Tag Archive | buttons

WIP Wednesday: Wildflower approaching harvest time

Wildflower Blocking 2Sunday evening while watching Game of Thrones, I finished the main knitting on the Wildflower Cardigan — finally! — and now have it all laid out for blocking before assembly.  Once the sewing is done, I need to pick up stitches around the neck and front for a ribbed edging and button band.

Speaking of buttons, while we were in New York, I dragged spouse to a nifty vintage button store my friend Annie mentioned:  Tender Buttons.  Oh my gosh, I thought I had died and gone to button heaven.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the camera with me and my phone battery was dead, so I have no pictures of the inside of this utterly charming little store.  Lucky for you, their website has a virtual tour, so take a few minutes and go visit.  I’ll wait.

[waiting . . . .]

Wildflower Buttons 1Isn’t it fabulous?  I want to go there every single time I need buttons.  I found the perfect buttons for Wildflower, and cast a covetous eye upon many others, but this store takes cash or checks only and my cash was limited.  Probably a good thing for the American Express bill that they don’t take plastic.

It’s doubtful Wildflower will be done for FO Friday this week, but look for it soon.  Next project will be a present for an upcoming great-nephew:  The Tree of Life Baby Afghan in Bernat Handicrafter Cotton.

This post is part of the Stitch-Along Wednesday Round-Up, hosted by Gracey’s Goodies.  And, of course, the Knit Your Library Challenge, hosted by Snapdragon Crafts.  Click the respective badges below to see other posts more or less like this one.

Stitch Along Wednesday knit-your-library_2016

 

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Oops, I did it again.

I have new pretties to show you for “Stash Enhancement Saturday”.  It’s all Alice’s fault, of course.  I’ve mentioned Alice, right?  She’s been my partner in yarn crime ever since I taught her to knit a couple of years ago.  We go out for coffee, we end up at a yarn store.  It’s inevitable.  It’s a good thing our respective schedules keep up from getting together more than about once a month.

Sprout Spanish Moss 3Our coffee date in February resulted in me taking her for a first-time visit to The Needle Nook, one of my favorite yarn shops in Atlanta. I managed to limit myself to one skein of sock yarn.  That bit of loveliness is Sprout by The Fiber Seed, a “heavy” sock yarn — heavy in the sense that it’s slightly denser than your usual 90% merino, 10% nylon blend, but it still works up at 32 stitches in 4 inches.  The colorway is “Spanish Moss”.  Isn’t that a lovely name for a lovely hand-dyed yarn?

Aura Northern Lights 2The next time we went out was in March to the Atlanta Spring Fling, an annual event held in the ballroom at one of the hotels at the north edge of town. This was a dedicated yarn event, so new acquisitions were no surprise.

Aura Sweet Violets 2 The two colorways at right were bundled together as a “kit”, more or less, but the shawl pattern they were intended for was not part of the deal.  I bought them anyway because they’re spectacular together and equally gorgeous on their own.  The yarn is a 65% superwash merino/35% bamboo sockweight called “Aura” from Silver Threads and Golden Needles, and clocks in at a generous 560 yards per skein.  The greenish colorway is called “Northern Lights”; and the purple is “Sweet Violets”.  I haven’t decided if I’ll use them together or separately.  If history is any indication, they’ll marinate in stash for at least a couple of years before I make any sort of decision about their fate.

1502-Birdsong-cover-rav_small2The other Spring Fling purchase was Birdsong, a pattern book from Classic Elite.  Twelve pretty patterns, mostly pullovers and cardigans, designed for use with cotton and mostly cotton yarns.  I’m totally in love with the cabled top shown on the cover; I even have yarn suitable for it in stash.  The cabled V-neck cardigan with short sleeves and a casual rolled-edge hoodie are going into my Ravelry queue as “must-makes”, and a couple others are on the bubble.

