Sunday, January 8, 2012

All the Projects Fit to Print

Has everyone had a most excellent holiday season?  Have you packed up ornaments, recycled trees and made a start on spring cleaning?  Somehow, I have, even though I feel as though I'm dragging my feet through each day.  The spring cleaning thus accomplished is a fairly thorough purging of the filing cabinet.  Credit card statements, utility statements and old bank statements are all making their way through the shredder as we speak.  I just need to tackle the rest of the house now...

I've got loads and loads of finished projects to show you.  Most were completed over the last few months, and even though it's really my laziness in blogging that makes it appear as though I've been a whirling dervish of late, a finished project still counts as a finished project.

I've been making display cards of some of my vast button collection.  Above is a selection of early 20th century bakelite (with one vegetable ivory exception, which made it's way into the bakelite basket, and thus, onto the bakelite board).  It's not the best photo, but if you're in the city and want to see it in person you can head down to the Fort Garry Public Library.  Our group, The Button Gatherers, has buttons on display at the library through the month of January.  We'll be set up in person at the library on January 21st (that's a Saturday), from 10 am until noon, talking buttons.  The public is welcome to come in and watch us in "action" (there's a term to be used loosely), to ask about buttons and collecting, and to bring in a small selection of buttons that need identifying.

Also completed is a button board of "dragon" buttons.

I didn't get a good shot of the entire board, but you get the idea, these are all buttons with a dragon motif on them.  I was born under the Chinese Astrological sign of the dragon, hence my fascination with myself, I mean dragons, and since 2012 is a Year of the Dragon I thought now would be a good time to get these buttons carded.  I'll have to get some better shots, they really are magnificent.  The creamy coloured one in the photo is made of ivory and the one up in the far left corner is a Victorian dyed mother of pearl with brass escutcheon - a Christmas gift from Elly this past year.  The one in the upper right corner of the photo is an enameled Satsuma button.  Glorious!

Also recently finished, an "alphabet" of  buttons.  This project was suggested by one of the button group members as a project that we could each do independently.  I haven't seen anyone else's yet, but I'm curious what others have done.

Starting from the upper left corner; A (Art Nouveau), B (butterfly), C (clock), D (diminutive), E (Egytptian), F (face), G (glass), H (heart), I (iridescent), J (jewelled), K (knot), L (leather), M (mother-of-pearl), N (nut), O (orange), P (pink or pearl), Q (quadrilateral), R (rhinestone), S (steel on shell), T (twinkle), U (uniform), V (vegetable ivory), W (windmill), X (x-quisite), Y (yellow), Z (zodiac).
I found "K" was the most difficult, and didn't bother trying very hard for "X".  Here's a close-up of part of a section:

And lastly, I carded a selection of dark brown and tortoise-shell bakelite coat buttons into a "valentine chocolate" display.  Yummy!

And what about the knitting? 

Currently on the needles is a pair of Pinata Socks (that's a Ravelry link) being worked in Adorn sock yarn by Three Irish Girls in colourway Nora.  The yarn was a Christmas gift from a knitting friend, the colors remind me of ice cream colours.  I can see chocolate, strawberry, orange sherbet, blue licorice and banana. 

Also on the needles, the Cap Shawl by Jane Sowerby (another Ravelry link).  I'm working this in Handmaiden Fine Angel Hair in colourway Smoke. I can't see the yarn listed on the site anymore, it was purchase two or three years ago from Wolseley Wool.  It's beautifully soft yarn, much like Rowan Kid Silk Haze, but in great big hanks.  I'm only going to need two to work the entire shawl, where I'd need 8 skeins of the Rowan yarn - makes for far fewer joins of yarn in the finished project.

No longer on the needles, but mostly completed, is the Ginny Cardi by Kim Hargreaves.  I started this back in October, and finished the knitting by mid-December, looking through previous blog posts, it appears as though I never mentioned it.  It was worked in Filatura Di Crosa Zara in a deep claret colour - the snapshot makes it look bright pink, but don't be deceived!

Zara is my Mum's favourite yarn, and rightly so, it knits up like a dream and the colours are fabulous.  I've yet to sew buttons to Ginny, so I suppose she's not really finished yet...
also, also almost finished, except for the buttons, is a wee jacket for Baby Gregor .

Doesn't he look cosy?  The vivid red wool yarn was a thrift store find, in laceweight, held double.  the yarn is slightly scratchy, but he hasn't complained.  The pattern is by Susanna Lewis.  She has some very beautiful doll clothes patterns designed for the Sasha dolls.

And lastly, off the needles in time for Elly's Christmas gift was a Hogwart's Express Shawlette.

This was worked in Fyberspates Scrumptious 4Ply in a deep grapey-purple, with size 8 beads in a goldenrod colour (purchased from Artbeads).  The yarn truly is scrumptious, it has a fabulously squishy feel to it, and the colour is beautifully saturated, the photo really doesn't do it justice.  The yardage on this yarn was less than on the recommended yarn, so instead of the 30-something owl repeats, Elly only has 24, but it's all fitting, since she has a birthday on the 24th (of March), she turned 24 last year, and as she's petite, it's the perfect length to wrap around and tuck inside her winter coat.

Looking back, it seems like quite a lot of work has happened over the last little while.  it's strange how I often feel like I'm not getting anything done, when clearly much there is much happening.  It's a conundrum.