DIY Craft Essential #1: Washi tape
DIY Craft Essential #2: Needle nose pliers
Additional Craft Information:
On our travels in Heraklion, we rode a little way outside the city to visit the ruins of the Palace of Knossos, which is believed to be the center of the oldest civilization in Europe, predating the Romans and the classic Greeks we read about in our literature classes. In the 1920's, a British archeologist thought he knew enough to actually “rebuild” some portions of the palace. His intervention, which helped preserve some of the most fragile items, is highly controversial because it is believed that he actually desecrated the ruins. I get a certain sense of nostalgia or melancholy when I visit ruins, mourning for those who lived that life. At Knossos, I didn't feel this at all. Insisting on getting his way, Lord Evans made it even harder for others to know anything about the site. While there are lots of stories and legends, there is no way to know what is true. But, there are always those who make things up and pass it on as truth. Sad and useless.
When it comes to machine embroidery, there are many items that people would like to know, and some state that they do know it. However, the information is typically useless, whether it is accurate or not, and the parameters to reach an answer are different for every project. At best, all we can know are averages and approximates. This truly isn't helpful if we feel we need exact answers.
DIY Craft Essential #3: X-acto knife
DIY Craft Essential #4: Spray paint
For instance, many stitchers would like to know how many stitches one can get from a spool or cone of embroidery thread . While I understand why someone would want this information, it is totally unnecessary unless one runs an embroidery business. Unfortunately, the answer will always be approximate. A 1000 yard cone will never have exactly 1000 yards on it, and it doesn't count the thread we waste at the beginning and end of every embroidery session. And, each manufacturer's thread will be different, meaning we would have to do the math for every one of our threads. Instead of worrying about running out of a particular color, it is simply easier to buy another cone! You know you will need it, so it won't be a waste of money!
A more pertinent question is then asked; how many yards/stitches can be wound onto the bobbin with bobbin-type embroidery thread. Because running out of bobbin thread can cause problems, this is truly an important item to know! Unfortunately, accuracy is hindered by the weight of the thread, the manufacturer, and how tightly your machine winds the thread onto the bobbin. No matter what we try, the best we can come up with is an average number.
Almost every embroidery pattern has its own set of issues from the fabric chosen, the density of the embroidery design, the type of needle used, and even the skill of the stitcher. Any of these can change the numbers we have searched for.
Beginners to the art of machine embroidery generally don't have much sewing experience. They have a million questions, all of which are pertinent. They don't usually ask about the items above until much later. Maybe those of us who have done embroidery for years have learned so much that we ask these silly questions just to be able to learn something new; to feel the excitement that we did as beginners.
Just like the Palace of Knossos, there are many things that we embroiderers will never know. Instead of brooding on this and worrying about it, I suggest just moving on. At Knossos, I could look at the various walls, steps and cisterns and enjoy making up a story about the life to suit myself. It doesn't mean my story is true; just that I enjoyed the experience. The same goes for embroidery. I don't need to know every single thing about it to enjoy it. And, no one is going to think I'm stupid at my lack of knowledge!
Remember to enjoy your creativity!