Thursday, March 19, 2009

On the importance of the right buttons

You all know that the right buttons are SO essential for your knits to look their best, don't you?

I've had a thing about buttons for years now. Back when I used to sew my own clothes, it was the same. I like buttons that are unique, yet complement the garment. They don't fight for attention, but make you go "YES! THOSE ARE PERFECT!!!" Yes, you know this, I can are nodding your head, aren't you?

If you are not, then you need to learn this, because it helps your hand-knit garment look much better.

When I first started knitting, I made this bunting for my oldest child:

The buttons are wrong. Yes they are! They are little Beatrix Potter buttons and they are just all wrong for this garment. Why did I select these? I wanted something pink and subtle, so the stitchwork would be the star of the show (after the baby, of course and this particular baby always looked PRECIOUS in everything she wore. Really!) And the owner of the knit shop talked me out of it.

I am not naming names and I will say that that owner is no longer owner of the shop. But she had this thing where if you made something for a baby, then you had to buy cutesy buttons to put on it. No ifs ands or buts. I still regret giving in to her, but hers was a forceful personality. And at that time, mine was not. I'm much better now.

So recently I went on a quest for the perfect buttons for that little Babies & Bears sweater I made a long time back and I found the perfect buttons, IMO. Lookie:

Aren't these just way perfect for this little sweater! I knit this out of Sirdar Denim DK about...4 years ago??? Can't remember! Who this was for I can't remember either, but it's getting given to the Squatter's teacher who is having her second child and this one is a boy. Remember how I told you I wanted to make her another in a bigger size and started another Babies and Bears?

I have finally finished it! I've been sick for weeks now with ear infections or it would have been much faster. But since the Squatter's teacher is due next month and she'll probably be going on maternity leave any day now, I figured I better get with the program. Lookie:

I was very careful about the striping sequence and managed to start the second sleeve almost exactly where I should. And I was very careful about the front panels so that they would match. And I engineered the back panel so it would be all one color by joining yarn in the middle of the panel so that the next color sequence would not start. I am so dang clever and yes, I do love myself very much!

But I'm particularly proud of my button choice:

Aren't those just PERFECT? And didn't I sew them on in just the right way, alternating the diagonal lines! I love myself, yes, I do!

I had gone to the LYS with Mary, because I have created a knitting monster. Mary wants to be going to the yarn store all the time now. She has already finished one baby blanket and has two more on the needles. So I feel that I have done my duty by creating a new knitter to keep our yarn economy rolling along. But since she made me go with her to the yarn store (no, she didn't have a gun! Mary does not need a gun to get what she wants!) I had to do something there, so I ended up buying these buttons. And some yarn. I think maybe I have gone too far and now she is making me spend money on yarn and patterns and buttons that would maybe not have been spent before!

Okay,'s my own fault, I admit it. But I did need the buttons. And one of my friends is pregnant, so the yarn will be used for that. But not another Babies & Bears...instead, I'm going to do Lily's Little Sweater...just for a change of pace.

ANYWAY, I tried lots of different buttons with this sweater, both blue and turquoise and nothing seemed just right. Until I had the brilliant (yes, I love myself) idea of using the brown in this colorway and once I found these square buttons with the diagonal line, I knew that once again, I had chosen wisely. (yes, I love myself!)

Well, it's time to go put my feet up. I'm sick of these ear infections which are stealing all my energy...I *have* gotten lots of knitting done in the doctor's waiting room, but I'd rather get it done somewhere else. Here's hoping this third antibiotic does the trick. Ta!


joan said...

Hi Janine... this is Joan. You don't know me, but I remember you fondly from the old Knitlist days when you were expecting the Squatter. I've recently rediscovered you via Mary on Ravelry. Delighted to learn that the Squatter is still the Squatter.

And, yes, the buttons ARE perfect.

Ruth Gore said...

Jan, I am a lurker on your stamping blog and just found out about your knitting blog. I used to knit a long time ago, and want to start again, but our city no longer has lovely little yarn shops. Where is the best place to find out what are the good brands of yarn nowadays for making things you really care about, like an afghan for your hubby or a baby balnket if those ungrateful children you raised will ever settle down and give you the adorable grandchildren you deserve?

Janine said...

Hi Ruth!

I can't say enough about! It's a great place to meet other yarn enthusiasts, talk about yarn and ungrateful children, plus keep track of your yarn, needles, books, projects and look at what other people are knitting. You have to request an invitation to join and you have to be patient until it arrives, but it's well worth it.

Mary said...

WOW!!! Totally adorable Babies and Bears. You are SO right. The buttons are perfect. You should be very proud of your finished garments. Hope the 3rd antibiotic is a charm and you are soon feeling ALL better.