Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Great Knitting Discount Store and some handiwork history

*The above photo was taken by Sunshine
and she made the lace as well.

Another lady in Australia named crochetroo is the one who made the pattern which is actually for a bookmark.

I have been looking for a size 50 crochet thread on several of my shopping trips. Every time I find the thread, IF I find crochet thread on the various stores, I usually find only a few colors and only one or two sizes. After Googling several times, I finally found this Knitting Wearhouse site.
I was delighted to find all varieties of brands, colors and sizes. I was amazed to see you can get crochet cotton in a size as small as 100! I didn't know anything smaller than size 50 was made.

To give you an idea, the common size available in JoAnns and WalMart is 10. It is thick and makes lots of great things, including beautiful edges on receiving blankets. Size 30, which is what I found in JoAnns in Denver is a bit smaller, but not as small as I was desiring. By the time you get to size 50, it is beginning to look like sewing thread. The hooks I use when I am crocheting with 50 is a size 11. This hook is almost so small you cannot see the hook. I noticed on this site there is a size 14 available. My mom said the table cloth I got from Grandma is made with a size 14 hook. I am wondering, does this look like the point of a pin?

Speaking of hooks, my most favorite brand is Susan Bates. They are hard to find as well. I don't know why, but Boye is usually available in most stores. I really dislike this brand. The hook is at a different angle and I have found they are not finished as nicely. I have had to take Boye hooks back to the store because they grab my thread on a burr. Susan Bates is always a high quality hook.

My most favorite thread brand is DMC and Aunt Lydia's. Both have a pretty sheen and are softer than some of the cheaper more starched varieties.

I don't know how many of you are into crocheting lace. I know, I am pretty weird. I got started when my sister-in-law gave me some old pillowcases made by her great grandmother with some beautiful lace she had crocheted. She wanted me to make a pillowcase doll out of them. I could NOT cut these pillowcases up. Instead, I have been studying the lace and figuring out the pattern, then learning to make the lace. One day, I will replicate the pillowcases and make a doll out of my handiwork, and leave the originals in tact.

I also have learned the art of tatting and fileting. Filet Lace Making is a really lost art. My mother recalls her grandmother sitting in her chair with a filet lace project pinned to her apron. I inherited my great grandmother's filet shuttles with a project started in the corner. I also inherited some of the beautiful fileted things she did. The modern version of this art is called Filet Crochet.

When these shuttles were given to me, I had no idea how filet is done. To see if I could do it, I found a "how-to" article in a book, followed the instructions and added a few more stitches to my great grandmother's project. I found it in a Reader's Digest publication called the Complete Guide to Needlework.

I also inherited my other grandmother's tatting shuttle and have learned from the same book, to tat as well. I have learned an easier form of tatting on a needle. Tatting is regaining popularity. I remember my grandma tatting edges on doll clothes she made for us. It is not that easy, and I didn't even appreciate it.

Now, I am fascinated by the beautiful work done by artisans such as my grandmothers. I have a beautiful tablecloth crocheted by my grandma. I looked at the tiny thread used to make this cloth and realize now it could have been even finer than the size 50. This amazes me.

I am happy not to waste anymore time hunting for the store that is willing to stock these rare items. I will just place a link in my blog and shop there from now on.

I hope someone finds this post of interest.



RisibleGirl said...

I do find this interesting because I love to crochet. I was admiring a lady's work whilst waiting at the imaging place on Monday. It looked like she was making lace, but whatever it is, it was beautiful. I'd love to learn how to do that (after I retire). I only crochet easy stuff like afghans.

wendy harbaugh said...

you live in Utah Heindselman's in prove carries thread down to size 100 also they carry hooks smaller than size 14 they also teach classes in tatting and crochet plus they know a lady in spring ville who teaches filet lace and can give you her name when I took classes from her she was already in her nineties. They also sell the filet lace shuttle and such. Where in Utah are you I live near Riverton in Herriman. There is a book you can buy I referenced it on my blog my daughter was doing a pattern out of it. All the patterns in the book are side to side patterns not continues chain which is nice because if you want to make yardage it means you don't have to know where you are going to end to make the lace or have 5 balls of thread going at once.

take care sunshine


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