If you're like me you find your keys work their way to the bottom of things and hide, just when you need them most. So here's a solution -- the indispensable key ring. This colorful wool holder is large enough to show up wherever your keys are hiding -- smiling from the bottom of your bag.
It was first presented to me by a gifted needlewoman, Madge Copeland of Arizona. And, now, another from Socorro Kimble of Bakersfield, Calif., who was kind enough to include the instructions. You can make holders for all your friends. They'll bless you forever.
Select a group of yarns (in various textures for added interest) in colors of your choice. You should have about 10 extra-long threads -- approximately 60 or 70 inches long -- that will be used to wrap.
Vibrant color contrasts make an unlosable key ring. Try these for starts: lime-green wrap; first ring -- yellow with orange stripes. Then blue wrap. Second ring -- blue (over blue wrap) with green French knots. Three strands: shocking pink, orange; yellow. Third ring -- lime green, pink chain stitch. Leave about three-inch fringe.
1) Holding yarns horizontally, begin wrapping group of yarns approximately 12 inches in from the end, using one of the extra-long threads. Wrap about two inches (Fig. 1).
2) Fold wrapped section over key ring (Fig.2). Continue wrapping both sections tightly for about 1/2 inch (Fig. 3). Wrap another long cord horizontally around threads. (If you want ring to be thicker, use a second thread to wrap around) (Fig. 4).
3) Using a weaving needle, thread long yarn and wrap the yarn ring vertically (Fig. 5). When you have finished wrapping, use a contrasting color to go around the ring again, placing vertical stripes about 1/2 inch apart.
4) Wrap another section approximately 1/2 inch. (fig. 3) Continue with (Fig. 4).
5) Using a contrasting thread in needle, work French knots around wrapped ring.
6) Separate threads into three sections. Wrap each section tightly about 1 1/2 inches, using colors of choice for each wrapped strand (fig. 6).
7) Repeat Fig. 3. When this ring is completed and wrapped, work a chain stitch around the center in contrasting color.
8) Cut off remaining threads to desired length (Fig. 7).
Q. I want to do a needlepoint rug of my own design with a Chinese motif. What combination of canvas and yarn and which stitch would be best to give me a sturdy rug for a hallway area and yet still be fine enough to show off a somewhat intricate design?
A. Have you ever tried trame tent stitch? Come up at one end of the line, go down at the opposite end, laying down a long horizontal thread. Work your way back across the line with slanting tent stitches going over the thread and canvas together. This doubles the wearability of the rug, yet keeps your stitches small for fine details. Of course you remember, tent stitch is the all-inclusive name for the most used needlepoint stitch -- also known as continental, gros point or petit point.
Q. I have a double wool-filled comforter which was given to me about 15 years ago (made by a mill). It has never been used. When I recently took it from a chest, I found the material on one side (a flimsy, gauze-like material) had disintegrated. The reverse side, a satin-like material, seems in good condition. Have you any suggestions as to how a new cover might be put on top of the side that has disintegrated, without removing it?
A. Try tying the new backing onto your comforter with double knots of wool, cotton or narrow ribbons, whichever suits your comforter design best.