Author Topic: Survival needlecraft  (Read 15086 times)

Offline flashcard

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Survival needlecraft
« on: July 14, 2009, 09:48:46 PM »
I love to knit.  I never thought I'd be the type to knit "dust collectors" (kitchy, decorative, but otherwise useless items - take my knitted banana for instance) - but I can't help it! Sometimes they're so fun, and I learn a lot.

That said, what do you consider to be "survival" needlecraft/fibre skills and products? I'd like to start building up my skill repertoire, and my stash of finished (very useful) knitted items.  This is my start:

Skills
Sock knitting
Seaming
Darning
Spinning (carding, shearing, etc.)


Products

Sweaters of different weights
Blankets/afghans

Offline “Mark”

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2009, 10:37:21 PM »
You also need hemming and buttons/buttonholes. Can you follow a pattern? Can you make your own pattern? Just things to think about.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009, 11:06:35 PM »
Sock Knitting is easy peasy.  If you can knit a banana, you can knit a sock.

I don't know how to darn anything though.

I would LOVE to learn how to spin, shear, etc.

Blankets are usually just a bunch of scarves seamed together, so that's easy.

Sweaters - I've never done one.  I'm looking forward to my first one, but it won't be for a while.  I have too many danged christmas presents to make before I get to pay attention to stuff "I" want this year (how the hell do my brothers procreate so fast?  HOW?)

homeshow

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2009, 05:13:05 AM »
(how the hell do my brothers procreate so fast?  HOW?)


someone else want to cover this? ;D

Offline nikki1843

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 05:39:06 AM »
I can sew. I used to make all my kids clothes when they were younger. I have even sewn a whole outfit by hand once when my machine died and i was on a schedule for getting it done.

I think that when tshtf this will make a skill that I can use to barter for things that I need.  Mending is an important skill to have also, torn seams, holes in socks... there are all kinds of things that sewing can help.

Now what I really want is a non electric sewing machine like my grandma had. The foot powered kind.

Offline flashcard

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2009, 08:39:27 AM »
Sock Knitting is easy peasy.  If you can knit a banana, you can knit a sock.

I don't know how to darn anything though.

I would LOVE to learn how to spin, shear, etc.

Blankets are usually just a bunch of scarves seamed together, so that's easy.

Sweaters - I've never done one.  I'm looking forward to my first one, but it won't be for a while.]

I think the only thing on my list that I *can't* yet do is shearing - I've never done it or even seen it done IRL.  I was hoping that I would *love* sock knitting like many others seem to, but...I don't. 

If you can knit (or weave!) you can darn! It's so easy and very rewarding - it feels like you've finished a whole new project  ;D

Same goes for sweater making - not very many tricky bits if you pick the right pattern.  My first one took *forever* - maybe 6 months or more? My third one took me 4 weeks.  Zoom.

Mark Rose - I can sew a button, but I should definitely work on my hemming skills.  I can follow a knitting pattern, but if it's a sewing pattern, a crochet pattern or a quilt pattern, I'm hooped.  Good call.

Offline flashcard

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2009, 08:46:23 AM »
I can sew. I used to make all my kids clothes when they were younger. I have even sewn a whole outfit by hand once when my machine died and i was on a schedule for getting it done.

I think that when tshtf this will make a skill that I can use to barter for things that I need.  Mending is an important skill to have also, torn seams, holes in socks... there are all kinds of things that sewing can help.

Now what I really want is a non electric sewing machine like my grandma had. The foot powered kind.

I agree about skills for bartering - less likely to get thrown off the lifeboat if you can clothe people.  I wonder where you can get a foot powered sewing machine these days? I can't imagine that they're still being made...I guess estate sales/antique shops?

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2009, 10:11:55 AM »
I can sew. I used to make all my kids clothes when they were younger. I have even sewn a whole outfit by hand once when my machine died and i was on a schedule for getting it done.

I think that when tshtf this will make a skill that I can use to barter for things that I need.  Mending is an important skill to have also, torn seams, holes in socks... there are all kinds of things that sewing can help.

Now what I really want is a non electric sewing machine like my grandma had. The foot powered kind.

