It Started with a Thread

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

I glanced down at the sleeve edge of my knitted sweater, something didn’t look right. Investigating further by comparing my two sleeves, I discovered that my left sleeve was beginning to come apart at the seam. This would not do! I must fix this! Perhaps this sweater came with a bit of its cottony yarn. I set off to check my stash of threads, which were in the same drawer as all the extra button packets I’ve been collecting for years.

There was no way I would be able to find the thread quickly in the overstuffed bag I’d been storing everything related to clothes repairs in. The time had come to reorganize this mess.img_1194


How many times do you actually use that extra button that comes with your clothes? I must say, rarely is my experience. So, I collected all the button and thread packets and began my search for the thread for my sweater.

I decided to consolidate my buttons into one container. First I attacked all that were in paper. Next came the plastic zip-locked bags. They were a pain to open, so I snipped them with my scissors.

Big buttons, small buttons, colorful buttons, cloth covered buttons, metal buttons, and more rained down into my container. It reminded me of my grandmother’s button tin. I remembered how as a child I loved to run my hands through the buttons. There were a few unique buttons that brought back memories of various shirts or vests. Most of them I img_1189img_1191puzzled over what clothing item they were once a part of. I discovered that there were several packets of shimmery minuscule beads. Wonder what they were from, I don’t wear much with sparkles.

After an hour of emptying and sorting, I did not find a thread that was a match to my sweater, however, I did find one that would do. Hopefully, my stitching will ward off any further raveling.


My container of buttons. No more packets of buttons for me!


18 thoughts on “It Started with a Thread

  1. tamtomatoe says:

    Oh, yes, the button box, tin, plastic bag with yarns! These may as well be jewels to be sold off for a big price because young people don’t collect things anymore! Or do they?

  2. I never use those buttons, but I love your post. It reminds me of The Memory String by Eve Bunting. Elsie, thank you for always commenting on Larkin’s posts. Please know what a powerful mentor you have been in her writing life.

  3. Haha, I loved visualizing you sorting through all those packets, trying to find one that would match! I’ve pretty much given up saving those things and often just throw them away, although that feels wasteful!

  4. I have cut the button off of clothing and thrown it in my top dresser drawer for years so I can completely relate. When I am making a quilt, I will often go through the drawer and look for some unique ones that fit my needs. Looks like you have a few of those too.

  5. Terje says:

    You find inspiration for writing everywhere. I loved my grandma’s button tin. I love to look at different buttons at the store. i don’t have a button collection myself. Maybe I should start one, just for the color and fun of it.

  6. I admit that most times I am tempted to throw the extra buttons out because I’ll never use them. If I put them somewhere I will just forget about them. However, Kathy saves buttons so throwing out is a big no-no in our house. We even go so far as to cut buttons off of shirts I am throwing away just in case. And some of those uniquely shaped ones simple can’t be discarded.Thanks for the smile today.

  7. A very Proustian post today. Ah, memories…. One of my favorite (rare) memories of my childhood was my mother’s button jar. Like the others who have responded, I used to love just looking at the riot of colors and shapes, and yes, running my hand through the jar for that special sensation that words can’t describe adequately. I still have her handmade tin sewing box (my grandfather was a tinsmith by trade from Germany) and I treasure it. I have no idea who got the button jar; I have three sisters so I’ll assume one of them has it. But now you’ve got me wondering…

  8. Mine are haphazardly placed about the house. Reading this post makes me want to organize them and it reminded me of the tobacco can of buttons my mom had. As a kid (and asa teen) I loved looking at the buttons. But I especially loved putting my hands deep inside the can and moving my fingers. It was like a hand massage.

  9. Judy C. says:

    I, too, have put them in a drawer never to be used on the clothes they came with. I still have my Mom’s button collection and now just add these buttons to that jar. Sometimes we have used them on craft projects, but mostly, they are looking at me from a shelf in my craft room.

  10. lindabaie says:

    This makes me chuckle, because this past year I finally got them all out, kept the buttons and threw all the containers away. I added them to a button basket from Arvie’s grandmother. Maybe someday Ingrid, Imi and I will make button strings? I used to love doing that, but now you’ve reminded me about buttons again. Wow, you had a lot! I love the pics, Elsie.

  11. I think we all have places where we store those little packets that never get opened. I too loved to play with my mother’s button tin, once my grandmother’s. My sisters and I were talking about that tin recently, as we were continuing the difficult task of dividing up Mom’s things. More than one of us is looking to keep that memory alive…

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