Thursday, November 08, 2012

Thread Fretting

The last couple of days I've focused all my free time here at Mom's on crochet projects.  Two of them especially.

Today it was mostly about preparing a plan and a kit for the finishing touches on this diaper bag I started for my cousin's grandbaby born two days after my birthday last year.  I learned today we are going to be going to her first birthday party on Sunday so I put aside the Secret Santa Tote Bag project to get cracking on this one which should have been done months ago.

I had finished the crochet on it last June!
One of the things holding me up I think was not liking the look of the seam where I crocheted the bottom panel to the tube body.  I was wishing I'd turned the tube wrong side out first because it looked fine when the bag was turned inside out.

Today I decided to take it off and try a riff on a new Idea I read in a pattern for something else.  I'll describe it later after I've done it and taken pictures.  If it works though I'm probably going to use the same technique to join together the strips on the Secret Santa Tote Bag project.  Hint it involves neither crocheting together nor sewing together.

Another of the things holding me up on the diaper bag was the need to find just the right buttons in my Mom's vintage button collection which is now in my possession.  I'd made a good start in sorting all the brown buttons but had not finished before I left home so i brought them with me.

Today I spent hours going through every box, bag and bottle of every size and shade of brown.  I wanted a set of four dark chocolate brown less in diameter to the grosgrain ribbon which will form the handles.  I didn't find the fourth in the perfect set until I'd been sorting in the very last box of brown buttons for over half an hour.
Here they are.  I wish it was a better quality picture.  There is actually a gradation of lighter to darker brown with the lighter in the center surrounding the holes.  The look like varnished wood but when I tap them together they sound like plastic so I don't know.

They don't look like anything I've seen in a store in the last thirty years so I can't even guess their age.  There are buttons dating back to my grandmother's mother's button collection from the late 1800s in this collection which both my grandmother and mother have added to with the leftovers from sewing clothing and from cutting buttons off outfits before consigning the cloth to the rag bag for quilts.

Left to do: re-join the bottom, cut two ribbons and sew on the four buttons, tuck a half dozen tails, and if there looks to be enough time after that I'll embroider some simple design on the ribbons.
Yesterday and for about the first hour I was able to fret with my thread this afternoon, I was focused on the Secret Santa project.  Specifically updating my chart showing the progress on the 9 strips of 11 4" X 4" pastel squares and the Mobius strip aspiring to become 12" wide.

I've got one strip finished and another 23 squares for a total of 34 of the 99.  The ratio should be the other way around which is how far behind I am.

The Mobius is 2.5 inches wide and should be at least 6.

I added another section to the chart too--a list of the 9 strips and their status showing which color is on the hook or due to be started next and whether or not it is started which makes it available to work on.

When the next color is not started it is because it is on the hook on one of the other strips.  For some of the colors I have two but for some only one.  Rather for four of the colors the second ball is still on the cardboard tube and I am holding off starting them until after Mom winds them off into compact balls for me.  She has already done this for three of them this week.

Yesterday I pulled every strip out of their little sandwich sized baggies to determine their status and made a list of which squares I needed to finish in what order to free up the most colors to get the most strips in play.  By the time I switched to the diaper bag project this afternoon I'd been able to bring the number in play up to six out the eight unfinished strips.  Before I started yesterday morning only two of the strips were in play and both of those colors were needed on one or more of the other six strips before they could progress.

Now I'm itching to pick up one of those strips and crochet and I just might since they are easier to work on in the small pool of lamplight I am limited to after Mom is asleep.  As long as I return to the diaper bag tomorrow...

Watch for updates on both projects with pictures on Sundays's post.  If I don't forget to take my camera maybe there will even be a picture of the birthday girl.

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