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Catching Up with Project Spectrum

blue jean buttons

Where did June go? For that matter what happened to May? Can it be possible that we’re more than halfway through July? Project Spectrum has gotten way ahead of me, which is odd, since I love color and think about it and study it and experiment with it almost every day.

Let’s see if I can recover. Alright. May’s color was green. In May, I made a workshop sample that had a lot of green in it. Purple is July’s color, so the Snowflake wall hanging is my July project.

I’ve always wanted to recycle blue jeans into a wall hanging or garment. A dear neighbor recently gave me a pile of old jeans. This must be a sign that it is time to get on with my jeans project! I’ve been sorting and trimming them. The buttons are so great, with the jeans logo stamped into them, that I saved them. Here they are, in recognition of Project Spectrum and my someday, sometime blue jeans project.

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Snowflake Gets Buttons

We had a button planning session today for the Snowflake wall hanging. I arranged buttons. Ten-year-old Eva gave advice. We moved buttons around. We added more buttons. We took buttons away. Eva stood on a chair and photographed. Three-year-old Ella jumped over everything repeatedly.

knitted Snowflake quilt with button arrangement

Here is the arrangement we agreed to be the best. There are a lot of buttons and beads (near 90), but not too many, we think. The dark ones at the yellow tips and the yellow ones between the flaps really give contrast and definition to the piece. So I have quite a bit of button sewing to do during the next few evenings.

knitted Snowflake quilt from a low angle

Eva photographed an oblique view of the piece, which I really liked. Here it is.

This same Eva had a moment of brilliance this evening. She made a comment that, for me, encapsulated the attitude of an entire generation. Let me set the stage for you. She and her dad were midway through a game of Pente. Eva made a play, and her dad said, “You’re so predictable.” Eva said, “Some girls I know at school say that, but they can’t use long words like ‘predictable.’ They say, ‘You’re, like, so–whatever.'”

Now it took me a few minutes to record this moment accurately, and I kept distracting Eva from the game to verify certain quotes. In response to this moment of clarity, this profound insight into an entire generation, Eva’s dad, my husband, Charles, said, “Let’s play. I’m bored.”

Charles says, “No, this isn’t accurate. It was five minutes of you saying, ‘Eva, what did you say, exactly?’ and Eva saying, ‘Uhhhhhh, you’re like, whatever?’ Then you would say, ‘Yes, but what led up to that last comment?’ and Eva would say, ‘Uhhhhh.’”

I can barely type this, because I’m laughing so hard, tears are streaming from my eyes. Give us a break. We don’t have a TV. We have to take our entertainment wherever we can get it.

Updated November 2016 to fix formatting problems and add Eva’s website, now that she is a journalist, with an eye for interesting and profound stuff.

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DFW Fiber Fest Coming Up Soon

intarsia cable sample by Suzann

The DFW Fiber Fest begins this coming Friday, in Addison, Texas (near Dallas). The market promises to be very good, and the workshops, too. I’m looking forward to both. The Fashion Show on Friday night should be fun. I’m still trying to decide what to show.

I have been gathering class samples and putting finishing touches on my handouts. This little sample turned out great. It’s a cable done in intarsia for my intarsia workshop. Here’s my class schedule. You can probably still sign up if you are going to be near Dallas at the time:

  • Friday morning, April 28: Crochet Flowers and Leaves
  • Saturday afternoon, April 29: Polymer Clay Button-Making
  • Sunday morning, April 30: Intarsia from Beginning to End

Color changes on the cable-turning row are a challenge, but worth it, I think. Still, I wouldn’t want to do this sort of work if I had to do cable turns every other row. But I know better than to say “never.” Sometimes you just have to do the work to get the look you want. Can you tell I like to dip into my yarn collection?

In other workshop news, there’s still time to sign up for workshops at the Iwannaknit ReTreat, June 2-4, in Indiana. This is a relaxing and creative event for hand- and hobby machine-knitters. There’s plenty of time to shop at Lea-Ann McGregor’s shop, Knitting Today.

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DFW Fiber Fest, April 28-30, 2006

make these buttons in Suzann's workshop!

You can learn to make these polymer clay buttons in my workshop at the first-time-ever DFW Fiber Fest in Addison, Texas. Three days of classes and a market will make this an event you won’t want to miss. Classes will appeal to crocheters, knitters, spinners, and others with an interest in fibery, yarny, sweatery things. You can sign up for up to six classes.

I’ll be teaching three workshops: Crochet Flowers and Leaves (Friday morning), Polymer Clay Button Boutique (Saturday afternoon), and Intarsia from Beginning to End (Sunday morning).

There are lots of other good workshops and teachers, including Beth Brown-Reinsel and Darla Fanton. Click here for the class schedule. I’m looking forward to it!

Updated in 2016 to remove links that don’t work.

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Alaska Report Inspires Button Blanket

Each student in my daughter’s fifth grade class wrote a report on a state. Her state was Alaska, and she wrote about the predictable topics. My husband let her in on many of his professional map-drawing secrets. Naturally, I always try to get her interested in the things people make. Alaska’s earliest inhabitants continue a wonderful tradition of art and craft.

Eva's button blanket

Since visuals counted for one quarter of the requirements for a grade of A, we thought it would be good for Eva to craft something, rather than just relying on the usual pictures glued onto poster board. What could be better than a button blanket?! Northwest Coast Indians, including the Alaskan Tlingit, make and wear button blankets for ceremonial dances.

Eva designed a cat’s face in her interpretation of the style of a Tlingit button blanket. She sewed diligently until it was done.

I knew it was important to collect those mother-of-pearl buttons!

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Different Kind of Button-Making

Tonight my husband and I made the last buttons of the year for our daughter’s school. I think it’s more accurate to call them badges, but a lot of people refer to them as buttons. Either way, as diligent PTO members, we made hundreds of them this year for the teachers to give out as awards for perfect attendance, meeting math and reading goals, honor roll, and so on.

Though they take a while to make, and can sometimes be a real pain, I have mostly enjoyed this year’s project. I love to design the pictures. We use Badge-a-Minit button-design software, which comes with some okay clip art. I import copyright-free designs and digital photos. It is fun to make the designs, but it is even better to see them made into badges.

So this isn’t the usual knitting-related post, but the badge-making project has been a big part of our lives this year, and it is a craft project. I love making stuff!

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Those Buttons

I made the buttons that appear on my blog header. They are made out of polymer clay. Poly clay is so much fun! I can play with it for hours and not notice the time passing. It lured me away from knitting and crochet for a while, but not too far. I always come back.

UPDATE: Yes, it’s 2016 and my header has changed, but I did make the buttons in the center of the flowers in my blog header. Make buttons! It’s fun!

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