It turns out that there are only three of these buttons in my box. Horrors! I have been knitting this cardigan with the thought of these buttons, and the distinct impression that I actually possessed five. . . Yes, I know I should have had a look beforehand. . . but there were certainly five at one time – I bought them a decade or so ago, when they were used to smarten up a rather plain green jacket. The jacket is long gone, and there are now only three buttons in the box . . . where their missing compatriots are is anybody’s guess. The buttons came from Duttons in York, whose stock is both extensive and long-standing. It would not be that unusual for them to still have a button or two that had first been bought ten years ago, so I emailed them to ask on the offchance. And Duttons do, in fact, still have two buttons of exactly the same silver and green enamel design, but only in the 1.5cm size (these are 2cm). So it was back to the button box. I certainly have an awful lot of buttons, and an obvious preference for what one might term novelty items. . .



(I actually find the fishbowls quite pleasing, but must resist. . . this is not a novelty sort of garment).

Though my box contains birds, hedgehogs, bees, foxes, roller skates, and a small lone wooden giraffe, it has nothing that is even remotely suitable for this cardigan, so I now have a buttonless garment happily blocking on the dress form. Vintage glass buttons might be nice, but now I just have to find them . . .

53 thoughts on “buttons of doom

  1. :-) love the old button box. Very amusing, somehow I think we just expect designers to just put it all together, and it’s so easy for them(you) but you are human after all and take so much care with your creations.
    :-) Lindy

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  2. I have exactly 1(one) of those little bee buttons! If you need it I’ll mail it to you; it was a “found” item from a box of odds & ends. I though I might apply it to a barrette, but now that I’m wearing very short hair I really don’t need it.

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  3. I love the fishbowls. Are you sure it isn’t a novelty button sort of garment? The stop-go ones are also very fine. I love the sound of your novelty buttons – rollerskating buttons are surely a must for any outfit.

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  4. Oh no, button disaster! Have you tried Textile Garden?

    You could, of course, post to Ravelry. There’s always someone who can help!

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  5. I inherited my mother’s and grandmother’s button boxes which included loads of buttons from the 40s and 50s still on the cards. And about a million little white metal, thread covered buttons which used to be used on pillowcases and underwear back in the day. It’s a real way of revisiting my childhood to open those boxes.

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  6. Oh wow, your Button Luv is way too cool. I also have my moms buttons( some of which were her mom’s) and tend to collect more odd wooden and shell type, but I tell you, you inspire a whimsy from deep down in my well of still-evolving fashion persona , that I am going to keep my eye out for such playful statements as a button can be. I don’t wear much in the way of jewelry, but of course, the buttons make up for that ! As usual, a total delight of a post.

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  7. I do love those fish but alas, they don’t really suit it, it is true. However, you could knit something green with them in mind, of course!

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  8. I admire your ability to show restraint in the face of novelty button options; my fashion sense would crumple like a gingernut in tea at the prospect of the fish bowls.

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  9. HI KATE – had to look up ‘HOUSE OF BRUAR’—-figured this is probably what you meant LOL—have a coat suggestion — don’t laugh , though I know the thought of buying a tweed coat from a US ,shop seems funny especially when you live in SCOTLAND— LL BEAN —online has a nice looking ‘pea coat , in just plain wool , and also in a number of colours of Donegal tweed— its fitted , double breasted and not bad

    – sure you will be able to find a great one though closer to home

    – looking forward to seeing your sweater— good luck with the buttons – really good ones are hard to find , and they do make or break the garment

    best —pat j

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  10. Oh, I know what the desperate search through dozens of buttons in the button tin is like! I visited Duttons when we were over this year which was such a treat, I bought some beautiful green and red buttons. I was fascinated by the great age of the actual building all those oak beams…. I can’t wait to see your new cardi!

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  11. I love that shade of celery green! What a shame the buttons aren’t numerous enough. But isn’t there a lot of pleasure to be had in picking out exactly the right buttons? (And a lot of frustration when nothing is quite right…)

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  12. You possess hedgehog buttons?! that’s awesome. I guess you’ll have to go button shopping again!! I understand your pain, the three buttons truly are wonderful. :(

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  13. That’s a great looking cardi shoulder I see there. I never buy buttons unless I am ready to sew them, but I can see the appeal of those fishbowl ones! Cute!

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  14. I’ll wager we won’t get to see the finished cardigan until you have settled on the buttons right? I hope the perfect buttons find there way into your possession soon… the suspense is killing me!

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  15. There is a tiny button shop in Vancouver Canada called “Button Button”. I have lost myself in there a number of times exploring their vintage buttons. Their website, which is really just a contact page, is http://www.buttonbutton.ca. If you are not finding suitable alternate buttons, perhaps send them a photo of the 3 you have on the off chance they have a couple kicking around. Maybe they will ship them to you.

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  16. Despite being an ocean and a continent apart, we have buttons in common. I have a rtw blouse with the “Go” button at the top of the placket heading a column of postcard destination buttons (Paris, Tokyo, etc), and a cache of the fishbowl buttons, with a blue bowl rather than green. Buttons are so stashable! A few years ago I bought several full tubes from a going-out-of-business yarn shop, and since then have accumulated strings of vintage buttons from vendors at knitters’ conventions. So far, I simply admire these beauties– I have yet to find the right project for any of them. I may have to learn to sew, to increase their chances of ever being worn.

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  17. Oh no! I just went button shopping, and was reminded how essential it is to find a button that says the right thing. I’d forgotten how expressive buttons are. Here’s hoping the right ones call out to you the instant you arrive in the shop!

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  18. Can’t you just get the smaller buttons and then use one big, one small, one big, one small, one big? I’m sure that would look lovely – the buttons go so well with the cardigan!

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  19. That is a good-looking sleeve cap! I like the vertical lines with the collar ribbing. My button collection has moved recently from little flowery tins to an old, heavy, wooden card catalog cabinet, the kind with the small drawers that are so long. My husband, a school librarian, rescued it from the dusty storage room. It holds my Grandma’s collection as well as the buttons I’ve gathered while traveling and poking around. My daughter has sorted them all by color- alas the greens are mostly singular and so sparse that they share a drawer with the blues. Here’s hoping a pair of matching buttons come your way. They are quite suitable!

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  20. Is there a “Find this button web site”? I know there’s a “Find more of this fabric” site for quilters. There might be a chance someone in blogland has more, or knows someone who does. :)

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  21. Your button box looks like mine! I bought a lot of those bees, fish bowls, stop and go, etc when I was way into making baby bibs. Now I have nothing for sweaters!

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  22. Love what we can see of the sweater–good luck finding replacements for the lovely silver ones! I bet they’ll find their way onto the perfect 3-button project some day.

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  23. Love the goldfish
    and …ah, how nice to know that I am not alone spending many hours of my childhood playing with the delights in Granny’s and Mum’s button tins National Dried Milk tins). I have memories of a few gorgeous glass ones in there…and of course that is where my button collecting/addiction started. And I am to blame for daughter’s recent start on button collecting! Like Anne Boleyn..I will have a look at my greens and glass to see if I have 5 that might look right on that tantalising green cardigan.

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  24. Sorry about your buttons but happy to know someone else who has a button box. I actually have several as I inherited my two great aunts and both of my grandmother’s button boxes. When I was little my brother and I used buttons as currency and so did my daughters. Think I’ll go kook in the green section and see if there’s anything worthy of your gorgeous sweater.

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