Saturday, May 10, 2014
A Very Long Button: Tightening
Getting the right braiding string for this particular ring and dees was hard. I tried two different threads and actually braided a central ring with a third material, sinew, but I wasn't happy with any of them. Too red. Too fat. Too shreddy. Finally I took the "light banana" thread I'd used in the buttons, and peeled it apart. It has three warps or whatever the term is: inner plies. I peeled off 1/3rd and was left with 2/3rds. I then combined two 2/3rds, making a thread fatter than my typical Topst (Topstitching). It now measured the same diameter, or gauge, as my favorite, Heavy (Button & Craft). This is a percentage in many of my notes: Heavy = 1 + 1/3 Topst.
Just a note: the sewing store calls my topstitching "heavy."
This was Anja's breastcollar up to yesterday. Can you spot the difference? Yup... it's the small buttons, the "white" (actually light banana) and deep turquoise ones, bracketing the longer, black-and-light-turquoise ones. Got the middle ones backwards! When you compare this to the bridle, you realize that Yup, I goofed.
Why not cut the turquoises? in theory, you want to cut out the "worst done" ones, either color. But with this particular breastcollar, the deep turquoise thread is hand-spun (from thinner thread), and thus has higher "value." I know I just talked about hand-joining the "white" thread, but that was only for the ring and dees. The buttons' light banana thread is straight off the spool.
It is hard to believe, but every button I braid is done twice: once for the braiding and once for the tightening. Why not do it tight the first time around? Because I can't manage it, that's why. It's too hard to see the laps, manipulate the needle, or avoid piercing the thread. It's simply easier for me to do every button twice... and once started, a successful habit is hard to budge.
On to tightening.
I am lifting up each pass as the thread goes along, following the whole thing, from the dead end onwards. I am using the same amount of pressure each time. Gradually a loop forms, as the slack is taken up and accumulates.
We'll have to look at finishing, or burying the ends of the threads, another time.
I hope you have enjoyed this little lesson in tightening.