The best reason to finish a sweater is so you can start another sweater.

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101 Comments
  • Way to get ‘er done – and it’s gorgeous! You look fabulous!

  • Looks great! Love the pattern, it’s on my “to do” list!

  • Great sweater. It looks fabulous. And that is a very good Mom Face..

    • Hey get your backpack off the dining room table.
      —Mom

  • It came out great and looks SO lovely on you!

  • It looks fantastic!

  • Yay for buttons! The cardi is wonderful! I am planning on knitting Toorie, a Martin Storey cardi, from Rowan 65 in the next couple of months. In an unusual fit of planning, I have purchased and received the buttons used for the sample from the button shop in the UK listed in the Rowan mag. I am feeling very smug about this.

  • Your sweater is fabulous! Hurray for you!

  • You, cardigan and buttons all look great!

  • I love a short story with a happynatylish ending . Xox

  • I was so curious about the fit of this pattern. It fits you perfectly! Lovely!

  • I think your link is wrong, it goes to a pullover. I just typed in Calligraphy Cardigan and it came up in Ravelry.

    • I think it can be a pullover or a cardigan.

    • The way the designer, Norah Gaughan, created her patterns allows you to pick a yoke design and make it as a pullover or cardi. They are interchangeable and genius. As a result many of the garments made in this KAL are variations on a theme.

  • Another school of thought is that you don’t want amazing buttons because they steal the spotlight from the elegant star. But I always feel the same way.

    • That is my attitude when I’m thinking straight!

  • Oh that is fabulous! I cannot wait to wear mine (well, frog, then re-knit, then finish, then wear).

    • Wanda! Sob!

  • They’re good buttons, the color variation suits denim.
    Please post a “fade update” occasionally so we can watch the color change!

  • I LOVE IT!

  • Fabulous! Tremendous! Outstanding! Dayum that looks so great!

  • I’m struggling over buttons too. I am empowered to “just do it”.
    And way to go, Kay! Your sweater looks great and so do you! More power to the Mom Face!

    • Clean your room!
      —Mom

  • But Kay, Tender Buttons is right there!*

    *On the Upper East Side, but still

    • I like a nice 75-cent button for my machine-washable knits!

      • At this very moment I am wearing a cardigan with gorgeous plastic buttons from Tender Buttons – they probably cost more than 75 cents (it was 20+ years ago, can’t remember) but they machine wash perfectly. OTOH, the buttons on your cardigan look super and you didn’t have to get across town to get them!.

        • When you enter the Tender Buttons vortex it is very hard to get out! I have made purchases there, years ago, that I am still shaking my head at myself about. Lovely, lovely place.

  • I obsess about buttons as much as I obsess about yarn. After I have started the sweater, I put the swatch in my purse and carry it around everywhere, looking for buttons as well as for whatever else I might want to wear with the sweater. BY the time the sweater is done, I just might have 2-3 sets of buttons. This silliness gets repeated several times a year, and even though I own a lot of buttons already, I keep buying more. It all seems personally rational to me.

    The sweater is beautiful. I hope we get to see it again as it fades.

    • I have a cardigan (not Calligraphy) OTN. Hadn’t thought about buttons yet. But I shall employ your idea of carrying the gauge swatch* with me to look for buttons whenever I am near a place that might stock Amazing Buttons.

      * Yours is the best idea yet for use of a gauge swatch. Since they lie, anyway. Every time.

      • maybe you should put a buttonhole in the middle of it so you will also have an idea of what size button as well as what color to choose.

  • The sweater came out so nice and I love the fact that you put on the buttons instead of snaps. Looking good Kay!

  • That is the exact thing that happens to me on every cardigan, and just last week, But here it continues. I bought home 4 choices of 7 buttons. Then, after much deliberation, picked the perfect one. Put the runners up away never to be found again. Carefully setting aside the “chosen ones” and happily booked my sweater. Unfortunately, I am un able to locate the buttons that I have so carefully put aside.

