Choosing buttons and a brief Vogue Knitting Live report

I was at the Vogue Knitting conference yesterday, where I’d hoped to find some buttons for my Dark Pearl cardigan. It was a thin hope, I admit, because the marketplace at this show is usually on the small side — only a few vendors, and the booths always seem tiny compared to other cons. And this year was not an exception. Small show. The only buttons we saw were of the handmade clay type, perfect for children’s garments but not at all the look I want for this cardigan.

I did buy two skeins of this sock yarn. This is Leading Men Soliloquy, a light fingering yarn in a 650-yard put-up. These are big skeins, and very reasonably priced. Two skeins provide enough yardage for a sweater. I bought two in the colorway Royalty, a semisolid purple. It’s actually a bit darker than this picture would indicate, but still a true purple, not an eggplant or indigo. These will become a henley sweater with a bit of lace on the yoke, most likely, unless I find a different pattern I like better.

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So that will be fun to knit, but not right away. Into the stash it goes for now. As long as I was mucking about in my stash, I pulled out my small hoard of buttons and tried many on the Dark Pearl cardigan. And hooray, I found some that worked.

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That top button, a shiny silver floral thing, is just to show what a true silver looks like against this yarn. Far too bright. The black plastic buttons on the bottom are pretty, but when you step back, they get lost in the fabric. So I’m going to use the middle buttons, which are silver with scored black circles radiating out from the center. The detail is hard to see in this picture, but the net effect from a distance is about the same as you see here — visible, but not overwhelming. I think they’re perfect.

We spent very little time on the show floor at Vogue Knitting Live, mainly because there was very little to see. That’s okay. I don’t need any yarn right now, and the two purple skeins were a splurge. I also bought some needles I needed, and some decadent lanolin body lotion from one of the regular vendors, but that was it. I think we only spent an hour and a half in the marketplace, and a good bit of that time was spent browsing patterns. It’s a small show floor, nothing at all like Stitches, but there are a few vendors we really like — Sophie’s Toes, Grinning Gargoyle, Leading Men. Dragonfly was there, and I had hoped to pick up some of their silk fingering yarn, but they didn’t bring any to the show. Oh, well, don’t need more yarn anyway. My stash runneth over.

I wouldn’t mind that the vendor list is small except that the admission is so steep. They want to charge $20 admission. Yes, you can get discount coupons, but it’s still way too expensive for a show this small. Every year, I say that I won’t bother again next year. And I’m saying the same thing this year. I wouldn’t have gone this year except that all my local area yarn stores have closed and I really did need those needles.

Also, it was an opportunity to do a bit of shopping downtown. I usually avoid shopping on State Street because we have all the same stores at my local malls, so why bother. I go to Michigan Avenue for the upscale department stores or to the neighborhoods for boutique shopping, but usually avoid State Street. But I’ve been on a hunt for good, warm leather gloves for a couple of years, and I heard from a friend that Nordstrom Rack had a good variety of leather colors all lined in cashmere. My hands are super tiny and hard to fit, but I got lucky there. I found two pairs, one red and one pink, that are perfect.

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These will be great for the milder cold — Chicagoans know what I mean by this. Upper teens and twenties is mild cold weather, and you can get away with some sleeker outerwear on days like that. For a really cold day, though, I’ll need heavier gloves. No way a bit of fine leather and cashmere will stand up to a subzero day. But I’ll likely just get some ugly, bulky snowmobiling gloves and not worry too much about it. Some days, function trumps style.

This is a really ramshackle post with lots of disconnected ideas, but that’s sort of how the day went yesterday. I shoehorned a lot into one little Friday, and I’m pleased with the results.

Theresa

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