The news that Hancock Fabrics is going out of business and closing all of their stores was surprising.  I’ve shopped at Hancock Fabrics for decades, and had no idea the company was in trouble.  Of course, I seldom pay attention to business news, so my surprise isn’t surprising.  Anyway, last week was the beginning of their clearance sale, and I went to check out the bargains.  I rarely sew these days, but I wandered through the aisles of fabric to see if something jumped off the rack into my arms.  Nothing appealed.  I looked through the patterns; nothing spoke to me there.  I knew most of their yarn wouldn’t be to my taste — I have become a yarn snob, and I’m not ashamed to admit it — but I hoped to find one of the acrylic brands that I like to use for blankets.  No luck there either.  Just when it looked like Hancock wouldn’t get any of my money that day, I wandered into the button aisle.  Success!

Purply Buttons 1These abstract purplish floral buttons screamed at me, so I grabbed all three cards.  They’re 1.25″ in diameter, made out of a layered laminate-type material.  I envision using them on a flyaway cardigan, maybe, or even a rustic button-up cowl.

The button aisle held other temptations but I held back; my time was a little short and I had somewhere else to go.  Hancock wasn’t done raiding my wallet just yet, though.  On my way to the check-out line, I passed by the rack of books and magazines.  One of the Interweave publications I had eyed over the last couple of NewVintageLaceyears jumped off that rack and into my hands, so I brought it home with me as well.  New Vintage Lace by Andrea Jurgrau is chock full of gorgeous lace accessories, mostly shawls, based on vintage doily patterns, and even several doilies themselves.  My favorite of the patterns is Diospyros, a rectangular stole; and I’m rather taken with the half-circle Blue Dahlia shawl, as well.  The Clematis and the Peaseblossom hats will probably end up on my gift-making list.  (“Peaseblossom” as a pattern name makes me smile:  it’s also the name of a fairy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  I never played one of the fairies, but I’ve been Hippolyta and Philostrate.)

Finally, there’s the membership gift that came when I renewed my Rowan subscription:  the scrumptious and versatile Rowan Colourspun in the Hubberholme colorway.  Because I managed to buy two years rather than just one year (and duplicated my subscription), there are three more balls of this same colorway to come.  And Rowan’s excellent customer service department fixed Colourspun Hubberholme 2my goof, extended my subscription through next year as pre-paid, and didn’t make me return the duplicate issue of Rowan 59.  If I weren’t already impressed with this company, I certainly would be now.

I gave the duplicate magazine to Alice.

I have just one or two more book reviews to write and then I’ll be caught up.  I hope to get those done in the next few days and schedule them for publication.  Our anniversary trip is coming up shortly and we’re headed to New York for almost a week.  I can hardly wait.  Along with the usual tourist attractions, I have a line on a vintage button store near Central Park, and I hope to visit at least one LYS while in the Big Apple.  If the spouse doesn’t mind.  Probably even if he does.

This year’s Stitches bounty

Pictures speak for themselves. 🙂

Tyche 1
A Hundred Ravens “Tyche” in colorway London. 400 yds fingering weight, 100% superwash merino. Most likely destined for a crescent shawl. But could possibly become socks.

Tarte 2
Miss Babs “Tarte” in colorway Perfectly Wreckless. 500 yds fingering weight, 75% superwash merino/15% nylon/10% tencel. Such a bright colorway should probably become some highly visible accessory.

Kilimanjaro 1
Miss Babs “Kilimanjaro” in colorway Zombie Prom. 875 yds fingering weight, 85% superwash Blue Face Leicester/15% nylon. With so much yardage, I’m thinking maybe a vest or shrug, or possibly a lacy cardigan.

Eidos 2
The Verdant Gryphon “Eidos” in colorway Rivalin and Blanchefleur. 420 yds fingering weight, 100% superwash merino. This subtle colorway is perfect for a delicate evening-type lace shawl.

Nuna 1
A bag (10 skeins) of Mirasol “Nuna” in colorway 1034 Camel. Each skein 191 yds sport weight, 40% merino/40% silk/20% bamboo. A sweater quantity of yarn, definitely destined for a cardigan or pullover. Just look how the silk shimmers!

