Beginning knitters’ kit

Today I began to design the beginning knitter’s kit for our site. I found a 100% wool yarn, which is bulky and therefore will go fast. The colors are by coincidence designed by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton, which came as a pleasant surprise as I just down loaded a revision on a very interesting pattern of hers for a shawl. I was attracted to this pattern due to both the pattern and the yarn so I am interested to see how this yarn knits up and to use it to design a beginners knitting kit that will be both simple, it uses only the knit and purl stitches on large needles, size 15, to make a headband. When finished, it should be fast, warm and cozy. I got started and as I was knitting I realized that the design was badly in need of something to enhance it like a button placed in the center of each of the five designs to jazz it up so, off I went to one of my favorite parts of New York which is the three blocks where the button and trimmings stores are located. It is one of the fascination things about Manhattan that there are blocks on which specific types of stores are grouped. So that there is a flower area, a jewelry area, etc and in the area of the “needle trades, there is a trimmings area which includes buttons, zippers etc.

I have to admit that this is one of my favorite parts of designing but it is frustrating as well as since some of these beautiful buttons can be both unique and quite expensive. So off I went to look for five buttons that would be both attractive and not too costly for the kit. And, of course I found a lovely button kind of a pinkish flower but there were none left and there was no reorder. Then I found a great button but they were $9 each so that was out. Finally I found a button which I think meets my requirements but, although I bought 5 of them to try out, I continued to enjoy the “looking”. Maybe I would find something better. As I was wandering around I happened upon a shop called Lou Lou Button and went in.

This store was unusual as it just had buttons and I met the owner named Roz. He came here from Iran 40 years ago and not only sells wonderful buttons but also can and does create them himself. As you can see from the photos, these buttons are really special. It was a pleasure for me to spend time with someone like Roz and I thoroughly enjoyed the visit. This is the kind of place where I might buy a special button to enhance a scarf or hat and make it a “one of a kind” garment.

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