The Importance of Little Projects– Summer Knitting

School is almost out for the kids which means it is vacation time! Long hours in the car driving to that vacation spot, waiting in line at camp pick up, sitting at the airport waiting on a flight, or hanging out at the pool, are all good times for working on small projects.  And while there are small hand-sewing projects, I have always found smaller knitting projects to be more bang for the buck.  A pair of socks or fingerless mitts, a shawlette, or baby sweaters and booties are all great summer projects.  Not only are they small enough for a tote bag, but they will give you a jump start on the winter gift giving season!

So to get the juices flowing, here are some patterns and yarns to tickle your fancy.

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Lillian Shirt Review

Lillian ShirtPattern: The Lillian Shirt

Designer: Tina Givens

Fabric: Hawaii

Overall Impression: Nice, very airy and light.  I like the long sleeves when dealing with air conditioning.  Be aware the neck scoop is very deep and wide.  Sizing is also very generous.  S/M is to fit a size 4-12 but it was big on a size 14 model.

Quirks: Pattern has to be assembled similar to a PDF pattern, but it is only 4 pages so it isn’t at all difficult to join the pieces.

Notes: First off, I love that the pattern is printed on real paper.  The piecing layout for the paper pattern is right on the pattern paper.  The sewing directions are also right on the pattern paper, out of the way of the pattern pieces.

What was changed: The neck facing originally called a band to be cut on the straight of grain.  In our trial we decided to instead cut it on the bias so that it would lay flatter,  Also the pattern called for binding on the bottom hem.  Since this fabric takes a narrow hem so nicely, we did that instead.  The neck scoop was too wide so we folded a pleat in the center front and secured it with a button to act as a design element.

You are NEVER too old!

Research has proven that learning a new skill helps keep your brain in good shape and contributes to fighting off dementia.  In a study published a year ago, researchers found learning to sew or do digital photography not only improved memory but the gains in memory were maintained for over a year!  According to cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, learning new challenging skills strengthens not only short term memory but also long term.  By activating the entire “brain network” learning new skills decreases the risk of memory loss and “cognitive aging.”

The challenge of learning to quilt, knit, or construct clothing is a good way to keep your brain sharp.  Mr. Moore took up that challenge recently when he enrolled in Woolstock’s Introduction to Clothing Construction class where he made his wife a nightgown.  After the class, he went on to construct the lined denim he is seen wearing.


Good Job Mr. Moore!

Article cited “Learning a New Skill Keeps Works best to Keep Your Brain Sharp” Published by NPR

Thread Catcher Round Up — What to do with all the mess?

Sewing is a creative business, it is also a messy one.  Little bits of fabric, snippets of thread, long strips of fluffy from the serger, all mar the cleanliness of the sewing room.  But how to deal with it? I have been sewing a long time and have used all sorts of different containers to handle the mess.  Currently I am using a 2 liter bottle with the top cut off. Not pretty but it gets the job done.

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Lunch Sack Tutorial

Lunch Sack Tutorial

I love little bags.  They are so useful for organizing and make such an easy and personal way to wrap a gift.

This little bag is the perfect blank slate for your creativity. You can pick any color, add embroidery, a handle, and even try out different closures.  With this bag I added the handle and used a wrap around tie closure.

Ok, let’s get to it!

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Hello world!

Welcome to Woolstock: The Blog!! We are happy to see you as we take this exciting journey through the world of fabric and fiber arts.

Woolstock is an adorable yarn and fabric shop in Historic Glyndon, Maryland.  We are filled with a creative and knowledgeable staff ready to answer any question.

So now that you know who we are, let’s talk about what you will find here on Woolstock: The Blog!

  • Product and Pattern reviews
  • Tutorials
  • Quilt Patterns
  • Freebies
  • Information on Classes
  • Coupon Codes
  • And More!