Yarn buttons

When I made my Oh-land pattern and knit the sample sweaters, I couldn’t decide on any suitable buttons. I ended up trying a couple of different yarn button/covered button techniques, but I wasn’t really happy with any of them.

Here are some examples of different techniques:
Covered buttons
Dorset buttons/Blandford cartwheel (the first half is how I make my foundation)
Crochet buttons
Checkerboard buttons (these are the second part of how I make mine)

On the next sweater, I decided to morph of couple of different buttons into one. I was and am pretty happy with how they’ve turned out, and I’ve had requests on how I make them so I’ll try to give you some instructions.

Here is what they look like when they’re done, first of all. I recently made a mini version of Oh-land, as a gift for my previous supervisor at work who just had a baby, and used these buttons on it.

Here’s a previous version.

The base of the buttons is a ring, covered by blanket stitch (the same base as for the Dorset button). The ring is a plain small curtain ring of about 18 mm across – if you’re in Sweden or some other European countries, it’s available at Panduro, direct link to the Swedish rings here.

1. Cut off a piece of yarn, about 2 m/2 yds or so. Use a reasonably thin tapestry needle and cover the ring with blanket stitch like this:

2. When you’ve covered about 2/3 of the ring, place your short tail along the ring and continue with blanket stitch over the tail so that you fasten it. Push/slide back the stitches a few times so that the ring is covered tightly.

3. When the ring is completely covered, cut off the short tail close to the ring (leave the long thread!) and push the outer seam to the back/middle of the ring.

4. Wrap the long thread around the ring an even number of times. The wraps tend to slide off the ring if you make too many, so it might be worth wrapping it only 6 times and then ”fill up” the wraps later. Fasten slightly at the back.

5. Turn the ring 90° and start weaving the thread through the wraps – first 3 times over the first 3 wraps and under the remaining 3, and then the other way around to make a checkerboard.

6. Fasten the thread at the back between the weaving rounds if you want, to avoid the thread sliding off the ring. The back doesn’t have to look good!

7. Continue weaving in both directions until you have 10 wraps (or more if it’s a large button and a thin yarn) across the ring in either directions.

8. Fasten the thread well on the backside and make sure the wraps can’t slide off the ring too easily. Then sew it onto the garment and make more buttons!

Thingvellir – new pattern!

A while ago, I asked people in my knitting group if anyone would like to test knit patterns for me. Several people kindly offered, and I provided them with Icelandic lopi yarn of different weights. One of the girls in the group, Maria, who was first to jump on the train, recently finished her sweater and I released the pattern last weekend.

The sweater is called Thingvellir, or rather Þingvellir, and is named after the Icelandic national park with the same name where the American and the Eurasian tectonic plates meet and you can walk literally between two continents. The sweater features a celtic-ish eternal spiral and other spirals. It is knit from létt-lopi, the 2-ply Icelandic yarn and the suggested colorway is in beige and brown sort of earthy colors.

The pattern is available on Ravelry.

Stockholm Night Knitters

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A while back, I was looking around for some good knitting groups in Stockholm, but all I could find seemed to have mostly 70+ ladies or were not active at all. Then I stumbled across a post by Sweaterspotter/Anna Malz on Instagram, she had just been visiting Stockholm and had spent a night with Stockholm Night Knitters. I was beyond excitement when I realised there was a group that met after work hours and seemed to not just consist of old ladies. Unfortunately the group only met every 3 weeks at that point (now every 2 weeks) so I anxiously had to wait for 3 weeks until I could join them. But it was worth the wait, because this is a group of such amazing and sweet people that I’m really grateful to have met.

The group is rather young for a knitting group, the age range is between 19 and probably 55+ with the occasional lady above that (ok, I suck at determining people’s age), but with an average age of about 35. It’s a very mixed group as well, and that’s what’s so great with knitting in general – all kinds of people showing up to knit together without prejudice and everyone includes each other. I’ve had a rough period for a while, and this group has been a waterhole for me when I didn’t feel like getting out the door at all.

Some people in the group are more or less knitting pros or designers, some have just started out with their knitting life and have a crazy learning curve where you can see them develop from week to week. Some only knit shawls, others make intricate Shetland/Fair Isle colorwork or anything in between. Some do the occasional crochet or needle binding. A few times it’s turned out that half of the group have been knitting from the same pattern – one mitten pattern in particular where the group showcased about 6-7 different versions in all different colors.

The group has been in place for about a year and a half, and sometimes there are only a few people. But the past few months since the rumour has been spreading, there have been so many people that we didn’t even fit around our regular table (which means about 30ish people over the course of the night).

The group meets every second Thursday (odd weeks) at Espresso House in the basement of Konserthuset by Hötorget, and although the official time is 7pm/19.00 there are pretty much always someone there from 5pm/17.00. Usually there are people there until 9.30ish/21.30 but people come and go and some just stay for an hour or so.