The right button for the job

Apparently, during this ‘lockdown’ we are all supposed to have oodles of spare time to, as one friend of mine suggested, “perfect our conversational Russian and learn to play the bassoon”. Oddly, here Chez Snail there is no extra time, as my work (always done from home) continues to arrive in abundance, I still walk the dogs every day and I continue to loathe going shopping, so do it as little as possible. Nevertheless, I have been busy with my crochet hooks and have completed two projects.

First, I finally got round to finishing something that has been languishing half-done in a bag for 18 months… since my first visit to the Crochet Sanctuary. Our ‘big’ project for that weekend was a snuggly bunny. I didn’t finish it during my stay and when I got home, other projects were more pressing. However, the lockdown brought it to mind because I was trying to think of a cuddly gift to sent to a friend who lives alone and is normally very sociable. In the end it was a relatively quick make.

But I thought that she looked rather cross. After some thought, I decided to replace the stitched eyes with some black buttons, turning her into a much more happy and relaxed bunny:

And then I progressed on to a cardigan that I only started a few weeks ago. I used some of the yarn that I had won in the Knit for Peace raffle back in 2018. It wasn’t a very exciting colour, so I added a little bit of purple/blue, but even so I felt that it lacked something. I searched my button box, but couldn’t find any buttons that were the right size and had sufficient zing. In the interest, therefore, of supporting small businesses at this difficult time, I bought some lovely Victorian Glass buttons via etsy.

I’m really pleased with the end result. And for the second project running, it just needed the right buttons.

WIPs and FOs

Whats and whats?

I’m guessing that any knitters or crocheters reading this will know what the title means, but no one else. Starting any new craft seems to result in exposure to all sorts of new jargon and yarn crafts do seem particularly prone to this (I blame Ravelry). However, I thought you might all like to learn a bit of knit-speak (if you are really interested, you can learn what frogging is here).

There are buttons to sew on - these had been in my collection for a couple of decades!

There are buttons to sew on – these had been in my collection for a couple of decades!

First, however, I have a confession… like many knitters I’m not very enthusiastic about sewing my knitting together. I love the knitting bit, but the finishing is generally quite tedious, This is why I like knitting socks with self-patterning yarn – you cast on, knit the sock like a tube and graft the toe to finish off, leaving just two tails of wool (one at the beginning and one at the end) to weave in before the whole thing is complete. Bigger garments are more challenging to complete – there are often seams to sew together, buttons to stitch on and lots and lots of ends to weave in. And so, it is often the case that, because I am unenthused, I end up with a long-standing WIP (Work in Progress).

All laid out, in no particular order

Hexipuffs for my beekeepers quilt – this is going to be a WIP for a very long time

Some projects were always intended to be a long-term WIP. My beekeepers quilt, for example, should take me several years to complete, especially since I only intend to use oddments… mainly of sock yarn. But mostly I intend a relatively quick turn-around. So, it is with great shame that I have to confess I have had one WIP hanging around for several months now, with the knitting completed and only the sewing left to do. This is the beautiful Debbie Bliss Sophia Cable Vent Jacket. So, finally, this week I decided to bite the bullet and get it finished. I set aside a whole evening, but that wasn’t enough, so another session was required, but finally I have a FO (Finished Object). I was really pleased to discover some buttons in my collection that were suitable to use – I remember buying them for a long black velvet dress I planned to make years ago that somehow never got made.

FO... finally

FO… finally

I think the lesson here, as with many things in life, is to maintain momentum. Once you stop working on a project, it can be remarkably difficult to get back to it and resume work. This is the case even with a FO that you really want – like this cardigan. However, I did manage to overcome that hurdle in this case, and am delighted with the result. Perhaps now I should make a start on that dragon I keep hankering after… although I do have half a pair of socks in my knitting bag and it would probably be good to knit the second one…

Back detail

Back detail

The back of the finished jacket

The back of the finished jacket

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