Right on the button


One of my absolute favorite things about New York City is that you can find a store that’s dedicated to pretty much anything that you’d ever need or want to buy here. As a treat for myself for getting through half of the sleeves of my sweater, and to try to spur myself on to knit the rest of them, I decided that it was time to pick out the buttons for the cardigan.

I actually had several options in terms of button stores (and fabric stores, and trim stores…), but I decided to keep things more local and check out Tender Buttons on East 62nd St. It’s a rather small store, but there’s a wall that has boxes of buttons, stacked on shelves from floor to ceiling and arranged by color and material. They also have cases of rare and antique buttons that can go for significant sums of money. It’s quite a sight, and it was definitely hard to stay focused amidst all the shiny, shiny buttons.

Because my sweater is a tweedy, greenish tan, I knew that I wanted something that was pretty neutral, and fairly light in color. The cables are really the star of the show here, and I was afraid that dark wood, leather or plastic buttons might distract from them. I also wanted something natural looking, so after browsing around the whole store I decided to look more closely at the shell/pearl and horn buttons. As pretty as the pearl buttons all were, they were just a bit too light and stood out a bit too much from the yarn. There were some green snail buttons that were very attractive, and more muted in color, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find 9 that matched. I could find plenty of abalone buttons that were the right size and fairly well-matched in color, so they were a definite possibility until I lined up several of them on the sleeves of my sweater and realized that they might be too shiny and attention-grabbing. Next up were the horn buttons, plus a set of greenish plastic buttons that were “not horn, but nice”. I finally settled on the albino horn buttons that are pictured up top, and I think they should do pretty well (aside from being slightly too big when I measured them again at home). Now I just have to get around to those last two inches of sleeve so I can start knitting the yoke of this sweater.


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