it, take away her Knit Klips. You will see her instantly turn into someone with the amiability of "Venom" on the TV show "American Gladiators."
The other sewing tool is the humble Chibi. (I bet you'll be unable to process any thoughts at all about Chibis as you continue trying to picture Kirsten acting like "Venom.")
The Chibi is a darning needle with a smooth finish and a bent tip.
It makes sewing yarn a breeze. It also comes in its own little storage case. The case has a little hole on the side, so you could, should you desire, put a string through it and hang it around your neck, kind of like a necklace. (Don't you want a necklace made from a plastic tube and darning needles? I'm sure it would look good with those hip, zebra-print glasses you have dangling from your neck too.)
Why it is called a "Chibi," I have no idea. "Chibi" is apparently a Japanese word meaning "small child." I am not pulling together any connections here. All theories welcome.
Here is something for everyone! It's a cute little sheep from Lantern Moon.
It's not just cute, it's practical: It has a special secret when you pull on its tail!
Everyone doing any kind of craft needs such a tape measure!
Well, there are lots more gadgets that I love, and I want to go on and on about them, but my mother was always big on telling me that I should "know when to quit." (She is a good mother and always tried hard to teach me things, and I am at least able to recite some of them back.) What I am actually trying to say is that the little sheep is helping me symbolize that this blog entry is at