Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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Pattern or Tutorial

January 9th, 2016 at 08:04 am » Comments (0)

The Question: What are the definitions and standards for instructional
materials came up in a “group”

Answer: They do not exist. … But they should….

This is by no means an exact answer, but I guess – a lot of opinion and a few facts.

Almost daily, I get email, phone calls, or PM’ s from my customers who bought some publication and find it wanting. It never ceases to amaze me the crap that is offered for sale – and I have lost sleep while wondering if they are that much of an amateur or if the author just did not care. I suspect usually a combination of both – especially lately.

Long ago I had a business partner who like to say “Cheap can cost you dear” and I have had the pleasure to work with many old school industry professionals on many different career paths who understood that and so worked towards raising the bar on publications and product.

So a better way to put that might be: There is a difference between Frugal & Cheap =

In beadwork, unlike in the YARNandTHREAD community, (knit, crochet, weaving, sewing etc) there are no National/International Academic “society” and there is no bead specific industry group and there are no organizations remaining professional organizations for “craft” professionals as exist for those who work with fibers and fabrics.

Without those types of organizations, Academic, Professional and Trade, only with a working partnership of 2 or more = there is no viable way to set standards – so it is continues to be the wild west. Even, to the best of my knowledge, the Japanese who have standards for just about everything do not for beads sizing

Realistically there is absolutely no incentive for such organizations to come into being and then to develop standards and work toward getting those accepted. Frankly if it had to happen again in fiber, I doubt it would be possible to get it done today because of the combination of lack of those willing to do what has to be done – at significant personal expense ( dollars and time ) and the apparent unwillingness of the majority consumers to bear the cost of more comprehensive instructional materials. So too small a market for quality.

Hell few know as well as i do that it is almost dangerous to even suggest that at the very least, accurate information should be norm. Because those who do so are often excoriated, ridiculed and told they are mean and nasty Certainly anyone “in the business” knows the risks of not only having higher expectations, but expecting those with a product to meet them. Not the least of which is to have those who offer substandard products and information lobbying a group admin to remove the person and then name call or otherwise harm their reputation.

Personally, I will not buy an instructional materials unless there some way I can see a sample of the quality of the publication. Ideally it should be a complimentary work – and it can be very basic – that will demonstrate the kinds of learning aids that will be included in their product.

I am a fanatic about the details – and if the sample work does not bother to reflect care and concern for enabling the buyer – then I am not interested.

If their offerings are clearly copies of anther’s work

I believe the sales description should include a list of “skills needed” as specific as possible and not some vague or arbitrary and undefined references such “beginner”, advanced beginner, intermediate, etc.

I know many would like an exact list of “materials used” available prior to sale but that is a multi-sided discussion unto itself.

What is included – charts, graphs, illustrations, etc should be mentioned.

Who is the audience? Obviously if the seller is the author and is selling direct to consumers, then their product had better be geared to that niche and have what is needed for those with the skills needed to successfully complete the product.

However, many of the free patterns offered by bead and other manufacturers of products used in the making are not really intended for use by consumers – they are meant to inspire you and it is expected that additional and instruction will be provided by the entity who sells you the supplies.

I absolutely agree Videos should be a supplement not a substitute for well written instructions.

At the same time, you the buyer have some responsibility as well. If you want certain features included then you have to be willing to pay for them.

Wow this got way longer than I planned, so stepping off this soapbox is likely going to at least result in a sprained if not broken ankle

Probably need to edit this more – but really do hope you will consider that there is more to your purchasing choices – instructional or supplies – than just price.

originally posted to the FaceBook group BWAN (not mine) 2016-Jan-08

TIPLET: Convert Crochet to Tunisian

May 20th, 2013 at 08:08 am » Comments (1)

Tunisian Stitch Guide If the question posed in the Tunsian Crochet group had asked about converting Crochet to Knit or Knit to Crochet, a polite referral to my blog article in 2007 would have been the short answer. Well really No, would be the short answer, but the link would be next most brief

Instead, the question asked was about “regular” to “Tunisian” crochet and since they are both crochet – it is more doable with a reasonably positive result.

Caveat Emptor, I do sell Crochet related books, quite a few actually, just not all on line at the moment. And yes I do sell mostly Technique reference and some patterns were I like the way the patterns are written.

Please understand, the reason I sell them is because I use them. I use them as a starting point for EXACTLY the type of project you are asking for.

If the only thing about the pattern you like is the “shape” of the final garment, then your plan might be okay. If it is the texture and/or the hand of the garment or any characteristic related to the technique used, then it may not be satisfactory.

In a teaching/consulting situation, I would be asking you why, if you know both, you want to do it in another technique How you answered would/could lead to whole different set of questions and answers. If you would like to continue this type of discussion, let me know in the comments.

When I see a project in a technique that is not the one I want to use, In this case Pattern in Crochet and you want to use Tunisian,

I would start by doing an “IN PATTERN” Swatch in the original pattern’s technique. Then see if it can be easily duplicated.
In this case, it really should be not all that difficult to almost duplicate the SC, HDC alternating motif you describe. You will only need to pay close attention to your Yarn Over’s (YO) in the forward pass to be sure you have the loops need.