Stitches Booty 1
All the yarn booty. Except, of course, the yarn that I won, which is below.

Cowgirl Bandana 1
The Buffalo Wool Co “Tracks”, 1 400-yd skein in colorway Deep Turquoise, 2 200-yd skeins in colorway Natural. Fingering weight, 90% superwash merino/10% bison down.

And then there are the buttons:

Vintage Mother of Pearl Buttons
Vintage mother-of-pearl, approx 1″ in diameter. And when I say “vintage”, I mean each of these buttons is over 100 years old. Yes, I paid through the nose for them. But they were worth every penny. Even though I haven’t the faintest idea what pattern will be worthy of them.

Red Marble Buttons
Fun resin buttons, each about 9/16″ in diameter. I have a gorgeous red silk yarn that will work with these beauties.

Orange Blossom Buttons
More resin buttons, each about 3/4″ in diameter. They seem somewhat Asian in theme, so maybe they can go on a kimono-style jacket. I’ll have to shop the stash carefully, because I’m not sure I have the right yarn for them.

I took $240 with me to market. Out of that, I spent maybe $15 on lunch, and the rest went to yarn and buttons. I exceeded my self-imposed budget by less than $50, and only because I had to have those mother-of-pearl buttons. All in all, a very good year!

By the way, I told spouse he should consider himself very lucky, because the woman sitting next to me at the student banquet said she spent over $3,000 in the market, and she still wasn’t done shopping. Oy.

Inspiration Saturday: Button, button, who’s got the button?

Last Saturday, I made a mad dash to my mother’s house in Alabama, over and back in the same day. It’s only a three-hour drive, so the trip wasn’t as arduous as one might think, but my brother was visiting from Arkansas, and if I wanted to see him at any time in the next year, it was imperative to go. I couldn’t stay more than the day because everyone else was coming to my house in Georgia for Christmas Day and I still had cooking and cleaning to do.

The other reason for the mad dash was to trade sewing machines with my mother. She picked up a used electronic Singer for a song, along with a bunch of notions and sewing accessories, with the intention of giving the machine to my niece so she could learn to sew. Then Mom decided the electronic machine was too complicated for a child to learn on, so I traded my trusty non-electronic, completely mechanical, heavy-duty, suitable-for-a-beginner machine and its accessories for the Singer and its accoutrements.

Button ButtonAmong those accoutrements were hundreds and hundreds of buttons: coat buttons, dress buttons, shirt buttons; mostly plain, serviceable, ordinary, every-day-type buttons, but some were just fabulous. I’ve spent the majority of today sorting through them and putting like buttons together for easy use, and I’m still not done. But I took the time to photograph some of the most beautiful.

And here they are:

More Embossed Buttons

Embossed Gold Buttons

Embossed Antique Brass Buttons

Three Beautiful Buttons

You see that tortoise shell button in the above picture? Here’s a closer look.

Tortoise Shell Button 1

I fell madly in love with that button and determined I had to use it right away. I even knew which stashed yarn needed it: the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in Light Brown. Just look at this. This button and that colorway were meant for each other.

Light Brown Tweed Sweater to Be

Wildflower Cardigan

Photograph © Hannah Fettig and Alana Dakos

But what pattern? A quick search through my library, thanks to Ravelry‘s filtering software, resulted in a match made in heaven: the Wildflower Cardigan by Alana Dakos from the book Coastal Knits.

This cardigan calls for three buttons. Naturally, there’s only one of the lovely button that demands to be used right now. But the newly-acquired button stash contains several plain gold buttons that will work with the tortoise shell, and I’ve found one other plain tortoise shell-like button that will work as well. If I get lucky, I’ll find another plain tortoise shell-like button, so everything will be coordinated AND trendy with the slightly mismatched buttons.

