Ready, Set, Stitch with Confidence!

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Jan 25, 2018

Last week we talked about making your needlework goals for 2018 S.M.A.R.T.E.R. – and this week, well – it’s time to wrap things up so we can actually start working on those goals and developing your needlework skills! 😉

Let’s recap what you’ve done, so far.

  1. You “Kon-Mari’d” your PIPs and prioritized them.
  2. You made a list of things you want to accomplish this year – and you turned them into goals.
  3. You made your goals S.M.A.R.T.E.R.

Congratulations!!!

You’re doing GREAT! I’m so proud of you for taking the initiative to develop your needlework skills. It’s one thing to say you’re gonna do something, but you’ve proven that you mean business.

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals for a Spectacular 2018

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Jan 18, 2018

Did you make a list of your most frustrating problems and challenges when it comes to pursuing your needlework hobby?

Great! What I’d like you to do now is look at that list and make some notes, so grab a pencil and a red pen – and let’s get started.

Last week, I asked you to rate your frustrations using a “star” system – beginning with 1 star for anything that’s mildly annoying, all the way up to 5 stars for those things that really, really drive you nuts. If you didn’t do that, now’s the time.

Go ahead…I’ll wait for you. 🙂

Now, let’s look and see if there are any items on your list that are out of your control.

Setting Yourself Up for Needlepoint Success

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Jan 11, 2018

Last week, we talked about sorting through all your projects so you could set yourself up for success in 2018. Now, we’re in the second week of the year and I’m wondering…

Did you get your PIPs sorted?

If you did, that’s terrific and a great big CONGRATULATIONS! But, if you didn’t, that’s perfectly okay, too. I know this can be a pretty big undertaking, so, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of sorting through ALL of your PIPs, why don’t you just take a deep breath and choose one project that has you stumped.

There…feel better?

Great! Go ahead and set that project aside. We’ll come back to it again soon. As for all those other PIPs…

No More Resolutions For Me…

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Jan 3, 2018

Have You Heard?

This year, I’m not making any New Year’s Resolutions. I’m D-O-N-E with that activity – and moving on to a much more rewarding one! Wanna’ join me? Great! Let’s get started…

Instead of Making Resolutions, I’m Challenging Myself!

First on my agenda is to make some serious headway on all my PIPs. (That’s shorthand for “Projects in Progress”.) And the best way to do that is to “Kon-Mari” them. What the heck does that mean? Let me explain…

Gauge Matters!

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Aug 16, 2017

Have you ever worked really hard on a project, only to have your hat (or mittens or, even worse, your sweater!) turn out waaaay too big? Or how about making something that ends up being entirely too small?! Well, that’s exactly what can happen if you don’t check your gauge before you start your project. Now, you may be wondering – what, exactly, is gauge?

Great question! Let’s take a look at it and see why it’s SO important!

Gauge refers to the number of knitted stitches in one linear inch of fabric. (It also applies to rows per inch, but we’ll chat about that another time.) Gauge directly affects the width of your knitted item and, if it’s off (even by 1/2 stitch per inch) can completely wreck your project.

Here’s an example…

Suppose the pattern you’re using states that gauge should be 4 stitches per inch. The pattern also tells you that you need to cast on 60 stitches. When you do the math, that calculates out to a piece o knitting that will measure 15″ wide. (Because 60 stitches divided by 4 stitches per inch = 15″.)

The Right Tools

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Jul 16, 2017

Last time, we chatted about choosing yarns, and today we’re going to talk about — yep — knitting needles! Knitting needles come in an assortment of shapes and sizes and they’re made from a variety of materials. From plastic and metal to bamboo and wood -there are so many options out there that it can make your head spin. But I’m going to share some tips with you that will make choosing the right needle for your project easy-peasy. Let’s get started!

Choices, choices!

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Jul 6, 2017

Now that you’re committed to purchasing the best quality supplies you can afford, it’s time to take a look at making the best fiber choices for your projects. Remember in my last post, I told you that I’d be sure and address both knitting/crochet and needlepoint/embroidery? (So you’d have the information for whichever technique you prefer — or both, if you’re a multi-crafter!) Well, while writing this part for knitting and crochet, I realized that it was going to be a wee bit long, so I divided it into two separate posts.

Info about choosing yarn (for knitters and crocheters) is below.

Stitchers, you can find tips for choosing the best fibers for your projects here.

Now, my friend, why don’t you fix yourself a nice cup of tea and let ‘s talk yarn choices…

Tips for Organizing Your Stash

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Jun 21, 2017

A couple of years ago, I became “acquainted” with Marie Kondo and her wonderful book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I read it, cover to cover, rather quickly (it’s a relatively short book) and, when I finished it, I committed to “konmari-ing” my house. Unfortunately, “the best-laid plans…” well, you know – and I didn’t quite get around to it then. I’m working on it now, though, and I’m finding the process works very well. You really should read it, if you haven’t. It’s quite sensible – and liberating! And if you don’t want to tackle your whole house right now, start small by organizing your stash.

Organizing Your Stash

Everyone knows when you’re a knitter, embroiderer, crocheter, needlepointer, cross-stitcher, quilter, or any other kind of self-proclaimed needle nut, loving all the beautiful and colorful yarns and threads is a cinch. It’s keeping them orderly that can be overwhelming, and it can feel like a monumental challenge! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned stitcher, organizing your stash will help you know what you have, find what you need, and inspire you to make projects you love.

Tips for Getting Your Stash Under Control

And it doesn’t matter what size your stash is…these 10 tips will help get yours under control so you can focus on the fun part — making beautiful hand made treasures for the special people in your life, and, of course Y-O-U!

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