Introduction to the Challenge

This challenge is specifically set towards those that have not had the opportunity to sew a garment/object by hand. This challenge is NOT a competion, merely a place for new handsewers to document their progress and seek feedback and help, and to challenge themselves. Sewers that are experienced in hand stitching items will not be excluded, but this is meant as a chance for those with no experience in this realm to get a start.The Challenge I propose is that all persons joining the challenge pick a garment or object of textile nature, no matter how small or large, i.e. a pilgrim bag, a Coif or any type of hat, socks, flag, gloves etc., and have at least one form of documentation for its existence during the SCA time period. Acceptable forms of documentation for this project will be paintings/woodcuts/drawings with the desired object in it or a picture of the desired object.The challenge starts first of June and will end one year later. People can join the challenge at any time during this year. Those of you with handsewing experience are invited to follow the blog, and leave comments and feedback as the challenge progresses. The challenge is based in Drachenwald, but is open to all kingdoms.
If you would like to join the challenge (and the blog) please email me at to be added!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Handsewing tip of the week (#3)

Dealing with knots:

Ok, so you're sewing, things are going well, and then you get a knot in your thread. Here are some tips for dealing with the pesky little buggers:

1. Avoid them all together: As you sew, your thread will begin to twist. This makes the thread knot. To fix this problem, every so often, let go of your needle and let it hang by the thread. This will allow it to un-twist itself, which will, in turn minimize your knots.

2. The simple knot: the most common knot you'll get is also the easiest to deal with. First of all, *be gentle!!!!* pulling tightly at a knot is the easiest way to make it stronger!!! Simply put your needle through the loop and gently tug at one thread. If that doesn't straighten it out, keep the needle in place and gently tug at the other thread. Nine times out of ten, it will unravel itself. Never tug at it or you will end up with an impossible knot!

3. Freaky knots: Every so often you'll end up with a bizarre knot of sorts with several knots all wrapped around themselves. Use the principle of point two. Choose a loop, and follow procedure 2. If that doesn't work, ease your needle into another loop and try again.

4. Twisty end knots: Sometimes the loose end of the thread will knot itself around the main thread. This is not cool. The best way to handle such knots is to run the knot up to the eye of the needle, cut the thread just below it, and rethread.

It's hard to describe these techniques, so if anyone is interested, I'll take photos of knots as I get them and photos of me getting them, uh, is anyone interested?


brooke said...

I just checked on you tube. they have a couple of hemming stitches (and back and running stitch) but the untying a knot is not there, maybe next time I am over I could tape you with the camera and we can upload that. What do you think?

Anya said...

We'll have to wait until I start my next project for that, I'm afraid. No photos of this one allowed :-)

Gottfried said...

You know I try really hard to follow rule number one but some how my thread seams to sabotage me every time

kareina said...

I only just found this blog--how delightful, thanks for starting it. Another way to avoid knots in the first place--use tip #1. Threads waxed with beeswax are less likely to knot up, which makes for happier sewing...