Monday, March 27, 2006

Details Make the Difference

Dee: Are those bear paw prints on the buttons? Way cool for a guy vest! Laura

Thank you for the compliment on my button selection for my son's vest, Laura!  The buttons are little bear paw prints -- a detail that did not go unmissed by my son!  He loved them!  The buttons were hand made in South Africa and are fully washable.  They're from the "Incomparable Buttons" company and can usually be found at your Local independent yarn/craft shop.  (I got the bear paw print buttons at Knit Together.)

I was reading a magazine recently -- was it Crochet!, PieceWork, Spin-Off? I don't recall at the moment -- but there was an article about the "details" of fiber art and how they effect our end results.  Do we splurge on the latest fibers to make our creations, or go with the most inexpensive?  What are the pros?  What are the cons?

The article was an advocate for "the middle of the road."  Well, wait a moment -- I want to quote some items from the article so wait a few moments while I go & locate it, OK?

In the meantime, a topic for you to ponder.  Buttons: past or present?  What do you look for in a button?  Discuss.  I'll be back in a moment.

Ah! I found it ... the article is called "Finishing Touches" and is featured in the April 2006 issue of "Hooked on Crochet" magazine.  To quote, "Often, the difference between a good project and a great project is determined by the care and planning that goes into the selection of materials and in the finishing techniques."  This is so true!

I have learned in the past month that I need to start "yanking" on my fibers I intend to purchase.  Not "yanking" in a mean and vicious spirited way, but more of a "does this fiber have any give/memory?"  I recently purchased a beautiful Patons fiber that I selected based on feel, color, and fiber content, but never thought in my wildest dreams that it was an "elastic" fiber!  Nothing on the label indicated it; what a surprise!  And, I learned after working up my son's vest that the fiber had no memory at all -- if my son tugged on the vest it stayed 'stretched out.'  Lessons learned I assure you!

The article also states, "If a pattern calls for purchased ... accessories, don't skimp ..." I'm a firm believer of this.  If you use a beautiful fiber and then add on a cheap button it takes away some of quality of the project.  But if you use a special button, perhaps one that is an antique, then it really enhances the project.  I could have used plain red or black buttons on my son's vest, but by going with the bear print buttons, not only did the focus shift from the fact that the fiber had no memory, but it also highlighted a little personality trait of my son making the work much more personal.

I realize that not everyone has the same budget for projects, but in planning ahead and utilizing our stashes effectively the "... attention [we put into] the details is what [will make all] the difference" in making a good project or making a great project.  :)

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