I'll start with a big thank you to all of you for your comments last week. We were away for a few days so I didn't have enough time to leave you each a personal reply. I tried to visit as many of you as I could to see what you had been up to, but there are only so many hours in the day. If I missed you out please accept my apology.
I'm afraid I may struggle to leave comments this week also, as I will be visiting my youngest daughter. About this time last year she very kindly entered me in a competition and I won! Unfortunately being ill for most of this year I have been unable to claim the prize until now. A drum roll please!!! A Personal Shopper and £250 to spend in Debenhams. Whoopee!!
Shopping isn't really my thing so to have a Personal Shopper to tell me what looks good and be given the money to spend, topped with the added bonus of spending some time with my daughter, whom I don't get to see nearly enough these days, is so exciting, I am really looking forward to it. So I hope you will forgive the administrative disruptions again this week!
Anyway, on to the nitty gritty of this week's post. A few weeks back I promised a tutorial on how to make Dorset Buttons. I did a workshop on these last week and one lady said how they reminded her of a spider's web. So the cogs started turning and I thought as Halloween is coming up they would make perfect earrings. Here is how you do it - minus instructions to make a spider though, as I ran out of time and I'm sure all you crafty folk out there have little spider buttons lurking around somewhere or could rustle one up somehow!!!!
Firstly, you will need a thin, lightweight ring. I used a gardening ring with the join taped over with masking tape as it was all I had! This one is just over an 1" wide but you can make any size you wish and plastic curtain rings are just fine too. About 3 or 4m of thread, measured from fingers to shoulders of an outstretched arm!! Nothing too precise! And a small piece of card to use as a bobbin.
Having wrapped your thread around your bit of card to create a bobbin, trap the tail end below the stitches as you work a sort of buttonhole stitch over the ring, leaving the little knots on the outer edge. This process is called 'casting'. Continue this all around the ring.
As you are making earrings you will need to add a ring to attach them to the earring hook. Just before you reach the end of the ring, unravel what is left on your bobbin and feed a closed jump ring onto the thread.
Trap the jump ring on the inner edge of the next stitch and continue around until you have covered the complete ring.
The next process is called 'slicking' and it just means turning the knotty edge into the centre as in the next picture.
The jump ring will now be on the outside edge. Now the slightly tricky bit.
Change of ring I'm afraid as I forgot to photograph this bit on the orange one! Take your thread from your bobbin and thread it through a needle. Wrap the thread across the ring in 5 minute intervals like a clock face. You will end up with 12 spokes.
Secure these spokes with a couple of cross stitches which will then pull them all together into the centre.
The next stage is called 'rounding' which, in this case, involves taking the thread under two spokes and down over one. Make sure your thread starts at the back, come up on the left hand side of a spoke, go down on the right hand side of the same spoke, pass under this spoke and the one to the left of it, bring your thread up to the front and down again on the right hand side of this spoke. Continue all the way around keeping everything firm. For a complete Dorset Button you would continue like this all the way to the outside edge, but to make it look like a spider's web just complete the amount of rounds to make it look right.
Ta dah! Finish off by tucking in your ends neatly on the back, make a second one, then just add it to your choice of earring post. Oooh and don't forget to add that little spider button, you found in your stash!!
And there you have it, Halloween Dorset Button earrings. See you over on Handmade Monday, have a good week.