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Interchangeable Yarns

If your workbasket is filled with worsted weight yarn but your favorite lace pattern calls for thin cotton thread, don't despair. Instead of making 200 tiny motifs, you may be able to get away with making only 50 motifs when you use the thicker yarn. Of course, the lacy motifs will be on a larger scale but the effect will be equally attractive.

The reverse will work, too. If size 20 crochet cotton is your cup of tea, you can use the same instructions which call for knitting worsted weight yarn and make many more squares. Sport and fingering weight yarns can be substituted, as well.

Lace items which are made in one piece are not as easily adaptable as ones made by the strip or motif. You'll probable need the advice of an experienced yarn shop owner in order to adjust the instructions for thinner or thicker yarns.

Stitch Up a Storm

No-Tangle Embroidery Thread:
Cut embroidery and needlepoint yarns into 12-inch lengths and loop each color group over the rung of a plastic clothes hanger.
Easy Enlarging:
Save the peel-off backing from adhesive shelf paper. It's ruled in one-inch squares and is perfect for enlarging craft and needlework patterns in magazines.
Crazy for Crochet?:
Use up leftover yarns by making granny squares, striped potholders, ripple stitch scarves or tweed crocheted rugs.
Buttons on Hand Knits:
To prevent buttons from creating sags and puckers on knit sweaters, sew one button on the right side and one flat one directly underneath on the wrong side.
Crochet Buttons in Place:
Leftover bits of crochet cotton is terrific for sewing buttons on coats and suits.
Mending Lace:
An easy way to mend holes in lace tablecloths and curtains is to place a piece of crepe paper under the hole and machine stitch back and forth. Remove the paper carefully.
Gift Afghans:
When giving an afghan as a gift include a little extra yarn in a plastic bag for mending should the need arise.
Don't Mix Fabrics:
Always use 100% cotton or all cotton-blend fabrics in the same quilt. Otherwise, some patches will wash and wear unevenly.
Sharpen Sewing Needles:
Stitch through a piece of fine sandpaper to sharpen your sewing machine needle.
Avoid Oil Spots:
After oiling your machine, insert an old rag or piece of unwanted fabric and stitch in forward and reverse for at least five minutes.
Reinforce Pattern Pieces:
Before you cut out tissue pattrns, reinforce curves and long seam lines with clear cellophane tape.
Hot Tip:
Don't skip of ironing when sewing. Press seams open as you go for a better fitting garment.
Solution For Snags:
Fix snags in knit fabrics and hand knits by pulling the loop to the back side of the garment with a fine crochet hook. Baste in place with matching thread to eliminate further problems.
Needle Threading:
Run the needle over a piece of paraffin or candle stub. Needle threading will be easy-as-pie!
Stitchery Timesaver:
When sewing or crocheting stuffed animals or dolls with many small pieces mark each piece as you go. When you are ready top assemble the toy, it will be simple.
Instant "Antiques":
Dip new lace fabrics or crocheted doilies into a strong tea solution. The color will take on an instant "antique" look.
Keep Your Place While Knitting:
Use a paper clip to keep your place when following needlework patterns. Move the clip and you work and you'll always be in the right place.
Paraffin Pincushions:
Use a piece of paraffin as a pin cushion and your pins and needles will slide easily in and out of fabric.
Calender Quilts:
Start saving linen calender dishtowels now and sew them into a quilt. It's a nice keepsake and useful, too!
Bigger Quilt Backs:
Avoid surprises! Always cut your quilt backs at least two inches larger all around than the top for a proper fit.
Dry Your Sweaters:
Sweaters or any item that must be dried flat can be placed on a towel or top of your dryer. The heat from the dryer will dry the sweater in a jiffy.


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