Welcome to my blog about Home Arts Needlecraft Magazine! I "discovered" this publication about 2 years ago and fell in love with it to the extent that I had to start collecting issues as I ran across them. The magazine began publication with its September, 1909 premier issue, and continued through March, 1941. It has been interesting to follow the changes through the 30 plus years the magazine was published. It is a great source for needlework, fashion, recipes and short stories. Through my journey of sharing my issues online, I hope to discover a pattern of what was popular in different forms of needlecraft over the 3 decades. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I am (so far!) enjoying posting articles and projects from the issues. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Answered by the Editor

January 1912, Page 24

     I tried mixing red and blue paint together in order to get a purple for stenciling a grape-pattern, and the result was a muddy brown; yet my instructions tell me to mix those two colors.  Can you tell me what the trouble is?  I should also like to know how to mix the paints for roses, as I wish to stencil some curtains with a border of those flowers. ---F.B.W.
    There are reds, and reds, you know: crimson lake, with a very little Prussian blue should give you a good grape-purple.  You do not suggest the color you wish to use for the roses.  Crimson lake, lightened with a bit of silver white, makes a pretty rose-pink, a darker shade being produced by using the lake alone.  By adding a very little black to the latter you will get a dark red.  Why not try artists’ crayons for stenciling?  I am sure you will find them very satisfactory.
    I wish contributors would tell us just what number of thread to use to make a centerpiece or doily of certain size.  I would like to make a bedspread like the pattern of sash-curtain in crochet which appeared in the May, 1911, number.  What kind of thread would be best to use? ---Mrs. L.A.J.
    A contributor might tell you how large a doily resulted from using a certain size of thread, and your method of working might produce one much larger or smaller.  Two doilies were recently sent me for sale; they are of exactly the same pattern and the same thread was used, yet one of them is nearly twice the diameter of the other.  The work on one is unusually close and even, that on the other very loose.  For the bedspread one may use knitting-cotton, thread or – as you suggest – carpet-warp.  One of my correspondents writes of having made such a bedspread of No. 40 linen thread; she says it is very beautiful, and that she calls it her Needlecraft spread.  Try a small section of the pattern, using either material named, and you will easily decide which you like best.
    I have a tinted centerpiece which has become somewhat soiled while being worked.  As it is intended for a Christmas-gift I do not want to launder it.  Is there any way to cleanse it without the use of water or gasoline? ---Alla  F.
    I have known the following method to succeed admirably:  Take a t hick piece of wheat bread – a five-cent loaf from the baker’s will be just the thing, even if a little stale.  Slice off the end and rub the centerpiece with the soft, fresh-cut bread, going over the whole work.  As soon as the bread looks soiled, cut off another slice so that a clean, fresh surface will be presented, and repeat until you have thoroughly rubbed the piece and it seems clean; then shake and brush it well, lay it face down on a thick ironing-blanket, place a thin cloth, slightly dampened, over the back and press with a moderately hot iron.  Bread, used as indicated, is an excellent cleanser of soiled wall-paper.
    I have directions for a sweater which call for shell-stitch, in knitting, but do not describe it.  I wonder if Needlecraft can and will tell me how it is done? ---N.M.
    Needlecraft can and will try, surely.  The following is lemon-stitch not infrequently called shell-stitch”:   Having a number of stitches divisible by 4, knit 2, over, purl 2, and repeat to end, for 1st row; 2d row  - knit 2, purl 3; 3d row – knit 3, purl 2 – always repeating to the end; 4th row – like 2d; 5th row – slip 1, knit 2, pass the slipped stitch over the 2 knitted stitches, over, purl 2; repeat.  Repeat the pattern for 2d row.  For a wider shell put the thread over twice in center, in 1st row; returning, knit 3, purl 3, and continue as directed, save with the extra stitch, and at end of 5th row (having put thread over twice) purl 1, purl 2 together.  There is a shell pattern in knitting, very pleasing as a stripe for counterpane and other large articles, which requires 26 rows to complete and for a single pattern 38 stitches; and peacock- or fan-stitch is also sometimes called shell-stitch.  The latter requires a number of stitches divisible by 9, with 4 additional, and has 7 rows.  This shall be given you, if you wish, and if neither stitch is the one wanted I shall be glad to “try again!”
    A friend showed me a piece of work done in what she called the “new Turkish embroidery.”  It was a dresser-scarf, and she had a toilet-cushion, handkerchief-case and several other small articles done in the same stitch.  My friend said it is very easy to do, and rapidly worked, and certainly it is effective.  It looks to me like shadow-embroidery wrong side out.  Will you describe it? ---Louise Parker.
    You have already done so – it is “shadow-embroidery wrong side out, “ literally, and done in exactly the same way.  In shadow-embroidery the cross-stitches are at the back of the work showing through the sheer material; in Ismit or Turkish stitch – nothing more nor less than the old Janina stitch – the threads cross on the right side, and the tiny edge stitches are at the back.  I am glad you “love Needlecraft more and more every day” – Needlecraft reciprocates!  The prices charged for the embroidery sold were not exorbitant, but very reasonable, I should judge from your description.
    Can Needlecraft tell me how to mix paints so as to produce a real copper-color?  ---Miss D.F.
    Try twenty parts of white, four parts medium chrome yellow, one part raw umber and three parts Venetian red.  Your question in regard to “a good stenciling-outfit” will be perfectly answered by a “shopping-tour” through Needlecraft’s advertising columns.

    Will you kindly tell me how to make a hood of Angora yarn?  I should like to know where I may obtain a book giving directions for knitting and crocheting different articles of wool. ---W.S.B.

    A plain hood, either knitted or crocheted, may be made by starting at back of neck, working back and forth until you have a crown of the length desired, then around the latter, up one side, across top, down other side, turn, and continue working back and forth until the front portion is of the width required to cover that front of the head.  Add a turnover, if this is wanted, and a cape.  The following general directions for knitting such a hood may be followed in plain crochet:  Use bone needles, No. 5 or No. 6, and work loosely.  Cast on 26 stitches, knit across twice, then in next row widen a stitch and each end of needle.  Knit plain 56 rows, or length of crown, and at end of last row turn and pick up the stitches down the side, knitting a stitch to each ridge; turn, knit to top, across the top, down the other side, turn, and continue knitting back and forth for 50 rows, or until the front of hood is wide enough for the head.  Knit 20 rows or more additional for the turnover, and bind off.  Pick up the stitches around the neck for the cape, do 12 rows plain, then knit 30 rows, widening every 7rh stitch to give the circular shape or flare.  Bind off, and finish with a crocheted scallop.  This hood may be easily decreased in size or made larger, and is very neat and comfortable.  Send your full address for reply to your second questions.

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