Dorset Buttons with Tania Ashton Jones
Tania Ashton Jones of TJ Frog joins me to talk all about Dorset Buttons.
Tania and I met a few years ago when she was at the start of her business journey in the yarn world. Prior to this Tania served in the Royal Navy for 22 years. She came back to knitting via a retreat in France and was hooked. After a happy coincidence where she was introduced to Dorset Buttons via a workshop with her friend, Tania became obsessed with making them. She set about learning about the history of the buttons and bringing them to a wider audience.
History of Dorset Button Making
Tania described some of the history of the Dorset button, from the original tiny sheep horn buttons, through metal and linen buttons and into the more common types found today. They come in a variety of designs and can be made from any sort of yarn. Originally from Dorset herself, Tania never learned about the button making as a child at school. Happily, she reports that some schools do now teach this.
Shorelines and Strata
Tania lives in a small community on the Isle of Skye. Her surroundings there, as well as her heritage in Dorset inform and inspire the products she makes. Knitting still features alongside the Dorset Buttons, and Tania has a very special range of yarns that she created with some very high provenance wools from Dorset and Skye. Indeed her latest Cheviot yarn is grown at the end of her driveway!
Dorset Buttons Inspired Notions
Along with the yarn, Tania also has project bags and needle holders, which are made of linen and are a nod to the linen fabric originally used to make the Dorset Buttons. These are sewn by a company in Edinburgh, and again reflect Tania’s commitment to products with a story and collaborating with other businesses.
Curious about the Isle of Skye? Give Tania’s podcast a try. Along with the weather (a constant and ever changing source of conversation for us Brits, but particularly so on the West Coast of Scotland!) she talks about what she is making, creativity as well as interviewing textile related businesses on Skye. It’s the perfect way to armchair travel to Scotland, so give it a listen!
Discount for Listeners
Tania has very kindly offered 10% off all items in her shop until 10th November 2020 with the discount SHINYBEES10.
Where to find TJFrog
You can find Tania at http://tjfrog.co.uk
Music for this episode is with kind permission of Adam and the Walter Boys with ‘I Need A Drink’ available on iTunes.