More Stitches West pron, but instead of yarn pron it’s button pron. Since I’m getting more and more yarn support these days, buying yarn isn’t the priority that it used to be. Finding unique buttons seemed more important, especially with all the cardigans I have in mind. My favorite source for old buttons, The Button Lady, was at the show again. She doesn’t have a web site, nor a brick and mortar store, so I don’t know how you’ll find her except to haunt Stitches West shows. I bought buttons from her last year, and I was pleased to see her on the vendor list again this year. This is what I got:
These are all antique buttons. From what The Button Lady tells me the buttons were all made in a button factory in England prior to WWII. The factory was re-purposed to make military buttons when England joined the war, and some boxes of buttons were put into storage. The Button Lady found them not too long ago, and she’s selling them off bit by bit. Turns out I have three flower buttons that I got last year that are exactly like these five, except the ones from last year are larger. The buttons are made of horn, and have some sort of shiny coating on them in addition to the design. They’re fabulous things. I’m quite addicted. I always buy as many of these from her as I can.
In previous years I’ve always missed the buttons that I wanted at Abbey Yarns, so after leaving The Button Lady’s booth I went straight there. I love their pewter Celtic buttons, and since I never know when the cable mood will hit me, having a supply of them on hand is just the thing.
Next up: handmade resin buttons from Gail Hughes. I hope the blue buttons I got are the right size. They’re fabulous with the blue cardigan I’m making right now. Dave thinks the color is too close, but (at least so far) I think it’s perfect. There’s so much going on in the sweater that I don’t want the buttons to jump out, but at the same time I do want them to add interest, which these buttons definitely do.
I just went and fetched the back of the blue cardigan I’m making to take some pictures of it and the blue buttons together. Now that I look at them in the light of day… Gads. Dave might be right. I think I’ll have to get more opinions on the button color thing when I have more of the sweater done. I do still love these buttons, and will definitely use them on something.
I have one more set of buttons to show you. These were made by Alice of Alice’s Tapestries and Art Buttons. Alice makes her unique buttons with polymer clay, but they’re not like any polymer clay buttons I’ve ever seen. There are no millefiori canes here. I don’t even know how to describe these buttons. Each is unique, even compared with the ones that are just like it. The colors are complex. The designs bold. Some, like the ones I bought, have designs stamped into them. Others are what Alice calls “art buttons” and have geometric things going on. They range in size from about ¾ inch to… Huge. The set of eight buttons here are all about 1¼ inches—I know what you’re thinking. They’d be perfect with that blue cardigan, wouldn’t they? They would except for one thing: they’re far too big. Drat. The large single one I got of the nautilus is 2¼ inches square. The nautilus button will be used as room decoration, maybe on the wall, so I’ll be able to see it every day.
Ack. Turns out the picture of the nautilus button has lost all its color. Hrmph. It has the same color scheme as the round ones: slightly metallic blues, greens, golds. It’s a stunning thing.
That’s it for the buttons, but there are a couple more things to share with you. Yarn Barn of Kansas had some of the Japanese stitch dictionaries that I’ve been coveting. I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to lay out a large sum of money for a book when I’ve never seen the inside. I got to see the inside of four Japanese books in their booth, and bought two of them. As promised by so many, there are wonderful things in both books.
The last thing I have to share with you is this fabulous little yarn case from Walker Bags. It’s the perfect size to put a ball or cake of yarn in to corral it before you start knitting. I can so see using this to help contain unruly yarns. Though Walker Bags is from nearby San Francisco, I got the bag from Unwind, who came up to Santa Clara from Burbank in southern California.
(P.S. My friend Barbara saw this post and wanted me to add how essential she has found these bags to be when knitting with slippery yarns. She loves them! She got two at Stitches, and already wants more of them.)
You’ve finally seen everything that I got at Stitches West this year. Now to find a place to put it all!