Life has been rolling on, but the blahs returned because of yet another period of sustained rainfall. I have a feeling you can probably chart Tasmania's weather by the state of my blogging.
It has been nearly 2 weeks since my last post. I have finished socks.
Here are the Blackrose socks I made for Beth, currently winging their way across the Pacific.
Bendigo Luxury 8ply in Purple Storm, made on 3.25mm sticks. These were really big socks and took a lot of knitting. These took up most of my knitting time for a couple of weeks.
Here are the Fawkes socks I started when we were on holiday. These are my first magic loop socks - for some reason, although I have been using magic loop for all sorts of things (sleeves, hats, mitts) I had never gotten around to making socks with it. I am now a complete convert, because during the time I knitted these, I never once lost a DPN under the car seat! Not once.
Fawkes socks, 2.5mm harmony circular, Fleece Artist Somoko in Sun - yum!
Ms Madmad and I were having a conversation about how much nicer knitted garments are now than they were in days of yore. Beautiful yarn and fibres, lovely patterns, nice buttons. Having finished the Vine Yoke Cardigan and Tempest recently, both buttons heavy projects, I mentioned to Ms Madmad that since I had converted to the using of safety pins, I had no problems with button placement.
I am not sure if I invented this. After all, for years I thought I had invented the cable cast on, because everyone I knew taught me that you cast on by sticking the needle through the stitch, and when I stumbled on the idea of sticking it between the stitches and discovered it made a much cleaner, firmer edge I had no idea that it had a name. From the moment I discovered it, I never went back, and it was only much, much later when I got my hands on a stitch dictionary that I found out that not only had I not invented it, that it actually had a name.
So, the safety pin method for dealing with buttons.
First, block your item. Depending on construction, sometimes I just steam press the finished item. Sometimes I give it a soak with a tiny bit of woolwash. I spin it in the washing machine and then lay it out on the wonderful rubber alphabet tiles I bought for less than 10 dollars. I pin shawls etc, but generally not cardigans. Them I smooth out by hand and match up bands.
Matching up the bands is utterly crucial.
Given that usually you have already knitted in the buttonholes, making sure that the bands are perfectly matched is the heart of this method.
Wander off and leave the item to dry.
Occasionally, I will give it a steam press when it is dry too. Depends. Lay it on a nice flat surface, and you are good to go.
Now, grab a pile of safety pins and pin them where the buttons would go, on the underneath band. Start with the top and bottom button positions.
I generally have them horizontal, and as I go I push the closed safety pins through the buttonholes as if they were buttons. This is the crucial bit.
When they are all in position I check that the bands are still perfectly matched, and adjust the position of any safety pins.
Once you are completely happy, sew on the buttons, matching the button to the safety pin. Voila! You are done.
This all arose because of a series of button disasters, exacerbated by the problem that when I sew a button on, it stays sewn. My buttons, when I have sewn them on, never fall off, so changing the postion of a button is a nightmare. I used to use glass headed pins, but still had button disasters, and then I thought of using safety pins. They come in different sizes, so you can cover most sizes of buttonholes, they are easy to move around, but stay still when closed and they can pretend to be buttons for the purpose of this exercise.
Since I started doing this (and as far as I know I invented it, but you are all probably doing this anyway and I just didn't know), I have not had a button diaster. Not one.
So I am pretty pleased with myself (but having said that, I will now no doubt have 16 disasters in a row. Hubris works like that. I'll have to be extra careful!).
Have a good weekend, and I'll try to do exciting stuff to report back. Pray for sunshine!