I agree 100% a very VITAL SHTF skill.  My middle son sews like a machine, so don't count us chest thumping males out either.  I would love to find websites/links that address the issues with nonelectric sewing.

And as far as "finding" a nonelectric machine, "Adapt, Improvise, Overcome" is my motto.  You don't have to reinvent the "whole" wheel, just replace the motor with an alternative powered option. 

I am currently looking into the flexible shafts for cordless drills that could be attached to a number of common items to provide a "drive train" connection to all sorts of devices.  Blenders, mills, pumps, etc., and then you could just take your cordless and solar rechargeable drill around to each device you wanted to power.  With the "higher end" contractor grade cordless drill/drivers, you get 1-2-3 speed transmissions so you could choose "power" for things like mills and meat grinders, and "speed" for blenders, sewing machines or pumps.  Quite endless possibilities, maybe I ought to patent that idea... hmmmmm

Tim.


Offline archer

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2009, 10:33:08 AM »
(how the hell do my brothers procreate so fast?  HOW?)
Go ask TW to explain it to you. He might even take you on a field trip....  :P

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2009, 11:44:38 AM »
(how the hell do my brothers procreate so fast?  HOW?)

someone else want to cover this? ;D

Go ask TW to explain it to you. He might even take you on a field trip....  :P

Oh both of you just shut up.

homeshow

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2009, 06:16:00 AM »
Go ask TW to explain it to you. He might even take you on a field trip....  :P
Oh both of you just shut up.


all i wanted was someone to explain to you the mystery of the male side of procreation.

(how the hell do my brothers procreate so fast?  HOW?)

you semed curious.  I know where baby's come from.  i just wanted someone to explain the bigger picture to you.  BTW  how was the field trip? ;D

Offline archer

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2009, 11:12:41 AM »
Stay on thread!!! (before SW kills us)

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2009, 12:14:40 PM »
Stay on thread!!! (before SW kills us)

Live by the thread - Die by the thread, but yes, please, let's continue with this thread, thread.  Sorry...  OK, self slapping is over.

Tim.


Winchester32

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2009, 02:15:54 PM »


Now what I really want is a non electric sewing machine like my grandma had. The foot powered kind.

Those are called Treadle machines.  I have a singer from the 1920's, (my mom inherited it from her granny) and it is all I have ever sewn on.  It doesn't do as well with heavier material, but I just inherited another from my grandmothers passing that she had overhauled to do my grandpa's overalls.  It needs some work though.  Part of the problem I have had is finding someone who knows how to adjust & service them.  Fortunately I found a gentleman last fall who is great at it. 

I have been in possession of 2 others in the past year.  One is at the church, and the other I sold at a yard sale.  I'm also trying to get one from my aunt.  She has no use for it, and it's beautiful.  I hate to see it just sit and rot!  So at least where I live, they seem to be plentiful.  I'm sure if you watch estate sales or even second had stores, you might come up with one.  Just make sure it's functional.  You can often get manuals off of craigslist. 

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2009, 03:27:23 PM »
I was just looking at treadle spinners.  I wonder if they're comparable to treadle sewing machines, as far as ease of use, etc... Hmmm...

Hellchick

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2009, 07:29:41 PM »
A thread right up my alley!

I agree on sock knitting being a great survival skill. Many a military friend of mine has told me that a dry pair of socks can mean a world of difference for them. Really, I think, being able to knit any kind of garment or item that's going to be able to keep you warm and dry is a surivival skill: sweaters, hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, socks. You could probably even knit long underwear if you could knit it at a small enough gauge to be comfortable under outer pants.

Not only is just knitting the item a survival skill, but knowing WHAT to knit the item out of is a survival skill in and of itself. A sweater knit from acrylic or cotton is a radically different beast than one knit from 100% wool: the latter will still keep a person warm even if it's absorbed a lot of water, whereas a cotton sweater is going to make a person cold if it gets wet (think of all the advice that you're given when going hiking in areas with radically changing weather and then apply that knowledge to the clothing you knit). Alpaca yarn is super soft and warmer than wool, but lacks the body and memory by itself to stand up to a sweater (a sweater made out of 100% alpaca yarn will stretch and possibly be unwearable after a short while), whereas knowing how to blend a little bit of wool (and how much) with that alpaca will give you a yarn that has the warmth and softness of the alpaca and the body and stability of the wool. But you could make a hat out of 100% alpaca just fine.

