Collecting the Evidence

Button-Button-Who's Got the Button?

I love buttons!  Always have.  As a little girl, my Great Grandmother used to let me play with her button box whenever I visited.  This was an incredibly special treat for me!

Button girl

The box (you can see it behind me in this photo from 1961) was wooden and had a sliding lid -- which was cool enough all by itself!  But, the best part was inside!  The box was full-to-the-brim with buttons!  There were colorful Lucite buttons, delicate shell buttons, big-old wooden buttons, pretty-lady filigree buttons, odd-shaped belt buckles --- just all kinds of delights!  I played with these buttons for hours.  I used to sort them and line them up -- by color, by size, by "prettiest;" I made patterns and discovered interesting color-combinations.  My Great Grandmother's button box was a true treasure for me!  (And, sadly, I don't know what ever happened to it when she died.)

Anyway, I've always had a Thing for buttons!  I have a button collection of my own now, and I spend a lot of time and thought choosing buttons for my own projects.

Choosing buttons for my Tempest sweater (which is completely finished. . . except for the buttons) has been a bit challenging!  I narrowed the field down to four different styles of button. . .

Kodachrome buttons 001

and I started playing with them. . .

Kodachrome buttons 002

It's important to get the buttons "right" on Tempest.  There are a LOT of them (14!), so they need to be on the quiet side; they are unevenly spaced (more in the middle), so they need to be just the right size; and the stripes make the cardigan busy enough already, so the buttons need to be understated.

I really like the greenish "sparkly" buttons, but they are really too big to work on the small stripes of Tempest. . . and the greyish-blue don't work for me - color-wise - at all.  So it came down to these two. . . navy blue or a kind of greeny-tealy color.

Kodachrome buttons 003

And after sleeping on it, this morning, I've decided that these buttons work best. . .

Kodachrome buttons 005

What do you think?  It's not too late for me to change my mind. . . they're not sewn on yet!

In the meantime, I've begun NaKniSweMoDo #11!  It's BabyCocktails' new design -- Long & Lucky (Ravelry link).  I'm lucky -- because I'm test-knitting it . . . and using my all-time favorite yarn, Berroco Ultra Alpaca!

Peaceful beginning 001

I've just started. . . but I can tell . . . this project has its own rhythm!  It's going to be a peaceful, mindful knit.

And, heck. . .

Peaceful beginning 005

I've already got buttons picked out!


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Kay - From the Back Yard

Cute photo! What a lovely coincidence, too--I also played with my Grandmother's buttons when I was a child, only they were in a round tin.

You chose the buttons I would have chosen. It's a very pretty sweater.


And you get MORE buttons when you finish too...

I like the ones you chose for Tempest - the colors are amazing.

Decided against the reds for Lucky??

Ina Resvick

At first I thought the dark shiny ones would look best. However, after a few minutes I looked again and have to agree with your choice. I think I'm attracted to shiny buttons and that was my initial motivator. It is such a lovely cardigan!

I also played with buttons as a child... my mom had an old cigar box full of buttons. I loved the smell and I loved the sound that the buttons made as I poured them out and then dropped them back in. Now, I have a store called Buttonbutton that I like to go to for my buttons. Even if I bring my garment with me, I usually walk out with 2-3 dozen buttons. You just never know when you need a button!


The Button Box was one of my favorite playthings as a child, too. Like you, I don't know what happened to it when my mom moved from her house to a tiny apartment. But 4 or 5 years ago I inherited my MIL's button box -- score!

Perfect choice on the Tempest buttons -- perfect because they were the ones I liked best from the first photo ;-) As a fellow button enthusiast, you may enjoy this post over at Heather's blog:


Me too! How often have I said that to you lately! I have glass and shell buttons from my Grandmother's box waiting for a cardigan to be designed around them. My Mum's box still evokes memories and I will cherish it when it comes to me (well that part of it not already appropriated). My box has memories all of its own - from the ladybird buttons from a toddler cardigan I did for Caitlin to the black shell Rowan buttons that have already been on 2 cardigans and are waiting for their third.

I spend hours watching TV and browsing button sites - how sad is that!

Love the buttons for the Long and Lucky, just perfect.


I love this post ! My treat, as a little girl, was to play with my grandmother's button tin, or my mother's button box. I inherited granny's button tin, and it still gives me so much pleasure to sort through it. It's big enough to contain my large button collection as well - a huge cake tin. I confess to a button overflow storage container !
I like your choice for tempest.


love love love the picture of you and the treasure trove of buttons! I'm a collector too. I love to rummage through old tins and antique shops. I'd go with the green that you've got lined up along the sweater but you've got to knit a piece to use the great glass/green sparkly buttons! they are too cute to go to waste.

denise copeland

Your sweater is gorgeous!

I love Thich Nhat Hanh's work. I enjoyed his book that focused on mindfulness. Last week, while knitting, I listened to the first half of The Lost Symbol - I found it troubling. I did not finish it. Listening to Thich Nhat Hanh would have been exponentially more interesting and may not have resulted in having to rip over 6000 stitches.

Test knitting sounds like a grand adventure!!!

Diana Troldahl

Yumm (for the yarn) And Yumm for the buttons,. I have a button fetish too. One of my pals in California sent me a HUGE box from her collection, and I am still discovering 'new' ones :-}

I love making stuff for Warm Woolies and adding some Jazzy special buttons to them.


I like your tempest buttons. When I made Tempest, I chose to mix my buttons. You can see what I came up with here:

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