Sunday, February 19, 2012

Button, button

This has been a weekend of memories. A dear friend, who was a roommate in my youth, has lost her husband after a short and violent illness.

O furious Wind, I am only a straw before you;
How could I know where I will be blown next?
Whoever claims to have made a pact with Destiny
Reveals himself a liar and a fool;
What is any of us but a straw in a storm?
How could anyone make a pact with a hurricane?

Love Is The Master

This evening I felt at a loss and wanted comfort from the turmoil in my mind. I remembered that Erik Erikson called his wife's, Joan's, bead collection "the eyes of the Mother". So I pulled out my button collection and it cheered me to pour through my favorites and admire their beauty and endurance.

I keep my best buttons in my Sajou sewing box that my friend gave me last year for Christmas. It's a wonderful box full of French sewing items: a square of marking chalk, little scissors, threads, needles, tapes and things:


...and I love the cover especially, with its picture of a dog and cat winding yarn:


Here are some of my favorite buttons, though the photos aren't very clear.

These are a set of green Bakelite toggles, softly shiny and marbled:


And these are Bakelite of a rare clear amber colour:


These three are flat Bakelite, brown... but they're elongated hearts and I love them:


and these are tiny little amber-coloured early celluloid:


These sweet little buttons are porcelain pressed into dog heads and hand painted:


and, finally, my swallows in teal green and coral pink:


So charming! I'm saving these for the perfect garment. Do you think it will ever materialize?

Another thing I find comforting when my mind is troubled is crochet. I don't know whether it's my association of crochet with loved relatives long passed, or the soothing ease of the hook's work, but I always keep a crocheted blanket project on hand for trying times.


After 32 squares of my brilliant variegated Socks That Rock yarn, I've started on a few of the shaded-solid colourways...


This is (left to right in 3 rows) Winter Solstice, Ramalaba, Help Us, Rhonda!, KMBFLA, Brick, Buttah, Saffron Jungle, and Nyame, Sunstone, and Mossay...

When I started this traditional Granny Square blanket, I couldn't find exactly the pattern that I wanted, with a four-petaled flower in the center and a balanced contrast with a dark background that would show off the colours...


So, I made up my own:

Sophia's Memory Garden Blanket (Traditional)

Each square takes just a couple of yards of bright fingering weight yarn, and an equal or very slightly longer amount of dark yarn.

The hook is a US D/ 3.25 mm size - I use a Skacel Addi Swing Hook.

Start with the bright yarn and make a chain of 5 stitches. Join to make a round.

Chain 4, and into this circle make 2 DC, ch1, 3 DC, ch1, 3 DC, ch1, 3 DC, and ch1. Join this last chain to the 4th ch of the chain 4 that began your flower. Slip st across the top of the 2 DC to the center Ch1.

Change to the dark yarn. Into the ch1 space chain 4 and then 2 DC, 1ch, 3 DC. *Do not chain one. Skip to the next Chain 1 space and make 3 DC, ch1, 3 DC.* Repeat from * twice more. End by connecting with a slipped stitch to the 4th chain in the chain 4.

Slip st across the top of the 2 DC to the center Ch1.Change to the bright yarn. Into the chain 1 space, chain 4 and then 2 DC, 1ch, 3 DC. *Do not chain one. Skip to the next Chain 1 space and make 3 DC, ch1, 3 DC.* Repeat from * into each chain 1 space. End by connecting with a slipped stitch to the 4th ch in the first chain 4 of the round. Repeat another round with the bright yarn.

Repeat two rounds with the dark yarn and fasten off.

I found it best to fasten off each round after finishing a bright or dark sequence and crochet over the tail to weave it in. When I've finished enough squares - and the 32 I photographed above appear to be only about a tenth of what I'll need - I'll probably slip stitch them together and then crochet a small shell stitch border all around.

It is comforting to make. But I think it will be even more comforting to curl cosily under it at the end of a cold, sad weekend.


Anonymous said...

Lots of hugs to you... my Sajou goodies see a lot of use as I have decided to escape the horrors of German carnival season and spent my time crafting and sewing up a storm. I mastered tutorials and conquered the fear of the snap button. (Don't ask. Pathetic and tragic.)
And lucky are those who have a birthday coming up soon....
Hugs, Nad

materace sklep internetowy said...

work of art