Shearing: I totally agree on this being a survival skill! I hope to learn how to shear very soon. Two weeks ago I got my first alpacas, three of them, and I spin yarn from their fleeces. I'm not willing to shear them myself until I properly learn how to do it (not only so I get usable fleece, but for their safety -- don't want any nicked bellies), and I'm hoping I can find a shearer that can teach me. And then, after years of working to this point, I'll finally feel fully in control of my entire yarn and knitting production, from the ground up!

sarahluker

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2009, 07:16:11 PM »
My mom just gave me my great grandmother's darning egg. I have no idea what to do with it but figured there has to be a video of instructions somewhere.  She also gave me her cotton combs.  These are fun to have, but it would be nice to understand their use.  I'd also love to learn to knit but cant seem to figure out how to do it from instructions in books.  Guess I have to see it to understand it. 

Offline flashcard

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2009, 09:28:15 AM »
My mom just gave me my great grandmother's darning egg. I have no idea what to do with it but figured there has to be a video of instructions somewhere.  She also gave me her cotton combs.  These are fun to have, but it would be nice to understand their use.  I'd also love to learn to knit but cant seem to figure out how to do it from instructions in books.  Guess I have to see it to understand it. 

Learn to use that darning egg (a lightbulb works just as well, but isn't as lovely)! It's easier than knitting, but is a really useful thing to be able to do.  Darning can make a pair of socks last almost forever. You can use it to repair *any* knit fabric with an almost invisible mend (if you have the same colour thread/yarn as the original fibre). 

coffecat

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2009, 08:28:37 PM »
Archer - I printed the water purification chart and have it on my kitchen cabinet and use it all the time !!!
Somehow my only survival skill would be sewing clothes.  C

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2009, 09:52:15 AM »
Archer - I printed the water purification chart and have it on my kitchen cabinet and use it all the time !!!
Somehow my only survival skill would be sewing clothes.  C

Don't sell yourself short there Coffecat.  Sewing skills would not only be invaluable to you and yours, but would also make a great barter survival skill anytime, especially post SHTF.  Now down here in Dixie, clothes are somewhat minimal at best, but for our frozen neighbors Northward, clothing is a lot higher up on their Christmas List.

Tim.


Offline Downeastwaves

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2013, 10:36:04 AM »
Hats, scarfs and mitties! Up north, they ARE important! Maybe one day I will get a few made up and do like Gram always did, give them at Halloween. She put a little money in the mittens and the neighbor hood kids LOVED getting them. One even told about his fond memories of when he was a kid and got his hat and mittens with the quarter in it at Gram's graveside service! <G> she always made popcorn balls, too. I miss my Gram...

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2013, 01:44:56 PM »
I'd like to add to the list of useful knitted items:

Scarves and shawls (to go with those hats and mittens)

Washcloths.  Lots and lots of washcloths.  Folks will need them when they don't have paper towel or plastic sponges anymore (plus I just use them all the time.

Wool Diaper Soakers (for folks using cloth diapers)

Bandages.  From an article about knitting on the homefront during WWII:
Quote
Knitters also produced 15-20 foot stretch bandages. The bandages were knit with 100 percent cotton yarn in garter stitch. Garter stitch (all stitches knit, none purled) produces a stretchy fabric that lies flat on the edges. The finished bandages were sterilized and shipped to medical units worldwide.

Slippers

Potholders and hotpads

That's all I can think of right now :)

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2013, 06:57:32 PM »
Once you can make hats and mittens, then you can learn to sew a lining into them! I'm perpetually cold, so I learned that trick real quick.

Shearing is definitely a skill that takes tons of practice. Most farms hire professional shearers. I've been to a local alpaca farm the past two years for their "shearing day." We just corral the animals and restrain them during the process and the shearer does most of the work.

