Wednesday, November 10, 2010

...A Solution for the Shrug!

...Here is one solution to the shrug design balance and closure issue. The hardest part of making this pin was finding wire! I called every beading and jewelry making store in town, and either they were out, or just didn't have 16g copper wire on hand. I was about to order, when I just decided to give the smaller hardware stores a try. BINGO!!!! I found just what I was looking for at good old Ace Hardware. I watched this video from YouTube on making a wire fibula pin, which is perfect for getting a completely ignorant person started. The next hurdle was figuring out what to use as an anvil. About to head for the garden shed and draft a shovel into unusual use, My eye caught an antique iron that perches on my phone books in the kitchen, and turning it upside down, it became a perfectly good anvil to hammer the wire on with my household hammer. Obviously, I didn't let the lack of specialized jeweler tools stop me. It was pretty quick and easy, and there are such a variety of these fibula pins, that working from a basic design and adding embellishments is a breeze. Fibula pins are the first known "safety Pins." They date back to ancient Roman and Greek history, and perhaps even beyond that. They were utilized for holding pieces of cloth onto a person's body. Strangely, not much was known about cutting and sewing pieces of fabric together to fit. I can hardly imagine this, but maybe that came along after scissors were invented. I can also see reason in the preciousness of supplies and not having fabric waste.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When Things Don't Go According to the Plan...

....well, ya gotta make a new plan. My latest knitting project is just such an example of this. It is a pattern for a shrug that I actually began knitting late last winter, but set it aside because of the heat of Spring. A relatively simple pattern, it requires using more than one yarn at a time in order to blend adjoining colors together in a watercolor sort of way. "Ombre" its called. As a result, the fabric can become quite thick. This doesn't bother me, because I like a little extra warmth. All that is to the good. What happened is that the pattern is made up of rectangles, and not having a drop at the back of the neck, adding the final decorative, finishing touch, a wide band, caused the shoulder seam to move way to the back. It was enough to change the angle of drape and the side seams were pointing to the front. Yikes! The only thing I could do was a very narrow edging, four rows of garter that curled inward. This meant the decorative effect was completely lost, and the balance of design gone. Being such a simple piece, it needs a focus. Now it has none. So, back to the working stage, and I will add some focal interest. I have a plan!