Robin Stroot Sorting through old files

It’s great to be sewing and knitting in my new craft room. More than anything, it’s great to be able to move about the room and find things.

There’s still some finer points to iron out but all in all it’s a fine working room that’s just right for me.

I also have to find a new crafting chair that will allow me to adjust the height so I can use the chair for my sewing machine area or working at my craft table (which is a higher work surface than my sewing machine).

Here are some things I discovered while taking the paper files and putting them into a new filing cabinet.

I came across a tattered piece of folded paper. Carefully, I unfolded the paper to discover a huge chart that listed interchangeable yarns on both sides of the paper. Wow, have we come far from using the paper list, I thought. I probably had that chart since I learned to knit. The purpose of the list was to give you different yarns that were compatible substitutes for other yarns. For example, if you had a knit pattern that used Red Heart yarn, and you had a Lion Brand yarn, you could look on this particular chart and see what gauges would match the stitch and row length on a specific sized knitting needle (or crochet hook).

Fast-forward several years. You will notice on the new yarn labels that there will be a small picture of a skein and a number listed on the yarn — 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 — with 1 being fine/lace weight yarn/thread and 6 very bulky yarn. These numbers are a manufacturer’s universal sizing chart that will give you a generalized comparison of different types of yarn. You can also do an Internet search that will give you yarn comparisons, too. Just be sure to look at the secondary illustration on the yarn label to see more specified gauge listings. As always, be sure to — as knit/crochet instructions often read — knit/crochet a swatch and adjust your needle or hook size accordingly to match the correct gauge of the knit/crochet pattern. If you can’t find the yarn in your local store, you can usually find exactly what you need through Internet sources.

Among some of the other papers, I came across a snailmail letter I had written about a chair spinning wheel I purchased from a fiber friend. The spinning wheel is called a chair-wheel because it was often fashioned in the shape of a chair. One day, while cleaning the spinning wheel, I noticed a name and town on the underside of the treadle. I found out that the man who made the spinning wheel died in 1986 at the age of 87. His daughter learned from him and was still making the spinning wheels. She was teaching her nephew how to make the spinning wheels. The daughter also gave me a few finer tips about the spinning wheel and the bobbins used for plying or storage. It gave her great comfort to know that the wheel was well cared for through the years by the different owners and that it is still being used 35 years later.

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