My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


All You Need is Glove

I completed my second project from the two skeins of Hazel Knits sock yarn I have, these gloves.

Gloves Front 012108

Gloves Front 012108

Like the mittens, they are knit on a 2.75mm needle and are my own design.

Gloves Back 012108

Gloves Back 012108

Also like the mittens, I have no immediate plans to write up the pattern — sorry!

Gloves Front and Back 012108

Gloves Front and Back 012108

So, one pair of adult mittens and one pair of adult gloves later, there’s still a nice amount of the yarn left.

Mittens and Gloves 012108

Mittens and Gloves 012108

It might even be enough for another pair of mittens.

Mittens and Gloves Stacked 012108

Mittens and Gloves Stacked 012108

Today was a federal holiday so I had the day off from work. I did all sorts of boring stuff including sewing buttons back on a coat. Question: why do manufacturers do such a lousy job of sewing on buttons? This is a coat I just bought this season and have only worn two or three times a week for the past 5 or 6 weeks. But one button has already fallen off and two more were loose. The coat came from Lands End which usually has decent quality stuff.

This is what Lucy does on her day off.

Lucy 012108

Lucy 012108

Tune in tomorrow to see how I knit the sock in yesterday’s entry. You wouldn’t want to miss that, now would you?


  1. Whenever I buy anything with buttons I immediately paint the front and back of the threads with clear nail polish. I hate sewing on buttons.

  2. Great gloves. I love that color combo. How about a pair of wristlets or scarf to make a set. Easy for me to say! LOL

  3. Love the gloves; love the mittens even more. I have my yarn all wound and having a nice rest until the pattern comes. I love these colors; you picked a nice combo!

  4. Honestly, your button question is a biggie. What is UP with that? Maybe if we could learn the answer to that simple question, we could learn the answer to the bigger questions, like how did the universe begin! I am not INcapable of doing it, but I’m lazy as all hell, so I have to regularly bring my coats in to a tailor to have the buttons reinforced, which seems really ridiculous. Or maybe that’s just me.

  5. The gloves and mittens look amazing! The colors are really stand out and work so well together.

  6. Have you contacted Lands End? As you mentioned they usually have quality stuff, and that has been my experience also. It won’t save you the time and effort of sewing the buttons back on, but they may send you some more replacement buttons, or a small coupon, or at least apologize.

  7. I agree with Kath. I worked for Lands’ End for almost 10 years and they want satisfied customers. Contact them and they will more than likely work with you till you’re satisfied. There are a lot of people that return things(that they shouldn’t) or file not-very-valid complaints, but yours sounds justified. I know if I was still working there, I would be more than happy to work out a solution with you.(especially if you promised me Wollmeise.) Sorry, I had to put that in there.

  8. I had trouble with their quality on flannel bed sheets (and, yes, they were expensive.) Haven’t ordered anything from them since. Why is it that it is so easy to sew on buttons and yet it’s one of those things we put off as long as possible?

  9. Your mittens and gloves are gorgeous; they make me wish I had the patience/coordination to do colourwork.
    As for the buttons, that’s frustrating. I’ve despised sewing on buttons ever since brownies, where I had to sew on a gazillion buttons to earn a badge. (My mum was picky, so I had a lot of do-overs.)
    Can’t wait to read about the sock construction!

  10. Cathy Johnson says:

    Wendy, You are amazing with those mitten and gloves; my “hat” is off to you.
    Lucy knows what to do with a holiday.
    Be well,
    Cathy Johnson

  11. Your mittens and gloves are lovely and are inspiring me to think about what to do for myself (I seem to have almost worn out a pair of gloves). As far as Land’s End, I’ve noticed that the quality has been going steadily downhill every since Sears, then KMart bought them out.

  12. The gloves look great! Those colors together are really cool. I am just starting to get into mittens – they might be moving up to compete with my love of knitting socks!

  13. knittymonster! says:

    i really like the gloves and the mittens! i cant believe you have that much yarn left! what are you going to make with it?

  14. Your gloves and mittens are so freaking gorgeous!! You obviosly need a hat and scarf to match! Why do buttons fall off immediately? Because everything is made in China and no one cares.

  15. Gail Lucille says:

    Maybe—-the buttons fell off because the person that sewed them on were NOT a knitter…You know like knitters do good quality work…
    Just take a lookie at those gloves & Mittens!!!
    Hi Lucy.

  16. Beautiful mittens and gloves. My Lands End coat purchased two years ago was like that (buttons just tacked on). I just re-sew all jacket buttons on jackets I purchase from any manufacturer as they all seem guilty of this no matter what the quality. This at least stops one from losing buttons and then having to replace all the buttons (which has happened to me). Somewhere in the fine print, the factories that manufacture all clothing, have removed some clause about properly sewn on buttons from their contracts and the CEO’s and lawyers for the clothing companies haven’t noticed or don’t care. That sounds frighteningly like a conspiracy theory. Sorry.

