Newsletter October 2012: Covering buttons with crochetNews:A single new pattern this month – in knitting! The ever so talented and productive EclatDuSoleil presents Red Sun.The center of this pretty little shawlette is worked in stripes from one end to the other. The large border is attached to the selvedge of the center. The entire design is reversible.More information in the shop. Covering buttons with crochet:Trying to find buttons to match a crochet project can sometimes be challenging. So many things have to fit: the size, the colour, the style…. Especially, colour can be a really hard one, in my experience!Instead of searching endlessly for the perfect button, you can recycle buttons you already own and cover them with crochet. It’s quite easy to do, and you will have unique buttons for your project. You can choose if you want to make these buttons stand out, or if you prefer to make them using the same yarn as your project, so they blend in very well.You can use different kinds of buttons for this kind of project, but I find that buttons with shanks are the easiest to sew onto a crochet project. Also, you can use any kind of stitch to make your button. However, since I generally choose to cover unused buttons from my stash that are neither particularly pretty nor all the same colour, I prefer to use single crochet. I find that this is the stitch that best covers the button completely. For the same reason I work the button covers with a relatively small crochet hook.Start with an adjustable loop (this technique was explained in the newsletter for June 2010). Work 6 sc into the loop and tighten it.Place a safety pin (or another stitch marker) in the first stitch of the round. You will move this marker up to mark the first stitch of each round. I prefer to work in a continuous spiral, and this is the only way I have found to keep track of where I am.On the second round, work 2 sc in every stitch. On the third round, work 2 sc in every other stitch. On the fourth round, work 2 sc in every third stitch and 1 sc in the other stitches. By working one more stitch between increases in each round, you maintain an increase of 6 sts per round – this is what you need to do to make a flat disc in single crochet.The number of rows you need to work will depend entirely on the yarn you are using and the size of the button you want to cover. Work until you have a disc roughly the size of the button.On the next round, simply work 1 sc in each stitch (no more increases).On the following round, work sc2tog over the next 2 stitches all around. You have now created a small, shallow « bowl » into which your button should fit.Fasten off, leaving a relatively long yarn tail. Weave in any ends that need it, except that last long yarn tail. This is easier if you turn the « bowl » inside out.Turn the button cover right side out. Fit the button into it. Thread the remaining yarn tail on a yarn needle, and weave it through the tops of the stitches in the last round, all around. Tighten the yarn tail to secure the cover on the button, and fasten it with a few stitches. Voilà, a unique button!Different yarns give different results. Smooth yarns like bamboo, silk, linen or cotton often let some of the button colour show through. You can use coordinated colours for the buttons, or choose buttons that all have the same finish (colour or metal). Slightly fuzzier yarns, like alpaca or wool, make it easier to cover the buttons entirely.I used a 1.75 mm hook for laceweight yarn and a 2.5 mm hook for fingering weight wool when I covered my buttons. Do not hesitate to experiment with hook sizes, yarn types, colour changes and simple embroidery on your buttons!
See you soon!