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Old 11-08-2012, 08:28 PM
Jeans Jeans is offline
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Since having surgery a few weeks ago I have had a lot of time to take up crocheting. Something I have wanted to do for awhile now. I decided that learning a useful skill just in case SHTF would be good. I have now croched a scarf for myself. Im starting on an blanket soon. Im also trying to learn to sew cause someday ready made items may not be so easy to find.

My question for eveyone is what skills are you wanting to learn to be better prepared?
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:12 PM
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great idea!
I've been focusing on skills relating to my work (in natural health) but would love a new (useful) hobby at home...maybe knitting is the way to go.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:11 AM
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I am just getting into Knitting. You can also do A LOT with crochet, but I am not sure yet if I will be able to tackle it. Hard to pin my mom down to teach me how... But I have to admit knitting is not my favorite thing, but feel it is more something that I should know. Plus gives me something to do with my hands.

I am also about to teach myself, and practice, how to make paper. Just waiting to get some dryer lint from friends & family. I hang out all my clothes, and don't even have tee dryer hooked up. Would rather not have to shred of cloth. Maybe not that useful, but as a scrapbooker, quiller, and beginner book binder, thought it would be good to know.

And I want to apprentice to a beekeeper! I so want to learn how to have beehives. I go through a lot of honey & waxes when making herbal medicines. And teas. And candles. And... And... Can't have any near my house atm, but wouldn't mind going where ever I needed to go. Have scooter... Will travel! (I use scooter when it is just me & I am not hauling that much... 100 mpg/gal can't beat that!)
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:22 AM
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I've been learning how to shoot and honing my gardening skills. I've also learned much about canning & food storage. I used to knit & crochet when I was younger, and that might be good skills to develop. My sewing teacher once compared my use of a sewing machine to a human sacrifice so I'd probably be better served sticking to buttons & seams there.

I wouldn't mind getting into beekeeping, but I'm not sure that's allowed in my urban environment. I know that chickens are definitely not allowed, though rain collecting is. I'm going to set that up next year along with my garden expansion, and get my garden going earlier next year. I've been honing my money management skills by staying out of debt while prepping, and honing my creative skills by finding stuff I can sell and then taking action on it. Mindset is a skill that will keep me alive as surely as ammo will.

I'd like to learn how to reload ammo as well. Working on that one. I've also learned the very basic basics of my new kerosene heater as well as how to store the fuel for it long-term. I'm sure there are more skills I can learn! Seems that prepping is a full-time hobby.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:35 AM
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We've been batting around the idea of beekeeping. A guy at Mom's church has two hives and needs to split them into four. Besides the honey and wax source, it will also help me overcome a fear -- of buzzing insects. I don't have it bad, but I want to eliminate it.

RE: paper making, I think it will be a useful skill someday. The old way was to pulp cotton linen with wooden mallets. Are the t-shirts 100% cotton? The longest lasting "paper" is parchment made from sheep, goat or cow skin. While this is a skill I'd like to learn, that's just a wild dream that will probably never come to fruition.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:43 PM
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I have been doing a lot of reading about emergency fire for cooking and heating.I am going to make a rocket stove and give her a try.I'm sure I'll make something delicious on it.I now have the ingredients to make my first batch of soap.I have a notebook to write down all of my findings and any tips that present itself in my endeavors.I already know how to sew,quilt,garden,can and preserve dried food.I have a list and chickens are not far down on it.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:56 PM
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this thread has me thinking...here's the top 5 I want to work on next:
- improve 1st aid skills
- improve gardening skills
- learn to preserve food through canning, dehydrating, etc etc
- organizational skills (basically life's paperwork: home, kids' schools, business)
- learn to use herbs/essential oils for personal care and healing

