Sunday, February 03, 2008

Buttony sweater progress - photo heavy post

My evening knitting has been a ferocious thing...I've really been restless and it's been a great way to keep my hands busy while letting me think a little. None of what I'm working on right now is so complicated as to need my undivided attention, and that is a good thing.

I thought I'd share my button process with you. On a sweater like this where some buttons are going to have more stress on them than others I'll re-enforce buttons that fall at stress points (in this case bottom ribbing, bust point and top button). This helps to prevent the button pulling the fabric out of shape at these points.
Typically I start with threading the yarn needle with at least 2 strands of yarn, which I use doubled. This gives me 4 strands of yarn for each pass of the needle. Do yourself a favour before you start and make sure that the yarn can be pulled through the button's holes easily.

To figure out the button placement I usually place my garment on Sally Stitch, adjusting everything to make sure that things hang right and fit well. I pin through the button holes at each point to hold the garment in place while I stitch each button on. The one I'm doing for demonstration is the top button (all the other ones were already done). To start, remove the pin, and lift the stitch directly underneath the buttonhole. Give it a little tug, but not enough to distort the fabric.

Lift the button band away. The stitch that you will be putting the button on will now sit a little proud of the others.

Pass your yarn needle through a small button, then through the fabric back to front where you determined the button should go.

Now pass the yarn through your fashion button, the one that is on the right side of your garment.

Pass the yarn needle back through the fashion button, front to back, making sure that you go through one of the holes on the little backing button, too.

Continue going back and forth in this manner until you have passed yarn through all the button's holes (typically not more that 4 holes). Tie both ends of the yarn together on the back side against the little button securely, trim yarn ends leaving a bit of yarn, not enough to be seen from the front side of the garment, but long enough that your knots won't unravel. You can put a little bit of Fray Check on your knots, if you like.

Pass your button through it's buttonhole to make sure the placement is indeed right.

Here's my Buttony with all 12 buttons on. I'm now ready to pick up the stitches for the arms - I can't decide if I want to just leave them short like that, or knit long sleeves. I'm kind of partial to how it looks right now, and think it would be a really practical thing to wear over a long sleeved jersey knit shirt. And kind of cute, besides.

All the best,


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