  17. Glorious gloves & mittens. You’re giving Anna Zilboorg strong competition.

  18. Sucks about the coat – I’m with the person who said to get in touch with them, as it’s been my experience that they want happy customers. I will say that my overall experience with them has been way better than almost any other vendor of pretty much anything…I love their sheets, their knit tops are great quality and have held up for me for years. I also had a pair of chinos from them and I’d broken the button and set them aside because I was too lazy to try to find one and sew that back on, and then I got too fat to wear them. When I lost the weight, I pulled them out again and was prepared to measure the remaining part of the old button to see what I’d need to get, and what did I find? An extra button sewn inside. That made me ridiculously happy.

  19. Beautiful gloves and mittens, wendy!

  20. The gloves and mittens are absolutely stunning! How ’bout a hat out of the rest of the yarn? It could go with either the mittens or gloves depending on your mood.

  21. I have the teensiest feeling that Lucy does this every day. Smart cat!

  22. The color or the patterns… I can’t decide what I like more. Quite simply, they are stunning. And make me want to run to the store for some Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream like you wouldn’t believe!

  23. The gloves look fabulous! I love that color combination. Though the pattern would be nice, I’ll be honest with myself and say I’d never end up making them. Besides, I’m working my way through all your Loopy Ewe sock patterns (my own little private sock club). Still waiting on the Trilobyte pattern though…that I do want!

  24. I suddenly have the irresistable craving for Andes Candies.. hmm…..

  25. Great hand-warmers! I’m with the mitten crowd, but I like flowers a lot. As for Land’s End, I’ve always had very good luck with their customer service. However, I have definitely noticed a marked decline in the overall quality of their merchandise since they merged with (or were bought out by) Sears. I like it that I can return things more easily now, but I do miss the impeccable quality. I’m trying now to put more of my money into less merchandise in the hopes that it will last longer, especially since I saw .

  26. i work as a costumer in the theatre, and the button questions has come up in every shop i have ever been in. finally i met someone with the answer!

    there is a good reason why buttons put on at the factory don’t stay on–they are not secured with knots. the machine that puts on buttons does a great job at sewing them, but it is not designed to tie off a knot.

    yay for having thumbs!

    a friend worked one summer during college in a clothing factory, and she observed this first hand. ever own a bra with a little bow or rosette stitched between the cups on the band in front? that is what she did that summer. there is a machine thats only job is stitching the stupid little bow on.

  27. Poor Lucy never really gets a day off, does she? I mean she does on her day off exactly what she does on her days ON.

    LOVE the mittens & gloves; mitten especially. You are making me want to try Fair Isle and Latvian knitting and all kinds of crazy stuff.

  28. Man………….. there was never any real doubt but hoozypoozy girl, you can KNIT.

    I stand and applaud.

  29. Wonderful gloves and mittens; I don’t know which I like better! How about a hat or wide headband to match? With both designs blended, of course. LOL

    Regarding the buttons, if you put Fray Chek on the thread after sewing the buttons on (or even before wearing new clothes), they’ll stay on better. FC acts like a glue or paint and hardens/toughens the threads. You get it in the sewing notions section and is intended to keep edges of fabric from fraying and survives repeated washings. It works great for gluing knots together when beading, crocheting, or any type of needlework that’s going to be used well.

  30. Barbara-Kay says:

    There is a sewing notion called Fray Check, comes in a little bottle. I put a drop of it on the underside (wrong side of fabric) of each button I sew on. It keeps the thread from working out for the life of the garment.

    If your have metal shanks that are cutting the thread, that is a different problem. Then you have 2 choices: different buttons, or those “buttoneer” gadgets they sell that look like plastic price tag shafts will keep metal shank buttons on a coat. (Went through that struggle when DH was in graduate school in Michigan. SOME winters!)

  31. Theresa in Italy says:

    Sorry to read all the remarks about Lands End’s quality going down, they were very reliable when I lived in the States. But I have the same problem with buttons over here. Maybe everything IS being made in China.

    I’m also in awe of the beautiful gloves—the mittens are more classic, the gloves are a more modern twist—and now I have to stop looking at that yarn, the colors are making me hungry.

  32. Oh I totally agree with you on the button front. Right after I got back home from visiting my mum and dad I realized buttons were popping off everything. I spent my first afternoon not relaxing as I wanted but sewing buttons back onto things, repairing loose buttons, and, my personal favorite, figuring out what to do when dresses and jackets are missing one button in a focal point. For example, a dress of mine had a button pop off right in the center of the cleavage! So that required me to move the buttons up thus increasing the risk of flashing my undies to the world. Oy.

  33. Glove is in the air…

  34. Can I ask if you have short fingers Wendy? How do you decide where to start dividing for the fingers, is it trial and error and trying on?

  35. Your gloves and mittens are just great! Isn’t it nice to just knit and design and not have to worry about recording every single stitch? I love to just make things, making it up as I go along, but people always want the pattern and it takes the fun right out of it. It’s good you’re taking a break from pattern writing to do some knitting just for the fun of it. Great job!

