Sunday, March 15, 2009

with mixed success

this just in: click on over to the A Shepherds Tale blog, she's giving away copies of Shear Spirit in honor of the International Year of Natural Fibres . That's our kind of year. Spread the word!
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My second Francis Revisited is moving along nicely now. I love working with the Ultra Alpaca in this grey-ish green (Yucca Mix, btw). I think this version should be called Local Color, I am so blending into March around here.0309famvar_  441
Thinking I'll run short with my 4 skeins, and wanting to change up this version anyway, I'm using leftover Araucania Naturewool in a chestnut brown as an accent.
I went for a hem, inspired by Susan's, with the brown for the purled turning row so it'd show just a little. My plan is long sleeves, with 1x1 stripes on the last few inches, not sure yet what I"ll do on the cowl. Everything is coming together nicely, the fit is just right, except... see that hem edge on the left of the sweater? It keeps flipping up. It's just not right, and it's driving me nuts.
My other weekend endeavour:0309famvar_  453
I have this thing about beach glass, I pick up a piece or three every day when I walk the dog. Over time, it's added up to jars & jars like these. I've always wanted local sea glass buttons for sweaters and hats. Or on bags, if I ever knit a bag.

With a little research I knew what to do. I called my friend most likely to lend me a
Dremel drill (I was right, she had 4 to choose from, I love my crafty artist friends), I tracked down a diamond dusted bit from the glass beadmaking guy at my local bead store, and he reviewed the technique. When I asked if I should buy a second drill bit in case I broke one, he said, "as long as you are patient, drill in little light touches and always under water, you'll be fine."
My first two are sweet, they are about 3/4" across. That's sock yarn threaded through.

Then I thought I'd try a dark green, and I thought since it was going so smoothly and with no obvious heat in the water, I might just try, for a fraction of a second, to drill just a skinch out of the water. So, exactly how old will I have to be to outgrow my Question Authority attitude? It immediately shattered from the heat, a dramatic jolt with lovely dark green shards flying all over the room and the drill bit bent into an L. 0309famvar_  450
Not to worry. More to come.


Ellen Bloom said...

Beach Glass Buttons!?! Brilliant! They are really beautiful. I was at a huge fabric shop today and saw some foggy crystal buttons for sale that looked almost exactly like your Beach Glass Buttons (except the shapes weren't as cool as yours). They wanted $3 each for the buttons! You've got a goldmine there, Gale.

Love the colors of "Francis."

Carole Knits said...

I love the buttons - what an awesome idea. Don't break anymore, though, okay?

Chris said...

Oh, you're so clever with the beach glass buttons! And I like your variation on the FR theme.

the Lady said...

Beautiful sweater colors! How jealous I am of your beach glass - growing up, we never got the right tides for that. Just sea creatures and rocks and seaweed, the usual. Are you thinking of selling your beach glass buttons?

Turtle said...

you know, i have jars of beach glass from all our travels around, and i have done searches online for sea glass buttons with little luck. I need a dremel! (mine was left in hawaii when we moved) love the buttons! and i so love the colors on that lil sweater!

Cookie said...

I think the sweater is looking wonderful. I wonder if a good steaming wouldn't fix that flippy edge.

I love sea glass and I love your idea for the buttons. You're wearing safety eye gear, right?


Rooie said...

Oooh, I love sea glass...and I agree, you could definitely sell them! I'd be in line for a set!

Kay said...

Love the color of this post.

You are crazy, drilling glass. Have fun. Be safe.

Will swap shards (non button eligible) for scraps (Noro).

In the Hamptons you get a piece of beach glass every 10 walks on the beach, if you're lucky.


Paige Orloff said...

Echoing what everyone else said--brilliant. I love beach glass,too, and only get to go hunting for it, it seems, once every 40 years. But I try to make those hunts count! My kids think I'm crazy, packing my pockets with every foggy glassy bit I can...

Mary Lou said...

I'm waiting for the link to your Etsy shop. Or I have a direct link to a brick and mortar yarn shop!

gayle said...

Love those buttons!
Is there a glaze available that would give them that wet-transparent look?
Love Francis, too. Great colors!

Cathy R said...

Love the buttons.

Really love the brown/blue contrast on your sweater. Quite attractive.

Hem curling. One of the mysteries of knitting. I swear that I'm going to take some knitting over to my buddies in the Physics department to get answers.

"Why does stockinette curl? Why does ribbing pull together? Why does the cable needle continually disappear into the interior of my lazyboy chair..."

craftivore said...

The buttons and the photos of them are gooorgeous.

judy said...

I am so glad you posted this. Last week I went to a local tool supply and ordered a bit for my drill press to do that very thing.
All hints welcome.

Angie said...

Sea glass buttons?! Lead me to your etsy store!