buttons

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Download pattern here: Josephine.

Originally published in Magknits, March 2008

This sweater has much to recommend it: it is warm and cosy and a fast enough knit to be ready before it gets too warm to need it. The cowl can be worn buttoned or open as an oversized collar. There is a minimum of actual direction in this pattern, with most sizing being placed anywhere along the row you like – like many things this pattern shows that random numbers can create great results.

Of course human beings do not make good random number generators as we dislike to see the same number appear consecutively, but for the purposes of this design that is fine, because humans are the beings who will look at your sweater most, and most other humans have the same biases as you.

Difficulty

Easy

Size

33 inch / 84cm (37 inch / 94cm, 41 inch / 104cm, 45 inch / 114cm, 49 inch / 125)

Materials

6 (6, 7, 8, 8) skeins Rowan Big Wool (100% wool, 87 yd [80 m] per 100g); colour: tremble #35

US 17 [12 mm] circular needle, 16 inches (40cm) long

US 17 [12 mm] straight needles

OR

US 17 [12 mm] circular needle, 24-32″ (60-80 cm) long

Stitch markers

Tapestry needle

7 1.75-inch [44 mm] buttons

Gauge

7.5 sts and 10 rows = 4″ [10 cm] in stockinette

lyrascoat-buttons1.jpg

Sometimes you don’t have those perfect buttons to complete the project you are working on and sometimes you don’t want to go out to get any, or you live in Saskatchewan and today is Sunday and nowhere likely to sell buttons is open. Or maybe, just maybe you are aesthetically opposed to spending money on this project, but you still have yarn left over — then you can crochet yourself buttons.

I started with cotton yarn in a colour that coordinates with my project. an appropriately sized crochet hook, something to stuff the buttons, and a tapestry needle:

lyrascoat-buttons2.jpg

I started with the loops for button holes:

Loop the yarn twice around something that will give you the approximate length you want — I used the palm of my hand and bring a loop of yarn from the back and then loop around the hook and pull through, this will start your crochet. This is a little difficult to explain, just try it until it makes sense.

lyrascoat-buttons3.jpg

Next, work single crochet, bringing the hook to the back of the yarn circle to bind it.

lyrascoat-buttons4.jpg

Continue until the end of the loop and make sure the stitches aren’t twisted. Cut the yarn leaving about a 4″[10cm] tail. Put the tail on the tapestry needle, thread through the first crochet stitch to secure it, and draw through some stitches to secure the end

lyrascoat-buttons5.jpg

For the buttons themselves, wrap the yarn two times around your little finger.

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Put your hook to the back of the loop and wrap the yarn around it and pull back to the front, wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through first loop.

lyrascoat-buttons7.jpg

Now crochet about 6 single crochet stitches onto the loop.

lyrascoat-buttons9.jpg

Pull the loose thread from the yarn you wrapped around your finger to pull tight and close the hole in the middle. Do a slip stitch in the first single crochet to complete the circle. Chain one, work a single crochet stitch in the next stitch and two in the following one. Continue working one single crochet and two single crochets in each stitch for about two rounds or until you think your button is almost big enough. Switch to working one single crochet in each stitch for one round.

lyrascoat-buttons11.jpg

Slip hook through next stitch from the previous round and wrap yarn, pull through, repeat for next stitch, wrap yarn around hook and pull through the three loops on the hook. Single crochet in next stitch. Repeat the previous two stitches until the hole starts to close.

lyrascoat-buttons12.jpg

Take a small amount of stuffing about the size of your button when compressed

lyrascoat-buttons13.jpg

and stuff it in your button.

lyrascoat-buttons14.jpg

Continue working as established until the hole is almost closed. Cut the yarn, leaving about a 6 inch[15cm] tail. Using your tapestry needle, darn the hole closed and stitch through several stitches to secure the end. Draw through the button and cut the thread.

lyrascoat-buttons15.jpg

Here is one of my finished buttons:

lyrascoat-buttons16.jpg

Here is what the button and loop look like on my project (Lyra’s coat, instructions are available here). I made five altogether as I was originally going to make four, but since living in China I am superstitious about the number four and try to avoid it.

lyrascoat-buttons17.jpg

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