  36. Your gloves are so nice and you knit them very fast. I am just starting to knit mittens so have a long way to go before I can knit gloves. Everything you knit is gorgeous!

  37. Gorgeous gloves and mittens.

    Like the other commenters, I think that Lands End is going down in quality–and I’ve emailed them to describe my disappointment with reissues of garments that I’ve bought for years. On the jeans I’ve liked for as long as I can remember, the button is hammered on and not sewn, making it too tight to button easily. I think with Sears at the helm, my remarks will fall on deaf ears. But even more expensive garments have problems with good button attachments. I often sew them on with a much sturdier thread (doubled).

  38. Wendy- Those mitts remind me of French Mint chocolates.

    Since Sears bought Land’s End- it hasn’t been the same. And btw- (purse ho) go look at L.L. Beans online store, the CUTEST pink tote bag with little lobsters embroidered on it.

    And matching flip flops- can you stand it?

  39. Very pretty gloves and mittens. I liked the colours and patterns. Now, I feel like I want to start knitting ones. It is amazing to see how fast you knit by such a finer gauge. You mentioned in your book that you developed your own unique style of knitting. I am kind of curious how you knit…..
    Lucy is pretty as well, as usual.

  40. Glove is all you need…

    Magnificent. I am *so* happy I purchased this yarn now as well – I’ll have pee-lenty for my Andes mints mitts (child-size), some adult gloves, and maybe a pair of socks? (Maybe not – maybe short socklets…? Matching scarf? The possibilities are endless.) L-B sure knows her stuff in getting you this yarn!

  41. I too find that shirts, pants and tother items come with loose buttons. My Husband likes Faded Glory button up shirts from Wal-Mart and they also have the same problems as the Lands End ones. I cant handle the needles to sew the buttons back on and have yet to be able to teach my craft minded husband how to sew on a button so it still falls to me. Consequently he has some missing and loose buttons until my mom gets the time to sew em on for him.
    The mittens and Gloves are lovely! And I agree, It makes me think about some Mint Chocochip Ice Cream…My favorite flavor 🙂

  42. Michele In Maine says:

    Even though I put it off incessantly, I get great satisfaction from sewing buttons and hemming pants. But I agree with the others, give L.E. a call and I’m sure they will do something for you! I recently bought some Fage yogurt and it didn’t have fruit in the cup (it separates fruit and yogurt), so I called the company for a coupon for a free one. They were so nice, they sent me a whole case (12 containers!). I am a loyal customer now~!

    I would suggest making a “Tudora” from with your leftovers. You’d have to play around with gauge, but you’re a clever girl, you can figure it out!

  43. Funny that you mention buttons falling off coats. One of my projects at work is making sure all of our factories know how to sew buttons so they won’t fall off!

  44. Oh, wow! They look AWESOME in that photo of them together!!

    Do you have enough to make a skinny scarf to complete the set? That would be nice too 😉 Unless of course, you have your next glove pattern in your head already!

    Love them!!

  45. Reminds me of Mint & Chip ice cream!

  46. I have exactly the same problem with the Lands End coat I bought this year! (Was yours one of the faux shearling ones?) I haven’t completely lost the buttons yet but am watching them like a hawk to make sure I hear the tap-tap when they fall down. I should just sew them back on now (I even bought the thick thread to do so) but I’m either too lazy, too busy knitting, or too caught up with my kids’ mending to do so.

  47. Julie The Purple Chick says:

    Wendy ~ I too have been sewing coat buttons this weekend and couldn’t agree with you more about the aggravation of it all. Your gloves “are marvelous, Darling”.

  48. AH! Those gloves (and mitts) are so very LUSCIOUS! They make me happy just to L@@K at them…

    (They’re also making me hungry. I think I will go enjoy a couple of Frango Mints in your honor, m’lady!)

  49. Hi, Wendy. Love the gloves, love the mittens. I am a regular Lands’ End customer and I bet if you returned the coat they’d send you a new one with buttons attached better. I have returned stuff that I’ve had for over a year that didn’t perform well and have gotten either a replacement or credit for a different item. Have a good day!

  50. Love the mittens and gloves. Would you consider modeling them with your coat? I’d love to see the whole outfit (possibly including handknit hat and scarf 🙂 )

  51. I don’t know why Lands’ End can’t do better, but I can pass on some advice I once got. Sew coat buttons on with dental floss, because it’s stronger than sewing thread (color it with a Sharpie). I’d substitute Silamide thread, used for bead weaving but originally made for upholstery stitching, if I had the right color.

  52. Alice in PA says:

    I have heard that sewing buttons on with dental floss or thin fishing line will keep them from falling off. The problem is, how do you tie a knot in floss or line without it untying itself? These threads are especially made NOT to knot, aren’t they?

    Mittens and gloves are luscious — temptation, indeed!

  53. Ladies go find a fisherman in your area. They tie the best knots with fishing line. I am sure it would even help with dental floss. The trick is in the wrapping of the knot when you put the thread through the loop don’t just wrap it once wrap it at least 3 times then pull it down tight to make the knot. It works great.