Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I'll probably dream of buttons

I'm a person who gets overwhelmed with choices in a video store. (Is anybody not like that?) So you can imagine how I felt when I took my almost-finished Grannie Smith Cardigan to the button store today...


Oh my lord. That's just part of the floor-to-ceiling wall of buttons. I loved that there's a board that pulls out so you can lay your garment down flat. (Sweater preview! Just one more side seam and sleeve to sew up!)

Quelle surprise -- I couldn't make a decision. The cardigan is knit in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, in the colour "charcoal," which is a pretty shifty colour, as a matter of fact. I find that in natural light it looks brown, and in artificial light it looks grey. Plus there is a slight variation in darkness, as with all LL semi-solids. Add to all this the fact that I'm just not sure what effect to go for. Do I want the buttons to blend in or stand out? To match or to complement? I ended up buying two sets of buttons: one is a round pearly cherry red, and the other is a flat pearly dove grey. I'm leaning towards the red. (I asked a Russian lady in the store for her advice on these two choices, and she pointed to each one and said, "No, and no." She elaborated that the red buttons were "an obligation," in that I'd have to also wear red somewhere else. I disagree.)

As an aside, here's something I've learned about sweater assembly: When you've finished knitting all the pieces, and all you have left is seaming and adding neck and button bands, you'll be tempted to say on Ravelry that you are 95% done your sweater -- but you're not. You're really not. More like 60%.

For locals who are looking for a huge dusty button collection, I'd recommend the Centre de Couture Snowdon. (Look at that blue sky! We're having a gorgeous fall in Montreal.) It's just a few blocks from Snowdon Metro. As well as buttons (many, many boxes of which date from the mid-1980s), you can buy thread, sewing notions, trims, buckles, etc. And in the back is an odd assortment of yarn -- mostly Patons, mostly vintage (because that's how long it's been sitting on the shelves), lots of acrylic but also Kroy sock yarn in not the most attractive colours. I did end up buying a few 1-ounce balls of Lady Galt Kroy sock yarn in a Harvest Gold colour, at $3 a ball. (It's not actually the hugest bargain; keep in mind that today's Kroy is a 1.75-ounce ball.) You never know -- the sock bug may bite me again one day.


Happy birthday, Mom!

14 comments:

Jennifer said...

What!? I'm the girl on Raverly that marks the sweater 95% done. It feels 95% done and it's all about feeling right. :)

What an awesome button store. I have a sweater that I finished over the winter that is still waiting on buttons. I just can't find what I like. Well, I haven't really looked in awhile either. I look forward to seeing what you chose.

La Cabeza Grande said...

Red buttons only pose an "obligation" if you're locked into the "it must match something" mentality. I say go bold. Go red!

leslie - knitting therapist said...

Do you have any idea what the Harlot would do for some (or all) of that vintage Kroy?

I gave her a ball from my stash once (and it was an ugly colour - ugly never counts in fairisle) and she was cuddling it in the corner of the bar whispering "my precious" for a good half-hour.

I'd be willing to pitch in a bit if you wanted to go get some for her - just shoot me a PM on Ravelry.
I'm KnittinTherapist

Stacey said...

So true, about the 95% thing on Ravelry. You feel like you're done, because the knitting part is done, but you are still soooo far. Especially if you are a person who hates seaming like me.

gleek said...

that is a lot of buttons! i would have a hard time choosing as well :) sounds like the grey ones are your best bet. i don't know.. red buttons.. hhmmmm, i would think that the sweater wouldn't get as much use? not sure.

Karine said...

If you don't mind trekking East, you should check out Rubans et Boutons on St-Denis St at Laurier metro station, next to the pet food store. It used to be only ribbons until the merged a defunct button store into it. The collection is gorgeous if a bit pricey but if you want to splurge, you should check it out. And while you're in the area you could check out Rix Rax on Gilford, east of the station but I can't rememeber what corner but you can't miss it, it has a 3' wide button above it's door...

knitthehellout said...

I agree with the 95% not being accurate. I despise finishing! Cool store.

yaiAnn said...

Hoooo-leeeeee crap. I must visit that store!

Lin said...

Button heaven!

Leslie said...

That button shop would befuddle my brain. Button overload!

john said...

where the hell is this button store? i think i might wanna visit! and i love that the lady called the buttons an obligation. love that.

Dr. Steph said...

Okay, I'm coming to visit. I love buttons.

I say go red, because you know you love them and you can always change them if it really does feel like too much of an obligation ;)

Judy B said...

Go red. You don't have to wear red anywhere else (I've watched enough What Not To Wear to know this). Looks like a great store. Next time my husband goes to Montreal on business he's taking me with him.

Octopus Knits said...

Holy cow! I would love to lose myself in that button store...

I think the red sounds lovely - and I disagree with the Russian lady that the red presents you with an obligation, but I think it's pretty entertaining that she was so opinionated about it :)