Buttons – to me – are like light fixtures and draperies – I don’t normally pay any attention to them. I only notice them if something is wrong, like a bulb has burnt out, a curtain has been ripped by kitty claws, or a button is missing from a shirt.
Most of my knitting has turned out to be button-less, as I stick mainly to hats, mittens and socks.
This summer, though, I spied a cute cardigan pattern with detachable sleeves. I thought it could be just the ticket for using up some leftover yarn in my stash. As it turned out, that cute cardigan pattern was very button-intensive.
There are many ways to knit buttonholes. Some patterns use a yarn-over method, like in a lace pattern. Others use casting off stitches then adding them in the next row. There’s also a tangly method involving wrapping the yarn then turning the work, which baffles me. At one point during the cardigan project, I made a buttonhole by poking my finger through a loose stitch and just wiggling the hole a bit bigger. Hey, it worked.
Then there’s finding the right buttons. Turns out there are probably more button options in terms of size and style than there are yarn options. The button selection at one local fabric store kind of freaked me out.
And the sizing of buttons. I discovered you really need to take your finished garment with you to that button wall and try fitting the buttons to the holes, not the other way around.
I mean, who knew?
However, all this button brow knitting has made me more aware of the world of clothing fasteners.
At gift shops and craft fairs, I notice a lot of one-of-a-kind ceramic buttons. They’re really nice, but I draw the line at searching for a knitting project that suits a button.
The fabric shop where I buy buttons also features button grab-bags for a dollar or two. I picked one up on the way to the cash register.
They are perfect for projects that need buttons, but not buttonholes.
A few months back, I was checking out the yarn selection in a small gift shop in Corner Brook. I didn’t find any yarn I liked, but there was a selection of really cute, quirky little buttons.
They might come in handy – eventually.