    • Look in the drawer with the 100 votive candles from Ikea.

      • I wrote a long reply and then lost it. Those ikea candles multiply when the drawers are closed. My aunts and grandmother always changed buttons on things. I never understood it.

  • It is a truth universally acknowledged that a knitter in possession of a newly completed great cardigan must be in want of the perfect buttons. Love reading MDK because you articulate those truths we relate to -and our knitterly/human foibles – so very well.
    Glad your little story had such a happy ending, cut to the chase with little melodrama. The sweater looks terrific on you!

  • It looks great and the shirt sleeves should be great for spring. Wear it with pride!!!

  • Consider Tender Buttons!

  • It’s beautiful! You are so funny.

  • Yay !! Love this – will look extra swish with the white jeans !!

  • One of our knitting group members just taught us how to make buttons with Sculpey II

    • That’s what I do! Someone in these comments once warned me – always wear a mask when baking Sculpey clay!

  • Your sweater is beautiful! Your buttons are beautiful!! WHERE DID YOU GET THAT OWL PINCUSHION!!!!!!!!

    • Cristina made it for me years ago. He’s a good friend. Knows where all the buttons went but is not telling.

      • You could sell a million of those pin cushions in your shop!! Or maybe just the pattern???

      • I bet the buttons are with the tape measures. I buy tape measures in bulk and can never find one!!!

  • Hopefully you will dye some more blue denim; as well as enough and all colors for the Field Guide 10? (Time sensitive?)

  • You are so funny! But – I do the exact same thing! What an ordeal to find just the right buttons. Your sweater is gorgeous, btw.

  • The perfect is the enemy of the good. The cardigan looks great and you will enjoy it so much now that it has its buttons!

  • I can completely relate to your journey in search of amazing buttons. Love the sweater!

  • I loved this! It’s so comforting to know that button procrastination is a ‘normal’ thing for us knitters. Your solution and the reasoning behind it was very helpful. As ALL have said before me: you look great, your sweater looks great, and your Mom face isn’t too bad either!

  • You look great in that beautiful sweater! By the big button store I am assuming you mean MJ Trim? I always stop in there to buy some fun buttons whenever I get a chance to go to NY. We used to have Windsor Button here in Boston but they are long gone with nothing else like it around (though the Ben Franklin does have a surprisingly good but small plastic button selection).

  • I’m 66 years old and I have three very full button boxes that I cannot part with because of the memories. My mother and I used to sew and I can almost remember the project that went with each button and there are some really ugly ones from the 60’s. The boxes are even older, being old candy or tobacco cans. So, you are welcome to come to my house and go through buttons if you can’t find the perfect one.

  • You look absolutely fabulous!!
    Great sweater. Buttons work beautifully.
    ENJOY!

  • I love EVERYTHING in this post. You look beautiful.

  • I just finished my denim cardigan and am also looking for buttons! I understand completely. But I’ve washed it twice and still get blue all over my skin. I can’t imagine wearing it with white jeans.

  • Wow! Beautiful sweater. Initially, I was inspired by your decision to use the original Rowan Denim, but to get it I had to import it from a yarn shop in the UK. Now my question is – how many skeins did you need for your sweater?

  • I wish I lived near an amazing button store! Great buttons are a difficult find for me.

  • Oh dear. The search for buttons. I made a cardigan out of alpaca when I was first knitting. It fit, but…alpaca. It grew when I wore it so I looked like Dopey. I frogged the whole sweater (EXPENSIVE yarn!) and knit it again with a very small strand of cotton yarn for stability. Of course, I removed the PERFECT buttons and put them “someplace safe” and now I can’t find them. So I’ll get new buttons which won’t be perfect and sew them on and will find the others. That’s how the universe works.

  • You are rockin’ those jeans!

  • You look great! Like the perfect mom face.

    Reading your story a vision popped into my head!

    I saw a 10 inch square pegboard yesterday at Marshall’s.