there are so many more but I thought learning, practicing and buying all the gear for these will easily keep me busy for the next year or more!
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:15 PM
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I just learned how to weave flax. My little flax bucket is sitting on the mantelpiece holding pens as we speak. it's very effective and quick to make them.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:30 PM
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Today I did something useful. I ordered my gun card. I live in Illinois so haveing a firearm is not an easy thing to do but as soon as I am approved for my gun card I am going to buy a handgun and learn how to use it. That is the next skill on my list to learn.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Absolutely! View Post
I just learned how to weave flax. My little flax bucket is sitting on the mantelpiece holding pens as we speak. it's very effective and quick to make them.
As a spinner,weaver, fiber addict.......how did you weave a flax( that would be linen once it is yarn) bucket? Unretted flax? Details!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Liebrecht...who hates working with flax tho she can<smile>
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:48 PM
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As a spinner,weaver, fiber addict.......how did you weave a flax( that would be linen once it is yarn) bucket? Unretted flax? Details!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Liebrecht...who hates working with flax tho she can<smile>
haha. I loved it. I don't know what unretted means...

We cut the flax into widths 1/2" wide. It never became yarn - it never even made it down to the size of cane.

Plain weave, four corners at the bottom, and a choice of tops to edge it. I had no trouble with it at all. The trick is to have spring loaded clothes pegs everywhere. and you have to do what florists do to ribbons to curl them to the flax on both sides with a knife, to break the cells and release water, so that it won't shrink and so that it is more floppy and pliable to use.

It is slowly drying unevenly, and I can see which side of the flax faced outwards, something I didn't consider at the time... it's a cute little thing and it brings me joy.

Oh - I just called it a bucket because i could think of no other word. It certainly wouldn't hold water although would probably make a good sieve.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:13 PM
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Great thread. I want to learn to pressure can, so I can put soups away and save room in my freezer.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeans View Post
Since having surgery a few weeks ago I have had a lot of time to take up crocheting. Something I have wanted to do for awhile now. I decided that learning a useful skill just in case SHTF would be good. I have now croched a scarf for myself. Im starting on an blanket soon. Im also trying to learn to sew cause someday ready made items may not be so easy to find.

My question for eveyone is what skills are you wanting to learn to be better prepared?
********************

Over the years, I've taught classes on just about every form of needlework.

Something that I have observed, over and over, in my beginning crochet classes is this: It is a natural tendency for new crocheters to make their chains VERY tight and their other stitches much looser. This means that whatever you are making will present a real problem to block to the specified size. You will get cupping, curling, and weird measurements, because your beginning stitches are not consistent.

What you need to do is work on making practice swatches (usually 4" X 4") until you have a uniform tension and size on both your chain stitches and others (single, double, triple crochet, etc.) Most new crocheters skip right over that part about starting off by making practice swatches........because they are eager to get to the actual crochet project.

Teaching yourself to do this is probably not essential on something like a scarf. But, it is.......if you are planning to make other projects that require a specified size and/or measurements for the finished product.

Anyone, who wants to become a truly good crocheter needs to first understand that your finished product(s) will not be any better than the quality of your basic skill at doing the crochet stitches.

Crocheting is a wonderful skill to learn. A big part of its' appeal is that you can crochet with anything from a bulky yarn to a very fine thread.......and lots of different choices in between those two extremes. Plus, it is a natural stress reliever. As with any form of hand needlework, crocheting just puts you into a different "zone". (Unfortunately, anyone who has never done any form of needlework will NOT understand this.)
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyFenix View Post
********************

Over the years, I've taught classes on just about every form of needlework.

Something that I have observed, over and over, in my beginning crochet classes is this: It is a natural tendency for new crocheters to make their chains VERY tight and their other stitches much looser. This means that whatever you are making will present a real problem to block to the specified size. You will get cupping, curling, and weird measurements, because your beginning stitches are not consistent.

What you need to do is work on making practice swatches (usually 4" X 4") until you have a uniform tension and size on both your chain stitches and others (single, double, triple crochet, etc.) Most new crocheters skip right over that part about starting off by making practice swatches........because they are eager to get to the actual crochet project.