For a more complicated stitch motif, next stop would be the shelf with all the technique references and “find the stitch motif” that duplicates or comes really close. You might not be surprised to learn this shelf has a very comfy chair, a place for my coffee cup and a good supply of graph paper and coloured pencil for design and gel pens for outlining and of course various sized hooks and yarns for swatching.

Once you find a motif that fits your needs, you will need to swatch with the actual yarn and various sized hooks until you get the gauge needed for the hand of fabric you prefer.

I need to thank Marisa for her question, it helped me to get a good start on explaining a concept I hope to explore further in my blog in the coming months.

Enjoy The Making

Shop: http://www.ItsAllJustString.com
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Edit note: Thanks to Ann McClure for finding my typos, proving yet again editors need editors and proof readers too

Can You Name these Knots?

October 1st, 2009 at 10:22 am » Comments (1)

Since I do not read Japanese, and even if I did…, I would like to find out the correct name for each of the Asian knots pictured below and possibly even a link to where the information might be … in English

name these knots e-h
Click for larger view

Thanks for your help


Fibers Smudged Bleeding or Murky?

August 18th, 2009 at 00:36 am » Comments (0)

One question asked fairly often has to do with fulling, felting and other things that result in color smudges, runs and as mentioned today at Crochet Partners – Murky colors – Last weekish, it was a Quilt Thread bleeding conversation in QuiltArt group

Really the question has two “sections” how to prevent this from happening, and what to do when it does
Next, now is as good a time as any to give another Tuesday Tip aka/ Stock Answer for often asked questions

If you are having this problem consistently or hope to prevent it in the future – there are several things you can try. The easiest precaution and sometimes the antidote is use something like Carbona Dye Grabber in the first (has soap) run thru the felting process – well to be honest, it is the only one I have found which works consistently well – Its box is picture to your right.
Carbona Dye Grabber
Carbona Dye Grabber

This might be a good time to disspell the age old solution, Lemon juice probably will NOT work – yes, it gets recommended all the time for everything from clothing to beads and sometimes seems to help… So let me repeat LEMON JUICE is NOT really a solution ot the Color Run problems. Although some will continue to claim it words for them. And, yes, some will believe it works for them so as a libertarian – they are equally entitled to their opinion.

Lemon Juice no longer usually works for Fabric/Yarn/Fibers is that the the “traditional” lemon juice/citric acid originated BEFORE Polyester and the EPA did not exist back in the day when this method was first (possibly centuries ago) stumbled upon. Today’s dye formulations are often not responsive to the “lemon juice” method of dye stabilization.

Almost any fiber will, at the first washing or two, “leak” a bit of color – that is not all that abnormal for a small amount of “color blending” and in fact that is often one of the “charms” of felting, the merging/melding of colors.

It really becomes a problem in felting when the yarn used has not been properly finished and so has far too much excess/loose dye. And, there are colors (Blacks – Red – Jewel Tones – and others) that are more likely to be a problem. Ask any Counted thread person about Running Reds …

Happily there are some products out there that can/do help and are easily available.

As a person whose close predominates with Red, Pinks, Black, Denim and other Darker colors, I use these all the time. It also helps to “train” children and others to use them ALL THE TIME. As any wife, mother, gi or college student doing their laundry for the first time… Failur to sort is just asking for trouble – however if the situation requires, well, Dye Grabber can save a heap of unhappiness.

Carbona Color Run Remover
Carbona Color Run Remover

For your already completed projects or are guy who did not intend to have pink jockey’s but did need to get that great Red Sweatshirt clean, it may be worth giving Carbona’s Color Run Remover a try. It has especially worked well for me if I had not yet machine dried the fabric (felt, cotton, wools, whatever – a QuiltART List acquaintance recently saved a wonderful project where some Red thread had “run” (even before washing) It also seems to work well on pretty much any plant based fiber.

Hope this helps keep your colors less murky, whether felting or laundering


NOTE: I do not sell these products (but I probably should and will have to look into that for my e-tail store http) Nor, do I receive any benefit other than a free sample package at a trade show (CHA) 5 years ago. Although If they offered me a few coupons, I would not refuse

Portuguese Knitting – The Saga Continues

March 15th, 2008 at 10:17 am » Comments (7)

Still somewhat obsessed with finding additional information, this is a

Lavor 4mm Hook Point for Portuguese Style Knitting

What I really want to find out is WHY it has both – Is there some technique,

or is it just practicality so that the tool owner can do either.

Speaking of Practicality, if you don’t have one of Andrea’s pins, it turns out, that depending on what I am wearing, that either

Clover Yarn Holders,

Or, the


No-Coil Safety Pins

are great for the yarn holding if you don’t want to wear the skein around your neck.

I even found a blog page with video on how to turn a paper clip into a safety pin

As TNNA approaches, where Andrea will be teaching, I am having “visions” of countless shop owners, walking the show floor, with glorious skeins of yarns around their necks, happily knitting or crocheting or Portuguese Knitting. Sort of like the year at Soar where Ed had everyone wandering around dropping spinning while walking

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    Wheat Wrote WHAT !?!Assumes ONLY YOU can properly and completely perform the necessary due diligence to determine your course of action in life or business - ALL article, like all on this blog, are a starting point, not the last word by any means. While I hope it is worth more, its value is exactly the same as what you paid for it – no dollars.
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