Tag Archives: buttons

Vogue Knitting: The Damage

Woo!  What a weekend!

(Yes, I know it’s Wednesday.  My weekend went all the way through Monday, which is why I haven’t updated you on Vogue Knitting Live until now.)

The yarn show was amazing.  So much pretty yarn!  So many beautiful sweaters!  So many lovely people!

I visited the Knit Picks Booth and finally got to meet everyone I’ve been working with for the last couple years (we’ve been working via email and hadn’t met face-to-face yet).  And, I’m happy to report that everyone is just as lovely as I hoped.  (Although it was mega-weird for little ol’ introverted me to have people recognize my name, and pull out their WIPs of my projects!)

In fact, I had such a good time on Saturday, that I 100% forgot to take any pictures!  (I’m so bad at social media!)

I did, however drop a good bit of money on yarn, and yarn-adjacent accessories.  (I got mighty close to buying a $75 skein of alpaca, but just managed to control myself- it was just so pretty!)  Unfortunately for you guys, most of my purchases are earmarked to be Christmas gifts, and their recipients read this blog, so you won’t get to see those. (I promise, they’re super cool, though!)

Anyway, here’s my haul:Not too bad, if I say so myself!  (Sorry about the colors- it’s very overcast here (it is Seattle, after all), so I had a hell of a time taking pictures this morning.)  Two amazing skeins of sock yarn and an adorable set of buttons.

I got this skein of Country Yarns Presents Artistry, and when I showed it to my husband, and he said “Oh, it’s your colors.” Apparently my colors are teal, turquoise, blue and violet.  I can’t say he’s wrong.  This picture does not do this yarn justice- in real life it’s bright, vibrant, and very peacock-y.  I’m itching to start making some socks with it.

I’ve actually purchased Hazel Knits Artisan Sock before, and made a really lovely pair of broken rib socks in a beautiful, subtle charcoal/navy color.  I love those socks.

Unfortunately, my husband loves those socks, too.

So, I purchased this skein of electric-purple so I can have my own socks (since my husband won’t (probably) steal them).  We’ll have to see if it works.I forgot the name of the vendor that was selling these buttons- she had hundreds of resin buttons in every color in the rainbow.  Some were shiny, some were glittery, some had tiny flowers embedded inside them.  They were all beautiful.

I couldn’t pass up these little gorgeous guys.  They remind me of gumdrops or tiny hard candies.  I think they’d be fantastic on a little baby sweater, but they might end up on something for me, instead.  For now, they just look great hanging out on my desk.

I am so happy with my purchases, I can’t wait to get knitting with them!  Maybe I should put aside my Papaya Sweater again?  That thing’ll never get done at this rate!

Have you made any especially exciting purchases 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- Buttons!

I love buttons, yes I do.  I love buttons, yow ’bout you?

I especially love shopping for buttons at all the cool, funky little yarn shops, fabric stores and craft shops in Seattle.  (OK, not all the shops, but we probably visited 3 or 4.)

Last weekend, my husband and I went on the Quest for the Perfect Button!  It was actually quite fun.  We started out with breakfast at our favorite brunch spot (If you’re in Seattle, be sure to visit The Dish, and get the SOB Spuds with eggs.  So good!), because everyone knows that shopping for buttons should not be done on an empty stomach.

Then we wound our way back toward our house and stopping here and to look for buttons.  I still maintained that pewter buttons would look good, but as you guys reminded me after my last sweater post, this is my husband’s sweater, and he’s the one who is going to wear it, so we ended up finding some pretty cool wooden buttons.

Ta da!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m actually pretty pleased with them.  They’re a lovely warm brown, and they’re stained in a way that makes them look vintage-y, but the cup-like shape is pretty modern-looking.  I think my husband did a good job picking out his buttons.  (I knew I kept him around for some reason.)

He’s actually been wearing the sweater around the house and out and about on weekends, but it still is a little short (which makes me cringe).  I was hoping that it would sag a bit, like the last sweater I made for him, but it looks like that isn’t going to happen.  I guess I’m going to have to try steam blocking it…

This scares me.  I’m fairly certain that I’ll end up melting the yarn. (I don’t know why I’m certain about this- must just be some manifestation of my general anxiety.)  So!  If you have suggestions, tips or tricks, please let me know!  I would love any advice you have for not completely messing up this sweater!

Button Trouble

It has been well-documented that I have a problem with buttons.  The same way someone with a caffeine addiction has a problem with coffee, or a shopaholic has a problem with shoes.  It won’t kill me or anything (and thank god they’re not too expensive), but, well, I can’t stop myself.

And so, despite the fact that I have an entire jar of vintage buttons, a Zip-loc bag full of sets of buttons I just “couldn’t pass up,” and I find cards of buttons sprinkled here and there around my studio, I “had to” get a new set of perfect buttons for my cardigan.

We had friends in town, and they wanted to ride the ferry and visit one of the islands (they’re from Texas and riding a ferry is a fun, new experience for them.  I’m from the Midwest, and even though I’ve lived here for almost 5 years, I still love it, so I’m not going to argue.)  We went over to Bainbridge Island and spent a day beach combing, shopping and eating.

