Buttons of Miscellany

A friend of mine had a grandmother who collected buttons, which were squirrelled away over the years, snipped off shirts and sweaters that were outgrown or headed for the rag pile. One night when she was visiting Toronto, we had a couple of martinis and she told me about them. How old they were, how pretty, and how she couldn’t’ bear to give them to goodwill. “I’ll take them!” I said. “I always need buttons.”

So…. she sent them to me. Along with some yarn as wedding present (How awesome is getting yarn for a wedding present?! Hooray!!)

 This in an incredible amount of buttons, people. And these are just the ones in the ‘white buttons’ bag.  Now look closer- I’ve flipped them over so you can see their backs in the second shot. Do you see what I see?

They are shells. the vast majority of these white buttons are made from a white and pink shell. I want to say they look like conch, but I’m not sure. I’m not up on my shell nomenclature.They have this substantial weight to them, you can tell right away they aren’t plastic. And then there was another giant lot of coloured buttons, all shapes and sizes. I’ve taken a few shots of my favourites:

I can’t wait to use them!! I foresee a lot of button embellished projects in the future….

Erica and I went to Tango Palace Coffee Company recently. It’s my new favourite coffee joint!! Tonnes of bakery goodies, nice and cozy, unhurried atmosphere, and only a few doors down from The Purple Purl. If Erica hadn’t totally called me out on exploring somewhere new, I might never know how great Tango Palace was. They have a hot chocolate menu that rivals a starbucks coffee menu. That’s pretty fantastic in my world.

 Here’s Erica knitting away at the collar of her cabled seed stitch cardigan- it’s already gorgeous, and it isn’t even off the needles yet!

Tomorrow I fly out to Chicago, to visit Eliza and have a weekend getaway in the Windy City. Report to follow!!

Modification Monday: Swallowtail-Ish

Original Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl and Ishbel

Knitter Extraordinaire: Lauren (Rav Id, Blog)

Mods: Combined the simple stockinette of the Ishbel shawl with the lily of the valley lace edging from the Swallowtail shawl.

What Makes This Awesome: What would happen if you took two of the most popular and most knitted shawl patterns out there, and created a hybrid?  This is the perfect combination of the best aspects of each shawl that made them so popular- most people love the look of the lily of the valley lace edging (although actually knitting laceweight nupps is a totally different story), and most people love the beautiful simplicity of Ishbel, with it’s stockinette and lace lace edging. The beauty of the Ishbel pattern is that it lends itself so well to using other lace edgings, for those who feel like mixing it up. Just look at the gorgeous results!!

FO: Spiced Citron

Pattern: Citron

Yarn: Knitpicks Shimmer in “spice” colourway

Needles: 4 mm

Mods: Cast off using my favourite shawl cast off, from the Twilight Shawl.

Ravelry project page is here.

Notes: Love, love, love. The pattern is wonderful, and great for on-the-go knitting, since it’s lightweight and isn’t any more complicated than stockinette and increases and decreases. Yet it produces a wonderfully unfussy, utterly perfect shawl. If you aren’t into lace, then people, this is your shawl.

 (I know I didn’t do the typical wingspan/full shawl shot, but I’ll distract you with a shot of Gatsby and me having a moment instead)

I hadn’t used Knitpicks Shimmer before, but I love the result. Especially in the spice colourway- I really wish they had more yarns available in this colour, it’s amazing!! That perfect burnt orange, with lovely shades of turmeric and deep red, made me love this shawl even more. I tend to fall back into the same kind of colour palette with my clothes, so I love having shawls in colours I don’t usually wear- it’s the perfect way to change up an outfit or a look, without a wardrobe overhaul.

(I love how well the little horse pin goes with the shawl- the horsey has the same russet tones. It’s really old- it was vintage to begin with, and I’ve had it since I was a child. I’m shocked I never lost it.)

I need to have an Etsy gush for a moment. Here’s a picture of the t-shirt I’m wearing in the photos above, which I love.

 My wonderful husband got me an awesome and different t-shirt from this etsy seller for Christmas. And I loved it, but the size wasn’t right. We conversed with the seller, who did up a new one in the size I needed, but because we had to wait a few weeks for the t-shirts she prints on to arrive at her workshop, she threw in the awesome t-shirt pictured above. Just because she felt bad about me having to wait. Now I have two awesome t-shirts! And a lot of love for the seller.

See, if I had ordered from a big on-line store, and they were out of stock, tough bananas for me. But what I love about buying on Etsy is that direct relationship between the craft-person and the buyer, so that if there is a hiccup, even a tiny one,  they go out of their way to make your shopping experience with them memorable and wonderful. You feel life they actually care about you, and that’s how you get customers for life. NY Hop, I love you!!

Modification Monday: Kissing Snails

 Original Pattern: Norwegian Snail Mittens

Knitter Extraordinaire: Eliza (Rav id, Blog)

Mods: Turned the popular colourwork mittens into a beautiful slouchy hat, adjusting the stitch count and modifying the fronds as she decreased for the crown of the hat.

What Makes This Awesome: There is a lot to love about stranded snail mittens, and there is even more to love about a stranded snail hat! The colours she chose are great- the deep pinkish purple shade, and the very quiet flecks of pale pink.

I love the fact that it’s a slouchy hat, they are such a wearable, flattering style for most people. The kissing snail motif is a little romantic when done in the grey an pinkish/purple tones. And for those of you who love the idea of the kissing snails pattern but get second mitten syndrome? None of that when it’s all in a pretty hat. And doesn’t she look happy wearing it? That’s a hat that brings happiness, folks. Project page, including details on how the hat was done are here.


Things I Like Today

You are all familiar with the famous fashion blog, The Sartorialist, right? Basically a great photographer with an eye for fashion goes around ridiculously posh capital cities all over the world and photographs the most fashionable people that he sees just out and about on the street. But enough about the Sartorialist- have you seen The Catorialist?!

“Minow is a longtime friend of mine who I met on the farm on which I
grew up. To this day I am impressed with the way he carries himself; he
is from an age where cats learned to wear their fur instead of letting
their fur wear them. Just look at how effortlessly he pulls off the
“paint-dip” look at the end of his tail. A true eccentric.”

It’s got satire, and cats! What’s not to love??

Also: I’m completely addicted to this song. The video is not that interesting, so please feel free to listen while you check out the Catorialist, or the Sartorialist, for that matter.

And if you love that track as much as I do, it’s available for download here.