Silver Threads

a knitting blog with occasional side trips


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Embellish the story

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The Day 5 topic was more than I could deal with this evening. However, the organizer was nice enough to provide a wildcard topic that could be used instead.

Wildcard – Embellish the story

Embellishments come in all types and forms. Some are more than purely decorative and form a practical function – pretty buttons are as much part of holding a garment together as mere decoration, and some are just there to give a piece an extra ‘something’. Blog about an embellishment, be it a zipper, amigurumi eyes or applique patch which you are either saving to use or have in the past used to decorate a project with. Write about whether you are a very  minimalist kind of knitter with classic lines and timeless plain knits or whether you love all the bells and whistles or sticking sewing and otherwise attaching decoration to your pieces.

I confess to being downright boring when it comes to embellishments. In the same way that I tend to knit in monochrome, I just don’t feel called to combine materials or techniques with my knitting.

Knitters are famous, at least among themselves, for not liking to sew. Now many embellishments require some sewing, and for a moment, I hoped there’d be a connection. See? I don’t do the fancy stuff because it would involve sewing, I would say sadly, and my listener would nod in sympathetic understanding. However, my dislike of many embellishments is a dislike of the finished effect, not the effort required to apply it. As many of us say about certain disliked foods, it’s a texture thing. Don’t be looking to me to add bits of woven fabric to my knitted sweaters—it’s just too radical.

Embellishments are becoming a bit of a challenge to find, much less use. For my local situation, I blame this on one of the national chains, which about a year ago moved to the suburbs, giving up their store in my part of town. I hardly ever used their fabrics, but I would start there when looking for buttons for a new sweater. I still have options, but those options have become more upscale: yarn stores, high-end fabric stores. The buttons are lovelier, and the staff far more helpful, but unfortunately the prices are correspondingly higher. With one sweater, I could have bought almost two more balls of yarn for that sweater with the money I spent to buy its buttons—eek!

I’m tempted to only make pullovers from now on. If I don’t make cardigans, I don’t have to find buttons, zippers, or anything else to close them. But as my skills have matured, cardigans are less forbidding as projects than they used to be. Surely one should be trying to challenge oneself with one’s skills, not stay simple just to avoid having to shop for buttons?

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