Posts Tagged dorset buttons

Knit Two

Back at the beginning of May this year I told you I was having a knitfest and, in a reckless show of enthusiasm, showed you lots of things that were on my needles or just about to be.

There was the fisherman’s rib (😱) jumper which I finished under duress and showed you in a previous post, a blanket with squares knitted using various methods such as mosaic and cable which is still ‘on the go’, a jumper with a star in relief on the front which is knitted but not yet sewn up and  a boxy, oversized cardigan which – tadah – I finished the other day.

As promised by the pattern, worn here by its beautiful, delicate looking, teensy tiny designer, (Stephanie Jessica Lau), the Midtown Cardigan is indeed, oversized, relaxed and slouchy………

……..and worn here by me.

Being garter stitch it was perfect T.V./Netflix/Craft group knitting but every glitch in the stitches shows up in a rather unforgiving fashion

You can tell from the side and back views just how generously proportioned it is.

Dwindling from incredibly broad shoulders into teeny ankles – a feat achieved by a 5’3″ woman being photographed by a 6’4″ husband who forget to crouch down a bit.

Do you like our Japanese anemones by the way?

To ‘make it mine’ I made a couple of Dorset Buttons with the same yarn (King Cole’s Luxury Merino DK) and attached them to the pockets.

All in all, it came out as I expected and it is very warm and cosy and will come in very handy with the cooler days inevitably on their way.

I imagine it will be the star jumper I’ll be showing you next even though I keep putting off sewing up the seams – which is odd for somebody who does more sewing than knitting.

The blanket is still some way off.

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Oh My Buttons!

My new craft group sometimes runs workshops, usually taught by one of the members, and I immediately signed up to make my own knickers because why wouldn’t you?  That class is planned for October and, as I’ve tried before and failed, I’ll be interested to see if I can make a decent pair of apple catchers under instruction.

As we now live in Dorset and are lucky to have an expert in smocking and Dorset Button making it seemed a no-brainer to sign up for Rosalind’s class for beginners.  (Ros made the buttons for the most recent Poldark series so she knows what she’s about although, sadly, she didn’t get to personally attach them to Aiden Turner).

This was the tempting display of some of the different buttons that can be made employing this heritage craft.

The choice of colours was a dilemma for me but, as usual, I was drawn towards the blues.

First you do ‘the casting’ which means wrapping the ring (brass in this case) with the thread using a blanket stitch.

We made a Cartwheel Button so ‘the laying’ involves making the spokes and ‘the rounding’ involves weaving round those spokes until you’ve filled the gaps.

I found the hardest bit was ensuring you got the ‘hub’ of the wheel in the centre as you can tell in the photo below.  The pink one was my second practice piece and was even more off centre than the first one.  Still, if I knew what I was doing I wouldn’t have needed to do a workshop would I?

There were six of us in the class and we all managed a couple of buttons which wasn’t bad in the couple of hours we had.

While we were working and weaving, Ros told us about the history of the Dorset Button and, if you want to know more, you can read about it on her website here.  I was interested to hear that – reputedly – King Charles I went to the chopping block wearing jackets adorned with these buttons.  He wore the jackets to stop him shivering in the cold in case onlookers thought he was quaking with fear – as I most certainly would have been.

Anyway, Ros sells the supplies to make more buttons and, although I don’t really need another craft in my life, this one needs very little in the way of equipment and it isn’t expensive and it is also very portable andthere were kits! 

So, of course, I had to buy one.

Luckily, I have a drawer full of different colours of cotton perle thread – I don’t remember why – so, the next day, I made another button to fix the method in my mind and, this time, I got the centre almost right.  Maybe it’s because I remembered to put my glasses on which, for some reason, I hadn’t done at the workshop.

😎

Today it is gloriously sunny and beautiful so I am going to sit in the garden with a book and, just maybe, a brass ring or two and some needle and thread.

Have a lovely weekend wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

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Yesterday Was A Good Day

I found a crafting group!

As most of you know, we moved back to England from France in November and, after quarantining for two weeks there was a brief period of relative freedom before going into quite hard lockdown again.  I saw a few of my new neighbours whilst out dog walking but haven’t been out and about apart from ‘necessary’ shopping.

We have an artisan centre in the next village which has now opened again and, in one corner of the Makers’ Gallery they have a pop-up display from a local artist which is changed every two weeks.  I saw some beautiful knitted pieces and very large crocheted mandala in copper hoops there and, by chance, I found the artist on Facebook and noticed she runs a crafting group that meets every Thursday and it is up and running again.  Be still my heart.

It’s a half hour’s drive away through winding country lanes but where there’s a will there’s a way and there was definitely a will.

The group meets in a village hall and as the sun was finally shining, and the view was lovely (see above), we sat outside next to the little river and I started to get to know some of the people.

There are knitters, crocheters, weavers and spinners, needlepointers (?), quilters, dressmakers and all kinds of everything.  One of the members raises funds for the Linus Trust and they are making quilts for premature babies, full term ones, children and teens.  As I like nothing more than an excuse to make small quilts, I’ll be rooting through my fabric stash and making two or three of those. I took some simple knitting to do but it wasn’t simple enough apparently as, when I got home, I realised I’d made a few mistakes because I’d been enthusiastically chatting – so had to undo what I’d done, which luckily wasn’t much.

The club organises workshops and I do love a good workshop.  On offer yesterday to sign up for were:

Beginner’s Embroidery  – (need but don’t want)

Spinning and Weaving –  (don’t need but might secretly want)

Knicker Making – (yes! Signed up)

Dorset Buttons – (signed up,wondered why, was thinking of crossing out my name,  then was told the lady who teaches it is the Dorset Button lady and so, added to the fact that I now live in Dorset, why wouldn’t I give it a try?

Watch this space for knickers and fancy buttons.

The lady next to me yesterday was weaving a Jacob fleece into a rug – I can’t wait to see it but, being a newbie, I didn’t feel I could take photos of the goings on quite yet so, until I have ingratiated myself into the group a bit more, here are some pics from my dog walk  instead because I took them and therefore must inflict them on you.   The theme is white and wild, apart from the little viola.

Hawthorn

Ramsons – Wild Garlic

Queen Anne’s Lace plus Stan (who peed on it afterwards)

Haven’t a Scooby

Again, some sort of white wildflower – the head gardener isn’t here today to advise.

Edit: Stitchwort, thank you Wild Daffodil & now returned Head Gardener.

Just to make the day perfect, an independent boutique has opened up in the next village and it has lovely, unusual(ish) clothes at decent prices.  I felt as if I had to show my support. I was gratified to see that they wrapped my purchases in tissue and put them in a brown paper carrier bag.  I know plastic bags are awful but there’s nothing that takes the joy out of buying clothes (or underwear as has happened to me) when they are just rolled up and handed to you to stuff in your handbag.

Then I booked a table for four for my birthday dinner in a couple of weeks’ time for me, Mr. T., my favourite sister-in-law and her OH in a lovely country pub.

What will today bring?

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