Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Finish, Process and Stuff

Here it is! My finished Thoth! My first 2005 cross stitch finish! Easy to do, looks great. I can hardly wait to start the companion piece (Horus)! I would also like to stitch Anubis and Bastet, but alas, I don't have charts and haven't found any online either. No reason why you can't do this project on 28 ct, but I wanted a travel piece and 18 ct Aida is what worked in most lighting conditions.

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Design by Julie Hasler. Stitched on 18 ct ivory Aida using DMC floss.

In addition, I thought I would provide some step by step on doing crocheted topped towels. It's very easy when you have the proper tools. I start with a good quality towel, although even the cheaper ones at KMart have stood up well to repeated washing. I currently use this marvelous awl that my BIL gave me. You can buy one at a hardware store. This is the best way to make the holes. Alternatively, I used a small nail and a penny nail. The small nail made the initial hole and the penny nail made it large enough to crochet through. There may be other ways to do this (knitting needle comes to mind). Many women use scissors to make the holes. This is a mistake, IMHO. It is NOT worth $150 emergency room visit co-pay! I know 2 women who ended up with stitches and 1 woman who lost the feeling in her finger by using scissors which slipped. So, be warned. Finally, use any acrylic yarn. Test it by making a swatch and throwing in washer and dryer. If the results are acceptable, use the yarn. Even that eyelash stuff works if you like the result after it's been washed and dried. Cotton or cotton blends work also. I did not like the result using wool-but you might. Red Heart is often stiff going through that first row-just use a smaller crochet hook.

To make a crocheted topped towel, cut the towel in half with sharp scissors (you will be making 2). Then fold over a small part of the cut edge and either zig zag (better) or straight stitch. If you don't own a sewing machine, then just hand stitch this over. I do not know if a serged edge will work (I don't own a serger). Test one towel in the washer and dryer--if it doesn't fray, no problem.
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Front and back of towel after sewing.

Next step is doing the holes and the first row. I make about 5 holes and then single crochet through using an F or G hook. Once that first row is done, I typically switch to an H Hook. I just picked these sizes-they give me the results I want. Experiment. These are fun to do and once you've established a pattern, you can do several in an evening. I don't do all the holes at the same time as they are hard to find in the fabric. Terry is sortof 'self-healing'.
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First row in progress

Once you are done with the first row, use whatever pattern of stitch that you want. I hit on one that I particularly like (it doesn't need a button in deference to my Mom's bursitis), but I occasionally see others that I really like that are unlike mine.

Other notes of interest-my sister asked me to housesit for almost 3 weeks. That means I can not only get my rural fix, but finish quilting at least one quilt (she has a table that makes machine quilting easier) before the end of the year. Now, I already got my partial fix by traveling in rural Texas, but it's so much easier getting things done when I don't have to stop and make meals unless I want to. As some of you know, I'm disabled, so don't have the time constraints of a job (just everything else). Generally cheaper too as the closest quilt shop is 45 miles away. On the other hand, Grubers is right on the way. Happily, sis/BIL have made arrangements to have someone else with a tractor plow if it snows. I just wasn't up to get up close and personal with John Deere.

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