    I’m going back to buy it.

    I’m going to fill the board with hooks and hang those plastic button bags that local fabric store puts them in.

    Will hang board on the wall with sets of buttons for cardigans as I buy them.

    And I may go through my button jars and storage box. Hang sets of cardigan buttons.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    And I have the IKEA tea lights in a storage box! No room for buttons in with them

  • Just a thought, but do not ordinary buttons allow the knitting to shine even more??? I THINK SO!!

    • YES! I think it’s rare that a “look at me I’m special” button is the right button. I like shell and horn for most cases. At the Button Queen in London I did fall flat on my face for some ruby glass buttons that were great on a Kaffe cardigan but they were heavy and when I lost one it was like losing my wedding ring.

  • Love your cardigan!!! It looks great on you. Now I’ve got to knit faster on mine. I never think about the buttons until it’s blocked. Buttons are a hard decision for me.These look fine but I’m curious what the blue might look like. Too many choices.

    • BTW, what is that fabulous artwork in the background?

      • The one with green in it is a print by an artist named Minaux. The others are a print I can’t attribute, and a photograph by a cousin.

  • I love your Caligraphy! Turned out great. It looks so good on you. Sleeves, fit, length – girl you own this. I can just picture it with white jeans and Breton tee.

    I do like knowing exactly what I want as you did, thus I find your process the very one I follow every time. I really think it is the innate, correct way. Don’t think I’ve ever gone beyond the these-will-be-fine-I’ll replace-them-later stage.

  • Love it!!! And ypu look gr8 in it! How do u and Ann manage that w every single sweater? Guess it happens if you look gr8 to start!

    • We are committed to the principle of MAKE IT WORK.

  • Your sweater looks great on you!

  • I just finished cardigans for two grandkids, and (silly me) let them pick out the buttons from my button jar. 6 Yr. old boy picked out 4 different shapes, three black and one brown on a blue sweater. 7 1/2 yr. old girl picked out 2 the same shape but different colors and 2 toggle buttons. Maybe they’ll wear them more often since they had a say?

    • You have to keep them! Precious precious.

  • Gorgeous cardigan, I agree with you buttons can be a problem, it has to be the right buttons. I have a cardigan with 14 buttons…I knit it longer than the pattern so it covers my back side and drapes elegantly over my hips…the buttons I chose were £2 each…not quite as much as the yarn…I only like to knit with really good yarn …..but still, I dare not confess to my partner how much the buttons cost…..the right button turns a nice garment into something stunning.

  • Beautiful! I just unearthed a cardigan that only had about 7 ends to weave in. It doesn’t even need buttons. What was I thinking?

    • It’s a gift from your past self.

  • I love that cardigan!! It looks great and I love the buttons!

  • Kay, that sweater is lovely and looks like a perfect fit. Love the summer outfit idea.

    • I’m becoming my mother, who always skews very “coastal” for a lady in Nebraska, but I CAN’T HELP IT. Her allure is irresistible lol.

  • So Funny, (also very true in my house) Is this not the way it goes, whether it is a knitting project or a sewing project.! Going to the store for me is not always that easy as I am 45 minutes away from “the big store” and I have a lot of responsibilities at our Dairy (bookkeeping). Trying (at the suggestion of others) to make lists about more things. Your sweater looks great!!!

  • What’s a good online vendor for buttons? I’ve been trying to finish up a cardigan, but I don’t know where to start looking for buttons.

  • Beautiful!

  • Sigh! I just love the cardigan. And I so enjoy your blog!!

  • The sweater looks great, even with the temporary buttons. Now, put the sweater on and spend a day at the Big Button Store to find the Amazingly Perfect Buttons before MMM flies out to show you some next-level Mom face!

  • All truth right here.

  • So funny!

  • Sweater is gorgeous! The buttons look great – the darker color plays like denim in the upper photo (may be different IRL).

