Buttons and Ballistics in Britain

18 September 2007

I’m in North Yorkshire, staying with my sister, and today went to a shop that has long been on my ‘to do’ list – Duttons.  The most wonderful selection of buttons at really good prices (certainly compared to Australian ones) and they do mail order all over the world. 

And I read in a British paper today of a hospital in Cheshire where for three years, they’ve kept a box of wool and needles at reception so that visitors and patients can knit blanket squares while they wait.  They’ve now had to remove the box as it was thought that the needles could present a danger (to whom, and how, was not explained).   At this rate, teaching a small child to knit will be considered in the same light as encouraging children to play with guns.  I had never realised it was such a dangerous pastime. 


  1. We will have to continue to teach our children these dangerous pastimes at home. In the dark.

    The only danger I can think of would be unsupervised children running about – if that’s the case, what a shame that so much good is lost because some people don’t mind their responsibilities and their children. I spent hours at hospital and nursing home bedsides, and I don’t know how I would have coped with it all if I hadn’t had my knitting. What comfort it would give to people sitting for endless hours in a waiting room.

  2. Oh for g*d’s sake… this kind of thing just makes me want to eat nails. Or bang my head on the desk. Or something. I’ve booked an overseas trip through my employer and I’ve just received an email warning me of the risks of travelling through my destination. Details about social customs, problems changing money, safety of food, crime risks, etc. Guess which country I’m visiting – could it be some dangerous 3rd world dictatorship? Could it be a war zome? No, it’s the US of A. And, I’m also travelling to Canada on the same trip, but it seems there aren’t any dangers there. Apparently just telling me about the huge risks I’m taking means that they won’t be liable if I fall foul of any of them. It’s a weird world.

  3. Sally din’t mention, probably because she didn’t know, that Duttons for Buttons in Harrogate provided all the buttons for Madonna’s costumes in Evita. Now that’s a claim to fame! I go in there often and sometimes the buttons actually inspire the garment. The staff are wonderful and one offered to scan in the button you want if you need to check colour, shape, etc. Do check their website – http://www.duttonsforbuttons.co.uk.

  4. Who’d have thunk that there were THAT many buttons in the world?! Amazing shop…

    SO deeply stupid about removing the knitting basket from the hospital waiting room – a brilliantly good idea overcome by modern day ‘litigi-mania’.

  5. Fark.

    I was thinking that I could use my leisure time to teach the inmates at VIllawood detention centre to knit, but apparently the Australian authorities think that knitting needles are dangerous. I kind of expected it from our government, but this madness has got to stop!

  6. I’ve just remembered that knitting needles and tweezers (!) are still, I think, banned on aircraft. “Fly me to Saudi Arabia, or I’ll knit you some socks and pluck your eyebrows!”

  7. Ridiculous, isn’t it? As if knitters would want to harm anyone [with the possible exception of those who deem knitting needles dangerous!]

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