Scary button ladies

Jill P., 

I’ve been meaning to do this rant for so long, that I’m not really ranty about it anymore.  But I’ll just go for it anyway.  You know I hate sewing on buttons.  I hate hate hate it.  I have a sweater I finished about two years ago that just needs buttons.  I even bought them, I just don’t feel like putting them on.  Maybe it’s because I’m not confident in my button skills or maybe the idea of getting out the sewing thread makes me extremely lazy.  The fact remains that this unfinished sweater has spent almost that entire two years in a giant pile of crap draped over the back of my desk chair.  And now I don’t really like it anymore.  It is Noro Shinano yarn (discontinued, but some sort of mix of wool and silk).  I had to do a crazy amount of gauge math and it still didn’t quite turn out right.  It also looks extremely rustic.  It’s what I would wear if I was dressing as an artisan for Halloween.  It’s a cardigan knit side to side with a simple crochet border.  It looked really good on the book cover made out of Silk Garden.  That sweater is still on my to-do list, but really not the point of this post.

I went to F&S Fabrics (on Pico) a few weeks ago to buy some buttons.  I needed buttons for my sweater coat and also for the Baby Surprise Jacket.  First of all, they have an amazing button selection.  They have a bunch of tubes and drawers of buttons sitting out that you can look through.  But they also have hundreds of boxes behind a counter.  These boxes all have about a dozen different buttons attached to the front of the box.  The problem is, that if you want to see these buttons up close you have to get help from the button ladies.  They are both perfectly friendly, but they’re also very bossy.  They get very excited about helping you pick out the perfect buttons for your project.  They just start pulling boxes and laying out very ornate buttons onto your garment.  I’ll suggest a certain one that I like and they just pooh-pooh the idea and go back to the ones they like.  “Oh no, that won’t work.”  They want the button to be the centerpiece of the sweater and I just want to get something that doesn’t clash with the final item.  I was running out of time last time I was there and just had to postpone a decision.  There were some buttons I kind of liked but I wasn’t able to put them next to my sweater.  I feel like the only way I can buy those buttons are to go in without my project and just ask for them.  But then I run the chance of them not matching the fabric.  I can also go the path of least resistance and buy some non-descript shell-y/pearly buttons from the drawers accesible to the public.  At least then they wouldn’t cost more than the yarn for the sweater. 

That trip wasn’t a total loss.  They did suggest some really good buttons to go with my Baby Surprise Jacket.  Here’s the final project.  (I haven’t taken any pictures lately so this is kind of old news.)

The only reason those buttons got sewn on is that I was on a deadline to send the baby sweater to my niece. 

Yesterday I just finished the DROPS 103-1 jacket.  The knitting’s done.  I did the seaming and even wove in my ends.  But now it needs buttons.  I think I need to make another trip to the fabric store.  But we were talking about making a field trip to downtown or F&S to get buttons.  It would be fun for all us Culver City SnBers to go together.  I’m available this weekend, but have to check with everyone else.  I know Melissa’s up for it. 

I guess I should tell you about the DROPS jacket.  In my swatch I got about 12 st/in which is a little tighter than what it calls for in the pattern.  I decided to knit the medium size and hope for a small.  But I think when I actually started knitting it, I ended up getting closer to the actually called for 11st.  So ultimately I think I got a medium sweater.  Which works out okay, I had been torn between the two sizes.  (This feels like deja vu, maybe I already wrote this exact paragraph last post?)  The sweater could be a little smaller.  The knitting could be a little tighter.  I don’t really mind seaming.  It’s kind of exciting to see it all come together.  But I don’t really like seaming when the fabric is kind of open like that.  It feels like I’m creating a lot of gaps.  The stitches are just so huge!  Even though sewing is quicker with chunky yarn, I think I like the results better on a smaller gauge item.  I’ll have pictures to show soon.

I’ve become really disgusted with my yarn collection recently.  It’s definitely time to put down some kind of guidelines for purchasing new yarn.  Like maybe i need to finish off a whole bag of yarn before I can buy any.  And I don’t mean like a bag of ten skeins.  I mean like one of the giant shopping bags of mixed yarn sitting on top of the plastic tubs of yarn that comprises my stash.  My main problem is that I keep buying small bunches of yarn (like four skeins) when all I want to knit now is sweaters.  I want to be able to knit from my stash but don’t seem to have the right amount of yarn for anything.  Blah.  I need to get it under control.  I may need to hold off on my big KnitPicks order.

I’ll try for more pictures next time!  And if you or anyone sees a Hello Kitty sewing machine on clearance at a Target anytime soon, either let me know or buy it for me (will reimburse!).  I hear they’re only $25, if they can be found.  I didn’t want it that much for $50, but now can’t stop thinking about it!  I’m enjoying my Wii, I need to get my second controller than have people over for a party!

 Jill B.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Scary button ladies

  1. How annoying! I would totally have a fit if I had some ‘helpful’ ladies giving me button suggestions. La Knitterie Parisienne has some really nice buttons in tubes (like a wall of them) that you can access on your own. It might be worth a drive up to the valley (and then you could visit Stick and Stone on the way back…)

    Love the sweater colors — your niece will look so awesome!

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