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!


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