But that’s not all. Remember a few weeks ago when I had that horrible bout of cast-on-itis? I’ve managed to overcome the urge for the most part, and I still haven’t started using that gorgeous Pomegranate Sweater to BeSchaefer Chris in Pomegranate that had been calling me so loudly, mainly because I’m still uncertain of the cardigan pattern it wants. The good news is whatever cardigan the yarn ultimately becomes, the buttons will also be ready!

Yes, those slightly off-red buttons were also part of the embarrassing abundance of button riches that came with the sewing machine. The color isn’t a perfect match for the yarn; it’s ever-so-slightly orange-ish, which I think makes a nice contrast, but the iridescence of the buttons picks up and reflects the red-burgundy of the yarn. At least, that’s how it appears indoors under incandescent light. I need to take both yarn and buttons outdoors and check them in natural light to make sure. Regardless, now I don’t really have any excuse for not getting started. Except for finding the right pattern, of course. Which is why I’ll make the brown cardigan with the tortoise shell button first, as soon as I finish the Wanderer Scarf.

Buttons! Oh, how I love buttons.

WIP Wednesday: Green Cables and Pink Lace

When last WIP Wednesday met our heroine, she was getting ready to move. Now that the move is accomplished, and most of the stuff has found either a home or a temporary resting spot, our heroine makes a brave attempt to keep up this blog and fill it with book stuff and yarn stuff. Thus, a return to WIP Wednesday.

Dolce Shrug 2Although truthfully, this should be finished-except-for-blocking-seaming-and-buttons Wednesday. Because that’s the status of this particular work in progress.

I started this shrug in September 2012, about a month before leaving for Atlanta. During the time in that temporary apartment, being away from my spouse and other usual habitats, I spent virtually every evening in front of the computer or the television, and I knitted and knitted and cabled and knitted. And sometimes just watched television. And then we found a house and made an offer and waited for escrow to close and, after escrow closed at the end of January but before our furniture was delivered, we painted rooms and laid shelf liner. Then the furniture was delivered in mid-February, and we arranged rooms and unpacked boxes and finally took a breath.

Dolce Shrug 4I finished the actual knitting March 9. The shrug sat for a while, unloved, while I finished an afghan. Okay, two afghans. And attended Stitches. And started another project. And found another UFO in a box. More on that one in a moment.

So right now, the piece is soaking in the bathtub because it’s just too big for the sink. After I finish writing this blog entry, I’ll squeeze out the excess water and pin it out. It will probably take two or three days to dry, unless I turn on the ceiling fan. Which is noisy and wobbles. Hmm.

Mother of Pearl buttonsBut after it’s all dry and blocked, I can seam it and sew on these gorgeous buttons. And then I’ll have a shrug that I won’t be able to wear until late fall. Timing is everything.

And then there’s the lacy camisole I found. Okay, it was never lost. It’s nearly finished, actually, but I walked away from it at least three years ago (OMG, has it really been that long?) when I realized that, as much as I loved the piece and how it looks on the model in the book, I do not have the figure to carry it off. Delphine 2

And, after Marly Bird’s class at Stitches, I further realize the mods required to make this look good on me are beyond my present capabilities because, frankly, I don’t want to do the math required to alter the lace pattern and make other necessary adjustments. So take a good long look at this piece, because it’s destined for the frog pond. And I’ll find something else to do with that gorgeous pink silk.

Oh, and for the curious, the lace camisole about-to-be-frogged pattern is “Delphine” from French Girl Knits, and the yarn is Skacel’s Urban Silk, which apparently is discontinued because I can’t find it on their website. The Button-Back Shrug is from Knitter’s Magazine K101, and the yarn is Cascade Dolce. WIP Wednesdays

Clicky the badgy for other WIP Wednesday thrills!

WIP Wednesday: Something new!

WIP WednesdayI’m still plugging away at weaving in those endless endless ends on the afghan. The other day my mother was at the house. She cast her acquisitive eyes upon it and declared I should give it to her because it matches her bedroom. (It does not, by the way. Well, one color matches her color scheme, and that color is not the predominant burgundy.) I’m tempted to hand it to her as is, and say, “If you weave in the rest of the ends, it’s all yours!” I made it for me, though, and now am struggling with daughter-guilt over wanting to keep it for myself.

