Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Salvador Dali and Nicky Epstein

Dear Blog-

My new issue of Vogue Knitting arrived the day before yesterday, and I saw in the new books section that Nicky Epstein has a book coming out on felted knitting. Now I know, Blog, that I have told you before that Nicky Epstein is my Goddess and that I will put no other Goddesses before her (other than the Goddess of All Knitting, Merino). But I swear, this woman has a new book coming out every two weeks, it seems. Doesn't she ever sleep? Has she no life?

Years ago I remember reading that Salvatore Dali never slept. Not as you and I know sleeping. Which explains a whole lot about his art. When he felt tired, he would sit in a chair with a metal spoon in his hand, and a metal pot on the floor directly beneath the spoon. He would close his eyes, and when his body relaxed enough that the spoon would fall out of his hand, it would hit the metal pan and wake him up. That was it, the man never had REM sleep. Do you suspect, as I do, that Nicky Epstein does the same thing, only with an Addi Turbo in her hand?

Of course, easy target that I am, I am already planning on buying this book, although I must confess here that I wasn't wild about her felted bags book or her knitted flowers book. Her taste is a lot BIGGER than mine. But I always find inspiration from her ideas, and that is the main thing.

Well, blog, the felted cable bag is now a physical reality, and I have been wearing it the last two days. Road testing it, as it were. Because I know I don't get to keep it, it will have to go as a demo in the shop both for my class and to sell patterns. But I absolutely love it. It holds a lot without feeling bulky, and I like the more classic shape of it. One of the things that I haven't liked as much with many felted bag patterns is that they lack structure. Some of them look like down-right sloppy lumps of wool. So I have been leaning towards getting a more definite shape in the bags I design. Now that I have the formula, I will be designing more bags along this idea. Of course I now have to start knitting one that I get to keep, but it has been a joy to use while I have had it. My 'keeper' will have the braided leather handles on it. The pattern will be available on my pattern pages by the end of the weekend.



I also have a pic here to show you of two new felted bowls I made a couple of weeks ago. I have a big bag of my felted bowl yarn all ready to go, paired with the beads that I want to use with each yarn, so now and then I stop and whip up some more bowls. Don't ask me what I will do with them all. I have no idea. Right now I have a bunch of them lining the LR mantel. But you may have guessed by now that I am partial to things blue and green, so this is the yarn that I grabbed first.


You know, also, Blog, that I have been on a Quest for the right buttons for my Algonquin cardi. I hold that the buttons can make or break a piece, so I always look for the perfect button. I first looked at the LYS where I teach, and just didn't see the thing that grabbed me. Then I started by looking at one of our two box fabric stores, Hancock Fabrics. I was looking for a brown button that had personality. And I just didn't find anything there that grabbed me by the sneakers. So I moved on to our other box fabric store, JoAnn Fabric. Where I found the pine cone buttons. They met the criteria in that they were brown, and had personality. But once I had them on the sweater I knew they were all wrong. This sweater almost has a half-of-a-twin-set feel to it, light and feminine in shape. And the pine cone buttons just didn't suit that idea. So a week later I went to one of the specialty sewing shops and looked at their collection of buttons. Not a thing. I asked the woman in the shop if she knew of any other place that had interesting buttons, other than the box stores. And she told me about a fabric store down the street that I know if as being a home decorating fabric store, rather than a clothing fabric store. But she said that they had lots of buttons in the back.


I got there, and near the front door they had three huge racks of buttons in brands I hadn't seen yet. After going through those with no success (but vowing that this would be my first stop next time I need buttons for a garment), I asked the little elderly woman who owns the shop about the rumor I had heard that they have a button stash in the back. She took me around the corner behind the register, and sure enough, they had shelves and shelves of boxes of antique buttons. As well as three binders full of old glass buttons.

After searching through all the boxes on the wall, I finally came up with a small wooden toggle. I asked the opinion of one of the women working in the shop, and she was very direct (which I like when asking an opinion). The color of the sweater is not bright, so to keep the sweater from being dull, I needed some flashy buttons. Hmmm... I hadn't thought of that, but now that she mentions it, I can see her point. So we go back in the room and look through the binders of antique glass buttons. There were several that she liked that I didn't but I could see how much that extra flash added to the whole thing. I found a paisley button that I liked better than anything else there, but still wasn't over the moon about. Then I turned back to the wall with a new eye, and found a gorgeous domed button covered with topaz rhinestones. It was perfect! They were $8 each! Ok, maybe not so perfect, I need 6 buttons for this sweater. I ended up buying one of the paisleys to take home and live with for a bit before I bought the full six of them. They are $3 each, not so bad, but not cheap, either.

Looking online I find that $8 for a rhinestone button is not out of line. But surely one of the box stores must have some form of rhinestone button that doesn't cost the earth? Well, not at JoAnn, but I did find two different types at Hancock Fabrics, and bought them both. As soon as I put the larger one up to the sweater I knew that was it. Then I realized the smaller button might just be perfect for the vest I am starting. I may be ahead of myself!

I have to dash now so that I can get some things done here before going off to teach, but tomorrow I will show you the button alternatives along with the winning button, and also show you the mobius scarf that I just finished.

Knit On, sisters!


Blogger Jox said...

love the felted bowls, do you have a pattern? I'd love to try to make them.

5:02 AM  

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