Teaching yourself to do this is probably not essential on something like a scarf. But, it is.......if you are planning to make other projects that require a specified size and/or measurements for the finished product.

Anyone, who wants to become a truly good crocheter needs to first understand that your finished product(s) will not be any better than the quality of your basic skill at doing the crochet stitches.

Crocheting is a wonderful skill to learn. A big part of its' appeal is that you can crochet with anything from a bulky yarn to a very fine thread.......and lots of different choices in between those two extremes. Plus, it is a natural stress reliever. As with any form of hand needlework, crocheting just puts you into a different "zone". (Unfortunately, anyone who has never done any form of needlework will NOT understand this.)
You are so right. My first attempt at crocheting was not pretty lol and the chains were so tight it was hard to hook onto them. I have gotten much better now but I am still practicing. Until I can do it all better I am making some stuff just for me that wont matter if I make mistakes in it. And it is stress relieving AFTER you figure it out. Before I did I wanted to throw it at the wall.

Last edited by Jeans; 11-10-2012 at 07:48 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:48 AM
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[QUOTE=LadyFenix;4847957]********************
Anyone, who wants to become a truly good crocheter needs to first understand that your finished product(s) will not be any better than the quality of your basic skill at doing the crochet stitches.
QUOTE]

Also, your finished prouct will be no better than the YARN you use. Natural fibers, while more pricey up front, will give you a better item and longevity. Cheap yarns end up with cheap finished items. Also, different fibers work better for different things such as wool ( has memory) for socks VS cotton which will sag and droop.

Liebrecht
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:34 AM
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Great thread. I want to learn to pressure can, so I can put soups away and save room in my freezer.
That's a lot easier than many people think. I bought a Presto canner that serves for both pressure & water bath canning, and followed the directions that came in the instruction manual. The Ball Blue book is also very helpful. In case you haven't found it yet, there's a wonderful thread in Farming & Gardening on canning by Ma Kettle. Definitely read that! And have a bit of faith in yourself. It's a careful thing but not all that difficult.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:27 PM
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I want to learn to shoot! I don't know the first thing about guns. I have never actually even SEEN a gun. How lame is that? But I've done my research and I know what I'm going to buy. I know how much ammo I am going to get. I just have no clue how to actually shoot, or even how to go about learning. That is my next project.

I also really want to learn to knit. I have tried before, but I am left handed and could not make it work. I was trying to learn from a book. Youtube videos for lefties will probably be of much more value. I'm going to buy some needles and cheap yarn to learn, and then hit my local yarn store when I'm ready. She carries some beautiful stuff.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:08 PM
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I'm kind of an ADHD crafter...I've done most of it. I can knit, crochet, sew, quilt, embroider....I've even built furniture for myself. Next thing I want to learn is how to clean a fish.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:48 PM
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I can clean a fish. I cant shoot but I want to learn soon. I can garden and can but I need to learn more about it to be an expert. I want to learn to knit. And sew. The crocheting it going well so Im thankful for that. Im trying to think of some other useful things I can learn over winter that can be done indoors. They are predicting a bad winter for us so Id like to learn as much as possible while staying inside all warm and cozy. LOL
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:31 PM
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Great thread!

I had my first garden ever this summer.

I've invested in not one, not two, but three pressure cookers in the last 2 months and have been canning away for the first time in my life. LOVIN' it!

This weekend I learned how to kill and process chickens.

I have a friend who has promised me he will teach me how to process a deer as soon as he shoots one, probably in the next couple of weeks.

I want to improve my first aid skills. Am seriously considering taking an EMT course.

I want to learn how to grow/use herbs for medicinal use.

I want to get my concealed carry license.

I want to get into archery. I really want a crossbow.

I am taking an extensive self defense class starting in January. It's a four week course. After that, I'll go to the "advanced" course, which includes disarming a threat (gun/knife/etc.) Super excited about that one.

In the meantime, I read read read these boards and other sites, trying to fill this little brain of mine with as much information as possible.
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