Moms. What are ya gonna do?

To relieve myself of the guilt, and to celebrate finishing the TARDIS shawl (pictures forthcoming on Friday!), I retrieved from stash a yarn I’ve been dying to use ever since I bought it at Stitches South in 2011.

Dolce by Cascade Yarns, colorway 980

I fell in love with Dolce at first touch. It’s a worsted-weight alpaca/wool/silk blend that feels like heaven. The color I chose is a soft grayish green that reminds me of the deep forest at twilight. As per usual, I had no idea what I would do with it when I bought it, but I bought a sweater quantity anyway. Just in case.

So, now, I had to find just the right pattern. The yarn screams “Cable me!” After scouring Ravelry and my pattern library for days, looking at every pattern with cables that fell into the right weight and yardage categories, I finally found the perfect project.

Button-Back Shrug from Knitter’s Magazine 101

I subscribed to Knitter’s Magazine for only one year. I let the subscription lapse because I wasn’t overly impressed with their patterns, but they had a few gems in that year. This was one of them. I love the casual drapiness and unusual construction. I especially love that button-back detail, which gives me the opportunity to use some spectacular buttons I also bought at Stitches South that year.

Of course, now I have to find those buttons again. They’re here somewhere. Buried. *sigh* It’s probably a good thing we’re moving, because I’ll be forced to reorganize the stash at one end of the move or the other.

Anyway, I cast on Sunday evening. With luck, I’ll have it finished by the time cold weather sets in around Thanksgiving. Well, maybe Christmas.

(Click the badge at the top of this entry to see what other folks are up to this week.)

Windowpane Coat

I keep wanting to type that as “Windowpain Coat.”

Windowpane Coat 5
With collar open.

Windowpane Coat 3
With collar buttoned.

Windowpane Coat 4
The back view.

Windowpane Button 2
Closeup of button.

Pattern: Windowpane Coat by Deborah Newton, from Interweave Knits Fall 2008. Click here for my Ravelry project page.
Yarn: Rowan Soft Tweed in Sprig, 18 skeins (1588 yds/1432 m). Soft Tweed is a discontinued yarn, thus no linkage. Although you can’t really tell from the pictures, the color is a soft grey-green.
Needles: US 7 (4.5mm) for the ribbing, US 9 (5.5mm) for everything else. Addi Circs.
Satisfaction with finished project: Pretty happy! There are some problems with the coat, as noted on my project page. It’s a tad too big through the shoulders and armholes. My narrow frame will do that every time. (Yes, I’m “large” but I have a small frame, which makes finding clothes that fit me an adventure in perseverance.) The buttonholes aren’t centered in the buttonband, which I can’t believe I didn’t notice while I was knitting them. But these are relatively minor imperfections, and no one but me will even care. Overall, it fits, it feels good, and it will be ever so warm come winter. Woo hoo!

Old Fashioned Girl (and FO Friday, one day late)

After months away — and a seriously bad case of startitis — I finally have a finished project! (I finished the knitting Friday, but didn’t get the buttons sewn on until this morning, hence the late addition to the FO Friday meme.) 🙂

Old Fashioned Girl 1
Pattern: Old Fashioned Girl (Ravelry link) from Verena Spring 2009. (Here’s the Verena link.)
Yarn: Bernat Cashmere Natural Blends, color Snow, 12 skeins (1236 yards)
Needles: Size 6, Size 8, Addi Turbo circulars.
Size: 42″ bust (XL). It has about 1 inch positive ease throughout the bust and body.
Mods: Used worsted weight instead of DK and larger needles to get a gauge large enough to produce a 42″ bust. About three inches added in length due to the larger yarn, as well. 8 buttons instead of 7 due to longer length. Cables crossed every 6 rows instead of every 4.
Satisfaction with end result: Very pleased. It fits well and feels wonderful. The picot edging around the neckline and the vintage buttons (from the Stitches South haul) are the perfect finishing touches.