I was just looking at treadle spinners.  I wonder if they're comparable to treadle sewing machines, as far as ease of use, etc... Hmmm...
I love my spinning wheel! Most of them are foot powered, though there are a few electric models out there. It's so much faster than a drop spindle, though it does take a bit more practice.

Offline Mullers Lane Farm

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2013, 07:52:50 PM »
AvenueQ, I know a lot of spindle spinners that will beg to differ with your opinion that wheel spinning is faster than spindle spinning.  I was once of the same opinion until they proved me wrong!

Sure, if you have plenty of dedicated time to sit at a wheel and spin, you'll produce a lot more yarn in said time then when spinning with a spindle.

However!!!

If you always keep a spindle and small amount of roving with you, and take it out and spin while you are in a waiting room or standing in line at a store or even stopped at a traffic light, you would be amazed how much yarn you will produce!

Back when I was working full time, I made the same statement as you (about wheel spinning being faster i.e. producing more yarn) and some spindle spinners challenged me.  I kept my drop spindle and roving with me where ever I went and took every opportunity I had when I was away from the homestead.  While I was home, I used nothing but my wheel.  My spindle always filled up faster than my wheel.

I KNOW!!  It shocked me too!!!   :egyptian:

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2013, 09:21:04 PM »
If you always keep a spindle and small amount of roving with you, and take it out and spin while you are in a waiting room or standing in line at a store or even stopped at a traffic light, you would be amazed how much yarn you will produce!

This is probably true. Though I have a hard time with the drop spindle because of my gimpy shoulder, so I think I may have to stick with the wheel as my primary yarn making device.

Erm...not so sure that spinning at a traffic light is such a good idea, either.

Offline Mullers Lane Farm

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2013, 10:07:37 PM »
Erm...not so sure that spinning at a traffic light is such a good idea, either.

I know!  The steering wheel or console gets in the way!!

Actually, the comment about spindling at traffic lights was meant in humor (my humor often fails!)  ;D

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2013, 05:49:54 AM »
Now I want a drop spindle, a spinning wheel and a loom.  Thanks a lot ;)

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2013, 07:37:28 AM »
I know!  The steering wheel or console gets in the way!!

Actually, the comment about spindling at traffic lights was meant in humor (my humor often fails!)  ;D

Whew! I figured as much, but jokes on the interwebz are hard to discern sometimes ;)

Now I want a drop spindle, a spinning wheel and a loom.  Thanks a lot ;)

You can make a drop spindle really easily! All you need is 2 CDs, a small dowel, a rubber grommet, a small screw hook, and a spare bit of string for a leader cord.
http://danielson.laurentian.ca/qualityoflife/Fulltext/Textiles/Making_a_cd_drop_spindle.htm

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2013, 08:38:57 AM »
     My wife taught me how to run her sewing machine before we were married. My first projects were -20 degree down sleeping bag kits. it took me two months, but me we still use them. I've sewn many useful camping and outdoor projects. We now do fur trade era reenacting and I have made most of our "buckskinning" gear by hand. Working with leather is a little different, but garments made with sinew sewn deer leather lasts almost forever. I've built and used looms before and have a great appreciation for ready to use fabric. My wife is a hobby quilter and has eight different machines, I believe one has a hand crank drive.
     All of our portable gear includes sewing and fabric repair kits. At home we have a large stock of sewing supplies. I pick up packs of needles whenever I see a good price; they are usually inexpensive and would be valuable barter items. It's tough, but doable, to make your own needles. As with many things we take for granted, clothing was a hand crafted item not so long ago. Sewing and fabric work is a valuable self-reliance/survival skill. 

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Survival needlecraft
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2013, 09:32:41 AM »
     My wife taught me how to run her sewing machine before we were married. My first projects were -20 degree down sleeping bag kits. it took me two months, but me we still use them. I've sewn many useful camping and outdoor projects.

That's why my brother learned to sew from my mom back in the late '70s.  I don't know if they're still around, but there was a company that put out patterns for parkas and sleeping bags and the like - basically everything you needed for cold weather camping.

ETA:  Aha!  I just remembered the company was Frostline, and I guess they ceased operations 5 or 6 years ago.