On Bainbridge there is a gorgeous knitting shop, Churchmouse Yarns and Teas (they make lots of patterns that you might have seen.  I love their Turkish Bed Socks.)

And they have a gorgeous selection of beautiful (and super-classy) buttons.

I almost got a set of vintage-looking silver buttons, but changed my mind at the last minute because I was afraid they’d be too heavy and weigh down the front of my sweater.  Instead, I picked out four beautiful gray mother-of-pearl buttons.  They are subtle and classy, and pick up on the beautiful variegated blues of the yarn.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOf course, mother-of-pearl buttons are hard to photograph, so you’ll have to imagine their color being a little less silver, and a little more rainbow-y and beautiful.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat do you keep collecting, even if you don’t need to?

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?

Finished!

Woo Hoo!  It’s time to do the happy dance and pose awkwardly in the back yard!  (Because (for some reason) holding a rake made me feel less weird than just standing and smiling at the camera.   I never said I was a good model.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut the sweater looks great!  It fits really well, and it is nice and cozy!  The sleeves turned out a little long (which happens to me all the time when I knit.  I have trouble getting store-bought clothes with long enough sleeves, so I tend to overcompensate when I knit, and I end up with sleeves that would work on a giraffe), but they’re perfect for turned-up cuffs.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And, though I agree with you guys that silver buttons would have been better, I ended up going with some nice faux-horn ones.  The sweater has 13 buttons, and, well, they are expensive!  I didn’t want to spend more on buttons than on the yarn itself.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I don’t plan on taking off this sweater for the next month, or until I spill coffee on it, whichever comes first.   (Probably the coffee.)

Inspiration: Cables

Oh, KnitPicks sales…. You cause me so many problems.   There I was, reading my email, minding my own business, when that dang KnitPicks Ad showed up.  One thing led to another, and the next thing I know, I have a dozen skeins of heathered camel-colored wool.

Whoops.

So, now I guess I have to figure out a pattern worthy of my lovely new yarn.  I’m thinking something with cables.

Flat/Shawl Collar Cardigan 7065 by Hayfield:  I like this sweater, but it seems a little too old-fashioned.

hayfield7065main_medium2[1]Antler Cardigan by tincanknits:  This sweater is super pretty, too.  But I was hoping for a more all-over cable pattern.

PK-antler-10_medium2[1]Persistence is Key by Amanda Woeger:  This might be the perfect sweater!  It’s got enough cables to keep me interested, but it’s modern enough to satisfy my current sweater whims.  I think I have a winner!

IMG_2928_medium2[1]

What to Buy the Knitter Who Has Everything…

I get this question all the time:  “I don’t knit, but my buddy does.  What does he want for Christmas?”

My usual response is: “Well, what does he like to make?”

And their answer is usually: “I donno.”

Super.  Really helpful.

Obviously, if you know the kind of project that your knitting friend likes to make, get them a gift that speaks to that interest (sock yarn for a sock knitter, lace weight yarn for a lace knitter… this isn’t rocket science).

But, if you really don’t know, here’s my standard answer, because every knitter can find a use for it:

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-2 or 3 skeins of NICE medium weight yarn in the recipient’s favorite color, or a color that they wear a lot.  (Go to a fancy, independent yarn store, if there’s one in your area.  Spend 10 or more dollars per skein.  Pick out something pretty and soft. Bonus points if the label says “mohair,” “cashmere,” or “merino”)

And then, if you have extra money burning a hole in your pocket, pick one or more of the following:

-Fancy knitting needles (get the size that is recommended on the yarn’s label)

-Buttons (6 or more in a coordinating color to go with the yarn, no smaller than a half inch, no bigger than an inch and a half.  Tiny and gigantic buttons are harder to find a use for.)

-A project bag (These are usually draw-string or zippered fabric bags about the size of a piece of printer paper, and they’re used to carry around half-finished projects.  I’ve yet to meet a knitter who has enough project bags, me included) If you sew, might I recommend the Fat Quarter Project Bag?

-A pattern printout or flier that uses the yarn you picked out (but make sure you buy enough yarn to complete the project, if you do this.)  Or, a knitting book.  Take a few minutes to look through the knitting section at the book store, and pick out one that has patterns that your knitter friend might wear.

-Other fancy notions (decorative stitch markers, fancy scissors, a cute measuring tape, etc.  Knitters love pretty things.  We’re like magpies.)

Wrap up everything you bought, and be the king (or queen) of Christmas!

What’s On Your Needles?

So, whatcha working on?  I’m curious.

I’m making a Peggy Sue cardigan.  It’s (hopefully) going to be pretty cute.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn a trip to visit my brother in San Francisco, I came across the coolest fabric store I’ve ever seen.  I’ve now forgotten its name and its location, which is super helpful for all of you (and me, if I ever go back).  But, it had a gigantic wall of approximately 1 billion beautiful buttons.  I didn’t have a project going at the time, but I still bought some buttons to use for a future sweater.   Aren’t they the best?

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Ooh!  Aah!

Anyhoo, that’s what’s on my needles.  Let me know what’s on your needles (or hook).  If you send me a picture, I’ll even put it up on the blog.