Tag Archives: button

Button Time!

It’s my favorite part of a project!  Time to pick out buttons!

I finished up my two Baby Surprise Jackets over the weekend, sewing up their shoulder seams and leaving them out to block.  And, then I dove into my big jar o’ vintage buttons that I inherited from my Grandma, and managed to find the perfect little quarter-inch buttons for both sweaters.

The Purple BSJ ended up with opalescent pink buttons.And the green sweater ended up with shiny, cream-colored buttons.The sweaters turned out great!  I love how the gradients turned out, and they’re super soft and squooshy (that’s totally a word, right?).  I even like how the backs ended up!I’ve always thought the little mitered stripes on the back of the cuffs/arms are the cutest.  I realize that’s kind of a silly little detail to really care about.  After all, who looks at the back of the cuff when determining  if a sweater has “turned out”?  But, hey- I can like whatever I want.I particularly like the two sweaters together, they look like they should be worn by fraternal twins, or very close-in-age siblings.  (They were worked from the same yarn base, but on slightly different needles, so the pink/purple sweater is just a scootch smaller than the blue/green one.)I gotta say, that Elizabeth Zimmermann really knew her stuff- this sweater always turns out super cute!

Have you finished anything fun lately?

High Five!

I finished my gloves!  Finally.

All I had to do was find four tiny buttons and sew them in place.  I didn’t even have to weave in any ends.

I guess I just get distracted easily.

Also I have about thirty-seven different projects going on at all times.  It’s a problem.  But not one I plan on fixing any time soon.

Anyway! I found four tiny mother-of-pearl buttons in the jar of buttons I inherited from my grandmother.  They’re a quarter inch across, paper-thin, and they almost match.  (They match enough for my purposes, anyway.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACute, right?  I love them.  If ever there were buttons that could make big, squishy, rainbow-colored gloves classy, these are them.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow I just have to wait for it to get cool enough to wear gloves.

Have you ever had a project wait for a simple finishing touch for an unreasonably long time?

Husband Sweater: Button (er- Zipper) Band

I feel like it’s been a hot minute since I gave you an update on the sweater I’m working on for my husband.  Oof- actually it’s been almost a month.  (Sorry, husband!  Hopefully I’ll have it finished by August at this rate!)

Anyway, this time, I knit up the button band (or rather, the zipper band).  Instead of using the pattern, I used my own standard button band (mostly because I lost my paper copy of the pattern).

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My button bands actually start when I’m knitting up the sweater body.  I always slip the first stitch of each row.  This creates a nice, neat edge that makes it easy to pick up stitches evenly all the way around.  And I’ve found that picking up one stitch for every two rows makes a button band with just the right tension.  This way, you don’t even have to count, except for making sure you have an even number of stitches to make your ribbing come out right.

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I worked the button band on this sweater for about an inch, in a 2×2 rib.  This is a little narrower than my usual button bands, but that’s because I’ll be using a zipper, not buttons.  If you use buttons, the button bands will overlap, so you’ll need a wider band.  If you use a zipper, the bands don’t overlap, so you need a narrower one.

Next up-I’ll start working on the sleeves!

Buttons! (Again!)

Like any good crafter, I love buttons.

After I wrote (in too much detail) about how much I love buttons, I received a mystery box from my grandmother.  And, I bet you can’t guess what was inside.

Buttons!

Hundreds and hundreds of buttons in every color, size, shape and material.  From every decade of the last 60 years.  They’re kind of amazing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese tiny blue buttons were held together on a great big gold safety pin.  The picture doesn’t do them justice; they’re shiny and perfect, and the prettiest shade of periwinkle.  And I think they’re going to have to end up on a baby sweater.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese tiny little rhinestone buttons were kept safe in their own little manilla envelope, away from the others.  I don’t know their back-story, but I can tell they’re very old, and deserve to be kept safe until I can find something really special to put them on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese pretty 1-inch buttons are a super cool.  They’re resin (or something like that) that has been cast into layers, then carved out into the shape of flowers.  I think Mom said they were from 1976 (although she could have been talking about the other red, white, and blue buttons) when everything turned all patriotic for the Bicentennial.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese are actually buttons!  They are some sort of plastic, and about 2 inches across.  My mom thinks they were originally on one of my great-aunt’s dresses back in the fifties.  I think they are super weird and super fantastic.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are so many more gorgeous buttons!  I can’t wait to find things to do with them.  From now on, everything I knit is going to end up covered with dozens of buttons.  I can’t wait!

Do you have a favorite button?  Do you have a button jar?

So Sew Buttons

I love buttons.  I always have.  When I was little, my mom had this big tin filled with all the buttons she had collected over the years.  One of my favorite things to do was to take the Button Box from the drawer of her sewing desk and spill them out on the kitchen table.  I’d sort them by color, or texture, or size.  I’d make pictures with them, and arrange them in patterns.  I liked everything about them, even the feeling of the little buttons running through my fingers and the sound of them plinging back into their tin.

Not much has changed, to be honest.  I have my own button collection now, but it’s in a little zippered felt bag, not a tin.  And I don’t have nearly as many buttons as my mom did.

But over Christmas, I added a few more to my collection.  They are really special buttons that I’m super excited about.  My family took a little expedition to North Chicago to visit a button shop that we had heard about over a year ago.  And, I have to say, it was totally worth the wait.

The shop is called Soutache, and it sells thousands (and thousands) of buttons, miles of ribbons, and piles of rhinestones and feather trim.  I could spend an entire paycheck there if I wasn’t careful.

soutache-headerThey had buttons made from bone, from stone, from wood, from brass.  They had bright pink buttons, and inky black buttons.  Square buttons, spheres, and buttons shaped like shoes.  They had new buttons and vintage ones.  And they were all gorgeous.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI came home with these little guys.  They’re vintage half-inch brass buttons.  They almost glow in the light, and have a surprising amount of heft.  I can’t wait to put them on the slightly cropped cardigan that has been bouncing around in my brain for a while (of course, I’ll have to knit it first).   They’re pretty much perfect.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd these buttons are so cool!  They look like hand-formed aluminum, or maybe tarnished silver.  But, they’re actually made of plastic, which sounds lame, but is actually kind of perfect for a sweater.  These buttons are so light, they won’t make the front of a cardigan droop from their weight, even though they are large and impressive.  Cool, right?

In conclusion, if you’re ever in Chicago, make a point of going to Soutache.  And bring your check book.

Do you have any special buttons in your collection?