    Existential question: Can a temporary button become an AMAZING button after an appropriate apprenticeship? Otherwise, they have nothing to strive for…

  • I love it! And the cardigan too!

  • The Amazing-Buttons-in-my-Head NEVER match the Buttons-in-the-Shops. Still. Buttons of any type are better than no buttons. Bravo! It looks fabulous!

  • Perfect!
    (also, what jeans are those, oh most role model-ly of moms?)

  • You look fabulous! I bought the yarn and the (virtual) field guide and now I am absolutely sure I want to proceed. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  • Good for you! And that color immediately made me picture Summer and the seaside. Perfect!
    The most extreme find-the-right-button experience I’ve had (so far) began with me happily knitting a pretty neckwarmer and emptying my entire button tin (nope), then my “sewing stuff” drawer (also nope), then learning how to needle-felt so I could make custom felt buttons (nope and nope and way nope). I’m not admitting that there is a neckwarmer without a button making a permanent home in my sock drawer, but it’s a possibility.

  • Dark Blue Sweater that sheds Indigo Dye worn with White Jeans? Oh oh.

    • It doesn’t shed dye after the first wash & dry. I wear it with white all summer long.

  • ROFLMA(rse)O! Love your expression…..wish I were your size, also!! Bucket list = make a sweater! Even a miniature one!

    I’m with ya about buttons, btw. I have 5000 buttons, minimum……drawers and drawers full to include old button tins that say “500 Matched sets (or 700 or 1001)…..can’t get enough of them!

    I have a googled and printed story, too about Grandma’s button box. I have boxes of them, too…..drawers, tins and boxes……and a wreath with buttons glued on…..love it.

    I don’t let myself go to town or online for buttons unless I’ve gone through my buttons……which is my joy…..one of these days, I shall get them all sorted by colors………but in the mean time, I put little cups in the drawers and if I like one as I dig through, I’ll pop some in the cup…..not too bad a system…..but, I have about a dozen drawers, so I need a dozen or more cups…..saved the cat’s Fancy Feast cups; works!

    My carded buttons have their own special drawer. Some older than me! LOL!! The rhinestone ones appear to be old fellas!

    I know, “Button my lips!”

    ((@@,./’;,./’;

  • I spent almost SIX HOURS looking at buttons online for my Owls pullover (owl eyeballs!). I needed a crazy number of them, too. But I found them and it was TOTALLY worth it! Yay for great buttons.

  • Looks great! Breton tee is just the thing—will the white jeans stay white, though? Or will they pick up the indigo? (I expect you’ve already thought about this and will wash that cardi every time you run the washer between now and Warmer Weather…)

  • I love everything about this post, photos and comments! Always look forward to this Saturday morning chuckle! Lovely sweater! Love that yarn. Buttons are perfect.
    Once a mom, always a mom!
    We’re empty nesters.
    Me, yesterday, ‘Who’s bringing in the dirt on their shoes?’
    Husband heads to get the broom.

  • Dear Kay,
    How can a woman so wonderful and accomplished like you be able to relate so well to a simple knitter like me? I appreciate you immensely. I want to hug you!

  • I think my mom face vies with yours.
    Couldn’t wear it in Philadelphia in the summer except in a movie theater. Aren’t you south of us? Maybe we get degrees for that?

  • I never write ‘posts’ but I happened upon your button saga and it made me laugh Out Loud! Such fun and great job on your beautiful cardigan. Next time I suggest a pullover . Reduces button stress.

  • I never post a ‘post’ but your story caught my eye and made me laugh Out Loud! Sweater is lovely—and you wear it well but next time maybe a pullover is in order. Certainly reduces button stress! Beautiful job!

  • The buttons are perfect. What’s the saying—don’t let the pursuit of the perfect get in the way of the good. Sometimes good enough is the only way things get done. Beautiful! At first I was not attracted to these cables, but now I see them as the next evolutionary shape of cable stitches and I’m appreciating them. Still love my dinosaur classic cables, though.