Sunday, June 29, 2008

a quick costume change

It is done.
A jumper to wear to the snow.
Cast on after snb on Monday night. (yes I took the needles and the pattern, but forgot the wool)
Knitted like mad, finished the following Tuesday night. Seamed on the Thursday night.
Made a hat to match on the Saturday, then cast on for a deeper version of the Brangelina cap.
He's happy and now I can get back to my knitting.

Merino Spun, six balls. 6mm needles. Suggested tension was 16 stitches with 6mm. I got 14 stitches but the fabric was still dense.
About 34 inches.
Knit in the round to armholes, divided and then short row shoulders and a three needle bind off. Sleeves in the round until sleeve cap. Minimal seaming.

And in the photograph you can see evidence that Foat boy is no longer a child. We went and bought him his first pair of eight hole Docs the other week. For the past few years he has been destroying a pair of shoes in three months or less, even Blunnies and Redback boots so we took the plunge. Pretty cool for Year 6.
The worst bit is that they are the same size as I wear and he has already been caught coveting my cherry eight holes. I think however, he will be turning down the opportunity to wear my purple boots, not to mention my patent black ones.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

new clothes and less mud

(added moments after posting: Hello all who have found me via Whip Up. Hope you enjoy, and remember you can email me any time with questions)

With pants flapping at half mast I've had to spend time in the shed sewing for the youngest, and I've had to hurry up and finish a few jumpers for him too.
The pants are made from a range of cords, from thin to thick, all old material I've picked up around the place. Naturally one needs pockets to carry treasures around and each pair has several patch pockets, square and round, and all the pockets are made from contrasting vintage materials. Last year he had round patches on his knees with extra padding for those oh-no fall over moments, but this year I've turned them all into treasure carriers, but placed slightly above the knee.

The jumper is the Totem discontinued piece I've been working on. I found a bunch of Totem reduced to $1 a ball and grabbed a few colours and the result is a striped jumper. There were three balls of the tealy colour and two of the navy and the rest were one ball each. So the welts are in the navy and the stripe pattern is a doubled edged one. Every second stripe is in the teal, but the row sequence is the classic 1,3, 5, 8. Better know as the fibonacci sequence.

It's knit in the round, bottom up with set in sleeves. The sleeves have been knitted from the cap down two at once, in case I ran out of yarn, with a 3/4 cuff, perfect for youngsters who go to day care and love playing in water.
I've only to sew the sleeves in now and finish weaving in the ends.

I wrote the pattern myself, it is a rough 25 inch chest so there will be plenty of room for the boy to grow. I'll write it up properly later and stick it on the pattern page along with the stripe sequence.

In other news we are finally getting some success with the market placements. As the work slowly continues around the market areas (yes gutters are being laid), we have been able to invite potential stall holders who have been waiting patiently since late last year.

Ideally all this work would have been done months ago, particularly the clearing out of the last shed, and we could have had the 20-odd potential stalls on the reserve list from last year in. Since other markets have closed and more people have heard about the non-food side and the bent we are taking with diversity, (we have caps on the number of hand crafted stalls that produce the same product) we are getting more and more requests for permanent stalls, although if I hear one more person say "but my stuff is better-nicer-more professional-cheaper than theirs" I will scream.

Thankfully one of the other gals is a whiz with filing systems and has kept up to date all the incoming requests so people are being invited in the order of correct application, keeping in mind the diversity clause.
I've tried to sneak one or two in through early due to their financial need and had my hand spanked. Ouch. You could say I'm the softy of the trio, but luckily Jules has the ability to sniff out those who may stir up trouble. With 20 years of various markets she is a wonder to see operating she knows exactly what makes a market work.

Now I'd better go and weave in ends and finish the jumper for Jar to wear at WWKIP on Saturday, (see Ravelry for details) and then I get to pick up my February Ladies Sweater again. Yes finally I've been sucked in, it's the new clapotis.

Friday, June 06, 2008

buttons and more buttons

I am a horder, I am the granddaughter of a horder.
I've posted glimpses of her chenille, but my Nanna also had buttons, lots of buttons and I have some of them. I also have some of mine, which means a healthy load of buttons.

But the other day after playing with them I headed off to do a google to see what I could do with them.

There were lots of necklaces but nothing exactly like I wanted, so I've mixed up those tutorials to get what I wanted. Try it, it is easy.

You need:
Buttons - vintage, those with holes and those that are shanked.
24 gauge jewelry wire
Clasps and those squishy jewelry making thingos.
Pliers and wire cutters

Cut about 60cm of wire.

Arrange a row of buttons on the table in front of you, starting with the middle button and working one each side outwards.
You can pick a huge button for this middle button (the pale blue button with the red and yellow little buttons on top in the photo above) or do a beautiful layer, with smaller buttons on top of larger ones. Build out the necklace in front of you, playing with sizes and colours. It works well to make the end buttons, those that will be around the back of your neck smaller than those at the front which are placed in the middle of your design.

Take the wire and thread through the middle button from the back to the front, pulling the button down to the middle of the wire. Holding the wire tight against the back of the button, grab the threaded wire and bend it so that it is at a 90 degree angle to the wire. If you are going to have a layered button, slip on the other buttons.

Then take the wire back into the button, threading it through the other hole to the back of the button. Using pliers, pull the wire as tightly as possible so that the wire sits flush on the front of the button. (see the botton photograph to see what it should look like at the back of the button)

Now repeat this until all the buttons are placed. I usually do one from one side of the middle button, then do the button for the other side, working back and forth until all are strung.

You don't have to have buttons all the way around, you can stop when you like.

Finish off with a loop and clasp at the back.

If you are using shanked buttons thread the wire through, then bend back and go through again, pulling the wire tight. Then bend back again, pulling the wire tight but made sure it lays on the other side of the shank. It's like a wire figure of eight and it holds the button firmly in place, it won't swing around on the wire and will also sit properly on the necklace.

Bracelets are the same, but I don't bother with working from the middle, I just pop the first button on, leaving a 5cm tail for the clasp.

You will always want to add quite a few extra centimetres to the wire compared to the finished necklace or bracelet length as all that going up through buttons and around and around shanks uses up wire.

Now enjoy. If you click here you will find another Nanna inspired tutorial.

AND OPPS: As we lost internets for a while here at home, Zgal has decided to stretch out the bangle competition (work out a great selling name for her knitting needle bangles and you could win one of three bangles, posted anywhere). So leave a comment or send me an email with some funky names for the bangles. So far there have been some rippers but it is my duty as a mother to present her with an eye popping list that will keep her quiet for a few hours while she works through it.