Tuesday, February 13, 2007

WIP Wednesday and Polymer Clay Continued

Actual progress has been made on the Forest Path Stole. One and a half whole rectangles. I'm on tier 4. All while listening to my new Norah Jones CD.

I know lace usually looks like crap before it's blocked, but this shawl really seems to. You just can't tell anything about this one, but trust me, it's going to be gorgeous. I love the magic of blocking. For anyone interested, I'm using a circular needle to hold all the rectangles not currently being worked. I'm working each rectangle with a DPN and one of the circular needles. The first rectangle (on the left) has been completed for the tier and the left needle is being used as a stitch holder. The second rectangle is only halfway done and I am using a DPN and the right needle to work it. When it is completed, I'll move it over to the left and work on the next rectangle. It does make more sense if you're either working on this shawl or done entrelac before. (Speaking of which, I not only want to work on my entrelac socks from Knitters', but now I also want to do Eunny Jang's socks from the new Interweave!)

I will show the Snowman vest, I promise, just as soon as I finish all the fiddly embroidery.

For now, I'll amuse you with more polymer clay. To use the molds, choose your color and condition it. Press a small wad firmly into the mold and carefully remove.

You may have to do this more than once to get it right. Carefully trim off the excess and smooth. You can sand and polish after it's been baked. You can make a shank at this point by just taking a small bit of clay and poking a hole in and flatten one side. You bake it separately and glue it onto the back of the button using superglue.

You can decorate the buttons before baking with artist's pastels (the soft kind, not the oil kind) or with powders.

I've used Jacquard Pearl Ex Powders. (Yes, that Jacquard.)

You just dip the tip of a paintbrush into the powder and "paint" it over the clay. Bake according to clay package directions and paint with a varnish for the clay to keep the powders from rubbing off later.

(Edit: I've had a couple of questions about care, so here you go. As long as you handwash your sweaters, you shouldn't have to remove the buttons. If they aren't varnished, acrylic paint and the powders will probably wash off eventually, but varnish should protect the button. I personally would not run the buttons through the washing machine - though they might be fine on cold - but definitely not through the dryer.)

I also meant to have some of the buttons fired and to paint them with acrylics, but I'm suffering from yet another cold and it's kicking my butt, so that will have to wait until another post. I just can't seem to stay well this winter.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

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Blogger Brenda said...

Wow! Can't wait to see the stole blocked. I am sure it will be amazing. I haven't tried entrelac yet, but you seem to have a good system worked out.

The next cardigan I knit where I can't get a good color match in the buttons, I think I may try the polymer clay. Thanks for the tutorial!

10:15 AM  
Anonymous kris said...

Your FPS is looking great. I am way behind.

Very cool post about the buttons. Now you've got me all intrigued.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

How do these cool buttons need to be cared for?

I hope you feel better soon!!

11:02 AM  
Blogger Beth S. said...

Those buttons are the cleverest thing I've seen all day! But do you have to take them off the sweater in order to wash it?

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Angel said...

Yet another amazing piece of lace- very lovely and I'm sure will look awesome.

And the buttons are so very cool. Love that you make your own buttons!

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Rebekah said...

Yeah it's a particularly ball of clump type of lace isn't it. But in the end, it'll be beyond gorgeous as you said.

Your buttons are so cool! Thanks for the valuable information.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Carole Knits said...

The buttons are really lovely.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Jan said...

My dear, your bloglines aren't updating lately. It's been several days since I saw a post from you, and fortunately I was linked here from the Forest Path KAL.

I was worried, and about to send an email. I'm glad you are okay, even though there have been several colds, etc.

Hope you continue to feel better!

Happy Valentine's Day!

2:37 PM  
Blogger Opal said...

Actually I think that the stole is looking pretty good. I can see the potential!

3:58 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Your FPS is stunning even clumpy :)

I totally love these buttons!

3:21 AM  
Blogger Denise/CT said...

Your FPS looks great. If I understand you correctly you knit the base of the FPS on the circular then are knitting each panel with one of the circular needles and one dbl pointed needles, leaving the rest of the stitches on the circular? I am still swatching and looking for a smooth joined circular needle, but this would take a lot of the "join frustration" out of the picture if I work it with a dbl pointed needle. I could actually get started! Thanks for the hint (IF of course I understand it correctly).

6:09 PM  

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