Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Last year I was talking about my interest in making things to my Oma. We got talking about the old-fashioned art of reusing old materials in times of not having much. She was born in the Depression and lived through the second world war, and learnt a great deal about thrifting from her mother, who could add the first world war to that list (as every other old person out there can!).  They lived on a farm and didn't go to the shops much. Her brothers even knitted their own socks!  Needless to say Oma can never throw out anything that could be useful to someone 'one day'. She has an attic and a basement stocked with things. I love going through these unused possessions and actually enjoy the musty smell.
Getting back to the subject of making things, I mentioned buttons. Naturally she can't dispose of an old shirt without first cutting off the buttons and any other feature that could be used again. She gave me her stash to sort through. I made many jars of different colours and saved my favourites in separate jars, taking pairs and sets into even further separate jars. It took weeks, but was a lot of fun.
Around the same time I had been browsing crafty books at the library. I came across this gorgeous jewellery making one by Erika Knight. She is a master knitter (knitting pattern writer) and for this book has lent her skills to making necklaces. The book is filled with really great ideas, with something for everyone.
I had some small black and grey buttons, similar but not all the same. Using some turquoise embroidery thread I made this necklace.
I've worn it with everything and to all occasions (even a wedding). It can really dress up something casual or make a more formal outfit that much more cool. Had loads of comments. Love it and can't wait to make another button necklace.
Of course, the buttons have been used on all my knitting and sewing. Here's a lovely example of what buttons can do for a garment - mother of pearl on some natural linen yarn (baby now a few months older!)

And the baby surprise jacket, which took on a vintage Miami flavour with the old swirly cream buttons from Oma's stash.
To my surprise I have found perfect buttons for every project from that stash (which I think I'm in charge of now).
So I have joined the button brigade and cannot throw out a shirt without first cutting off the buttons!

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