It’s the small things

I spent the last 2 days running errands and doing chores so that I could spend all of today “ass-sitting”. A pleasant pastime involving me, a couch, my Tivo, and knitting. It was foiled around 8am when our listing service called to tell me that they wanted to show my house at 11:30am. So the first few hours of my day were spent making the house presentable and then making myself scarce. But come 12:30, after a little lunch, ass it was.

Now, it’s not as ambitious as when I did the 24 Hours of Knitting, but I’m still hoping to knock a few things out.

First up, the cardigan set for my niece. I think last time we saw it, there were a lot of ends and the hat still needed pom-poms. Well, it’s all done now. It’s been done for a while, really. All that I needed to do today was take photos to show you:

The sleeves are a little poofy because I could have set them in better. But I don’t care.

And the hat:

The next thing I finished is the Baby Surplice Jacket I’ve been working on. I showed you that before. But it was missing a hat and buttons. Here’s the finished set:

What’s been holding this one up? This:

I needed to pick buttons. And not just any buttons. There’s a band of button holes around the bottom edge that allow it to be fastened at any size. So I didn’t want to sew the buttons on anywhere, I wanted cufflink-style buttons. But the best buttons I found weren’t shank-style, so I had to get creative to join two together. Some quality time with some 6-strand embroidery floss gave me this:

What did I do? I cut off a length of floss, about 18 inches, and threaded it through the holes on the button so that I had equal lengths of floss coming out the back side of the button. I separated each side into 3 sets of 2 strands each, and then matched each pair with one from the other side. That gave me 3 sets of 4 strands each. I braided these for about 1/2 inch. Then I separated them back and threaded each back through opposite holes on the back of the 2nd button. Each went around the front and back out the other hole. Back on the back side, I tied all the ends together in a knot, making sure everything was tight.

The next step was to give the braid some strength and to make sure that the knot doesn’t unravel. To do this, I tied the two ends together repeatedly, switching sides of the braid each time I tied them. I slowly climbed the knots up the length of the braid, back to the first button. This created a solid rope-like connection between the two buttons.

At this end, I could probably have cut off the strands and all would be fine. But for some added security, I separated the strands back out into sets of two and then ran each one back through the “rope” several times before snipping it off.

(p.s. for some reason, WordPress overwrote my theme with the default. I’m not sure why. It’s fixed now. But I am a little worried. Maybe that’s karma’s way of telling me I need to upgrade it!)