Sunday, December 15, 2013

My Kingdom for a Button! (With apologies to W. Shakespeare)

I can't be the only knitter who's fussy about buttons, right? I mean, if you're going to put a couple months and 100-ish dollars into a project, you can't just slap any old thing on it. I think I went to something like 4 stores before I found some acceptable buttons for my Rafters cardigan.

First, while I was in Fort Wayne over Thanksgiving, I checked in at Knitting Off Broadway for buttons. They have a great selection of buttons - sadly, the ones I liked for this project were too small. Then yesterday morning I went to Sophie's Fine Yarn (I'd gotten the buttons for my Zori cardigan there). Right away I found buttons that were a perfect color match for this sweater. Yay, right? Nope. They were too big for the buttonholes and I wasn't about to re-knit that band. Luckily, I found the same color in the right size, except there were only 4 buttons for my 5 buttonholes. Argh! There were plenty of other buttons that were almost right, but not quite, so I was off to the next store, The Smocking Shop. They didn't have any buttons that were right for my cardigan, but they had plenty that would be great for heirloom hand-sewn items like christening gowns and caps. But something they did have was an employee who knew of a local artist who makes buttons and where to find her. While I was in the shop she called the artist and asked if it would be alright to send me to her home for some buttons (I wasn't so sure about this, but this is Kentucky and a lot of people would think this is No Big Deal.). In any event, the artist said she was delivering some buttons to one of my favorite gallery shops, Edenside Gallery, just that moment, and I could sort through the buttons there.

Before I left the east end of town, I went up the road to Joann Fabrics, just in case they might have what I was looking for. As much as I try to buy as many of my supplies as possible from locally-owned businesses, sometimes you just have to go to a chain store. It turns out they had just the right buttons for this sweater: the right color, the right size and simple enough that they would not distract from the gorgeous cables which are rightly the focus of this sweater.

I saved the stop at Edenside for last because it's been one of my favorite shops ever since I came to Louisville. They have all kinds of gorgeous ceramics and glass and metalwork and jewelery, lots of it made by local artists. I've bought gifts there for friends and I've bought more than a few things for myself. I think their shop is one of the few places where someone could buy me anything and it would be right. (Not that that's a hint, or anything. Not really.) Anyway, I took my time looking around the shop, coveting everything, and managed to overlook the buttons I'd gone in for. Once one of the ladies pointed them out to me, I decided quickly that they would be perfect for my next sweater project, Streymoy, from the most recent Knitty. The buttons are made from acorn caps that the artist, Lindsay Frost, has filled with lichen and epoxy. They're quite charming, and are much less twee in person than their description implies. After my husband saw them, he liked them as well, so I'm pretty excited to be able to use them on his new sweater.

Well, that's all for now, Friends. Next time I'll have photos of the finished Scylla socks and the beginning of the Zirkel socks I've started. Until then.

1 comment:

  1. A great buttoned-up story! The range of artisan crafts in Louisville must be exciting. Love the acorn buttons!