I’ve had a lot of work to do this week, including a trip to Wales and a few sessions on the laptop this weekend. It hasn’t left a lot of time for crafting, but I did manage to make a boy version of last week’s baby bib (not yet pressed, I’m afraid).
This one fastens with the type of press stud (aka snap, popper) that you attach with a hammer – always a satisfying process, and a lot less fiddle than sewing on Velcro dots.
I’m not sure about the applique design though. I positioned the tie quite low, to allow room for a top button, but maybe that was a mistake. I think the next one will either have a higher tie and no buttons, or maybe a bow tie with buttons below it.
Kimono-shaped baby jacket
Also on the baby theme, I’ve started a knitted jacket. I found a ball of Sirdar’s Crofter Baby 4-ply in a yarn shop’s bargain bin and couldn’t resist it. There isn’t enough for a whole garment though, even a 1-3 months one, so I’m going to work stripes with plain white.
The pattern I’ve chosen is Garter Stitch Baby Kimono. I’ll fasten it with a button and loop instead of the buttonholes that the pattern indicates, because that way I can leave the boy/girl element until the end, by which time the baby should have arrived.
Amethyst shawl pin
The only other thing I’ve managed to make in the last week is a simple shawl pin for the lilac mohair scarf I knitted recently.
It’s really too short to tie, being more of a neck-warmer than a scarf, which means it was crying out for a pin to hold it closed. I’ve made one from a bamboo barbecue skewer and a few amethyst chip beads. Gemstone chips are very cheap to buy and I love to mix them with more expensive gemstone beads, so I generally have a few leftovers around.
I sawed a length off the blunt end of the skewer, using a serrated kitchen knife on a chopping board. I could have got out a saw, but why bother? Then I rounded the cut end into a blunt point using a Swiss file. An emery board or nail file would have done just as well.
I gave the whole thing a rub over with fine grade sandpaper to make it absolutely smooth, then dyed it a nice dark brown by applying two coats of some walnut wood dye I’ve had since forever. I did consider waxing it after that, to give it a sheen, but was afraid that might make it too slippery to be effective as a shawl pin.
For the beaded head, I just threaded several amethyst chips onto some fine beading wire, wrapping the wire between the beads, to create a roughly circular arrangement that would hold its shape. Then I twisted the two ends of the wire together.
The next job was to drill a small hole down the blunt end of the bamboo pin. I have a set of very small, modellers’ drill bits and a tiny hand drill with an Archimedean action – you hold it between finger and thumb and then pump it up and down to make it spin, like an old-fashioned Yankee screwdriver.
It was perfect for this job, but I expect my Dremel would have done just as well with a pin in the chuck as a substitute bit. (A nail in a full-sized drill will produce a surprisingly good hole, when there’s no suitable bit to hand.)
I tested the depth of the hole with a pin and then trimmed the twisted wires to the same length, dripped superglue onto them and slid them into the hole.
Result: one cheap-and-cheerful shawl pin to match the mohair neck-warmer.