I will be honest. Buttons are usually the bane of my existence. I love to knit. I am always ecstatic to wrap up a sweater project, but finding the right buttons is always beyond a challenge for me. As you know from my last post regarding my Carter Cardigan, this sweater was no different. It took months and still I just couldn’t buttons that felt right to me. Then one day at the end of September when the mornings started getting chilly, I decided to get serious about finding the buttons. I trudged & trolled Etsy and after a while I stumbled upon Anthony’s Woodshop.
I was hesitant at first because they simply looked too good to be true. Anthony’s buttons are simple, but they have a beauty that comes from a deep understanding of the wood from which they come. Unlike most handmade buttons I’d seen, these lack the irregularities, cracks, and fissures that you usually see. While in many instances in woodworking this lends identity to a piece, in the delicate life of a button it could translate to weakness and breaks. I had a handknit sweater with hours of work put into it and I wanted a simple, beautiful set of buttons to compliment it. These were the buttons.
I placed my order and shortly after received a simple brown enveloped.
Inside was a handstamped card with my set of 8 buttons sewn to it. Each button painstakingly polished to a perfect finished state. Each button created with such attention to detail — from the matching grain, to the perfectly identical coloration, to the placement of the buttonholes. These beauties are a work of art.
And I could not be happier with the results.
I don’t just love these buttons because they fit my sweater so perfectly though. I love these buttons because they handmade in much the same spirit as a knitter creates a sweater, with time and focus each step of the way. Many of this shop’s buttons “start with the tree” — if you want to see a really fascinating post, check out this step-by-step account of how Anthony creates his buttons. This is wood that is handpicked for quality & beauty and then made into these simple, practical objects. Isn’t it great when you can see talented artists & artisans choose the right materials and find a way to let them sing?
For my sweater, I selected black walnut buttons. While it’s true the color was the hue I was looking for, I also know it as a fine, hard wood. Furthermore, I’ve spent the last 12years of my life with a black walnut tree in my backyard. Both my house now & my last apartment enjoyed the shade of a black walnut tree. I like having that connection.
One more look? Ok. You twisted my arm…
In addition to an array of basic buttons in different woods & sizes, Anthony’s Woodshop on Etsy also offers more specialty hand-carved buttons, kitchen spoons, spindles, earrings, boxes, cutting boards, basic puzzles, bookshelves & cases, and even yo-yo’s & business card holders. All handmade, all gorgeous, all great gifts whether for a loved one or — if you’re like me — to celebrate the completion of handknit sweater. In fact, I have another sweater getting close to completion that needs some buttons…. perhaps I will be placing another order soon myself!