It’s much too warm yet to wear it anywhere, except maybe an overly-air conditioned cinema. Hurry up, fall!

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Button, button

It’s harder than one might think to take pretty pictures of buttons.

I love beautiful buttons. The right button makes all the difference in finishing a garment. This is why, under normal circumstances, I don’t buy buttons unless I have finished the project for which I need them. But, while at Stitches South, I went a little button crazy. Justifiably so, of course, because one of the vendors had nifty contemporary buttons for a reasonable price, and another vendor sold vintage buttons. For unreasonable prices. But I had prize money, and I didn’t care.

We’ll start with the contemporary buttons. They’re all made from resin, with a little sparkledust for good measure. Except for these, which remind me of jujubes:
Resin Jujubes
I’m not exactly sure which yarn or pattern these will suit best. Yet.

This lime green buttons will go on a purple cardigan.
Lime Green Resin
But I have no idea what pattern I’ll use.

These sparkly burgundy-slash-mauve buttons mostly likely will be used with the yarn shown below:
Resin Burgundy Sparkle Rectangle
Maybe. I haven’t entirely decided what to do with that yarn.

More sparkly resin buttons with no designated project or yarn:
Round Resin Gold Sparkle
Square Resin Gold Sparkle

Now for the old fashioned stuff!

The vintage glass buttons shown below took my breath away when I saw them in the vendor’s display.
Vintage Glass
They will be used with the yarn shown.

The square mother of pearl buttons will also be used with the yarn shown:
Vintage Mother of Pearl

The rest of the buttons have no designated yarns or projects. I make no apologies, however; they were too beautiful to pass up.
Vintage Flowers
Vintage Black Gold Silver
Vintage Black Gold
Vintage Black Silver

The Big Win

Hi, my name is “Grand Prize Winner”.

$750.00 in cash. No, I can’t believe it either. But I made some Stitches South vendors very happy. Wanna see?
100_1721
The black bag on the left and the canvas bag on the right were complimentary. The hot pink bag in the middle is my new favorite project bag.

Yarn and stuff:

    Top row, left to right:

  • Cascade Yarns Dolce, 10 skeins, Color 980, with antique mother of pearl buttons. Intended for a cardigan. Yarn and buttons bought with prize money.
  • Araucania Itata Solid, 10 skeins, Color 2013, with lime green resin buttons. Intended for a cardigan.
  • Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, 10 skeins, Color 70, with antique glass buttons. Intended for a cardigan.
    Second row, left to right:

  • Schaefer Yarn Chris, 4 skeins (with 3 on order), Color Pomegranate. Haven’t decided whether this is destined for a cardigan or a pullover. Bought with prize money.
  • Austermann Step, 1 skein, Color 28. Sock yarn, complimentary from the Skacel booth.
  • Indiecita Alpaca Sport (distributed by Plymouth), 8 skeins Color 220, 4 skeins Color 1440. Intended for a colorwork cardigan which I may design myself if I can’t find exactly what I have in mind.
    Bottom row, left to right:

  • Girl Scout Cookies, Samoas. Prize money.
  • Addi Lace Clicks. Prize money.
  • Fiesta Ballet, 1 skein, Color Caribbean 110. A door prize. Will probably use for a scarf.
  • Addi Natura Clicks. Prize money.
  • Mondial Surf, 2 skeins, Color 816. A gift from my roommate. Will probably use for a scarf or maybe a lacy market bag. (This must be vintage yarn….I can’t find any web info about it.)
  • Addi Turbo Clicks. Prize money.
  • More Samoas for symmetry.

Below the needles are the cards of buttons I had to have. The four cards of black and silver antique buttons were purchased with prize money. The three cards of resin buttons were purchased a day or two earlier. I’ll post closeup photos of the buttons in the next couple of days because I know you’re dying to see them. And a comprehensive Stitches South wrap up post, complete with (semi)decent pics will be forthcoming as well.

For now, I’m awfully glad to be home.