Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Button Jar

Sometimes a bargain really is a bargain. Almost 30 years ago, I bought a big bag of buttons for five dollars at a nearby outlet store. (The jar was a rescued Christmas cookie jar.) I sewed a lot back then and figured I could use at least some of these buttons. Little did I know how much we would use these buttons. Just not always like I was thinking. Every now and then I would find a few buttons for dresses that I was making for our little girls. 

But the button jar became more than "sewing supplies." Our girls learned to pour by scooping up buttons in a cup and pouring them into pans. They stirred and stirred on the days they made button soup. When her big sister went to school, little Jessica sat at the kitchen table and learned to count by putting buttons into paper cups with numbers I wrote on the side—one, two, three, four.... And she learned to sort and began to make patterns by lining them up. And still I would take out a few buttons for a shirt I was working on.

When Big Sister (granddaughter #1) started spending the weekend here as a preschooler, she found the button jar. At one point there were some giant buttons in the jar. She often made cakes by filling miniature loaf pans with pecans we picked up in the back yard. And then she put the biggest buttons on top of her "'cakes" to decorate them. Later, she opened a pie shop in our den (complete with menu signs and price lists) and became a seller of button pies. And still I would pull out buttons for a costume I was sewing.

This summer Little Sister (granddaughter #2) would pick up the jar and say, "Heavy" as she moved it to her play area for a little button cooking. And still I found buttons for a sweater I knitted for Baby Girl (granddaughter #3.) 

Pattern : Cradle Cardigan
Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (color-Tender)
Needles:  Size 5 

Pattern:  Baby Hat with Top Knot—Tegan
Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Cashemerino
Needles:  Sizes 3 & 6

This sweet little set is already boxed and ready to ship tomorrow to Baby Girl. She has grown so much since we saw her, that I'm hoping this is the right size. 

Baby Girl is too little to know that she's already benefited from the button jar. I couldn't believe that I found the perfect buttons to match this unusual shade of pink. One more time, the perfect buttons were in the button jar. I'm pretty sure there are enough buttons left for another thirty years. Might be the best five dollars I've ever spent.


  1. Beautifully knit (with lots of love.) The cardi and hat look ever so soft.

    1. Thank you. Fingers crossed it fits.

  2. I have read this post three times. It is so sweet! The pink sweater and hat are so beautifully knit, too.Love the idea of button pies!

    1. Awww....thank you! Makes me feel good I shared the story. Hope to have pictures soon of baby wearing the new knits.


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