Why, hello. It certainly has been a few days – you know how the summer slips away so quick right before you go back to school? Well, it’s less than two weeks before school starts for me, so I’m trying to get in some of that “relaxing” before I gotta start getting up in the morning, reading books, packing a backpack, etc.

And now, adventures in beautiful buttons. So on a tip from Alexandra, I ordered a bunch of vintage mother of pearl buttons from an eBay seller for a mere nine cents apiece. They arrived a few days ago in a large box considering it only contained a dime bag with wee buttons in it (it was like…a 12x12x12 cm box stuffed with newspaper shards). The buttons? Beautiful.

There was one that was quite chipped, but hey, I ordered extra. Since I didn’t have any matching thread, I decided to use some of the yarn that I knit the sweater out of – Rowan Wool Cotton. It consists of four 2-ply strands, so I separated it into four and used one 2ply strand to sew the buttons in.

(Buttons are being flashed out against the sweater due to sunlight; this is the most accurate photo of the sweater colour-wise.)

Unfortunately…

While they look fabulous, the buttons are a little too small and delicate for the task – they’re a thin flat button with a shank, and it would seem that the holes are too big (or the buttons are too small). They do okay, but there’s going to be poppage. I will say that the sweater hasn’t yet been blocked, so maybe it won’t need to stretch as much over the bust when I put it on, but I can forsee the buttonholes getting even bigger.

The only solution I can come up with without having to find more buttons and take out the old ones is to make the buttonholes smaller – reinforce them and somehow make the buttons stick. Argh! I really wanted this sweater to be done. (Sweater is the Vintage Pink Cardigan from Interweave, Spring 2005.)

Also residing in blue sweater land:

Finished pieces of the blueberry Greek Pullover (Interweave Fall 2005). The neck treatment is just crochet, so nice and easy. I’m hoping to sew it together tomorrow. And Jill? I think I used less than 10 balls of Main Line.

14 Responses to “Well, crap.”

  1. erin

    Look forward to seeing your Vintage Pink modelled. I will look through your archives to see which yarn you used (I recall the gauge is a rather unsual one). The Greek pullover is a lovely blue.

    Reply
  2. Jessica

    What if you blanket stitched around the button holes with the 2-ply of the yarn, closing each one up a tiny bit at the top and bottom? I think matching blanket stitching gives button holes a nice finished look anyway, and keeps them from stretching out in the future.

    Reply
  3. kelp!

    I have sewed the top and bottom edges of buttonholes together with great success (but on a non-handknit sweater). It was invisible and worked perfectly. Those buttons are really beautiful!

    Reply
  4. grumperina

    That exact thing happened to me! In an effort to make my VPC quite dainty, I bought buttons which were a little too small to get the job done. But they were vintage and beautiful, so that’s that! Anyway, I ended up cinching each buttonhole with regular thred just a little bit, to reduce poppage. Good luck, it’s looking great so far!

    Reply
  5. Julie

    you are crazy productive, laura. I remember seeing the first casting on rows at SnB 3 weeks ago, and I know you’ve been doing other projects in between. If I was you (heh, intentional), I’d reinforce the buttonholes, as everyone else is saying. I have 2 pretty cardigans and 1 vintage top with the same problem–lovely rhinestone buttons will not stay inside the holes, around the boob area. Hang in there. The cardi. will be a beauty. Good narrative re: the button adventure.

    Reply
  6. alison

    The buttons are really pretty. Sounds like you can de-stretch-ify the buttonholes with some stitching. Good luck — it’s a great sweater, and I’m looking forward to your modelling shots!

    Reply
  7. jill

    Thanks for letting me know about the mainline. I’ve almost got the body of my black sweater done and I’m still hoping I have enough yarn…
    Good luck with the buttons.

    Reply
  8. Julia

    I love the buttons. You have to make them work! I really do think reinforcement will do the trick. They are just too special not to use.

    Reply
  9. Sophie

    Good luck with those buttons, you. They look perfect in terms of tone/appearance. Here’s hoping you can make it work.

    And ooooooooooooooooooooo! re: the pullover. That’s on my must-knit list, so can’t wait to see a real, live version swanning around in all its finery. It’s such a beautiful shape.

    Reply
  10. Quenna

    The buttons and the sweater are so beautiful — sorry to hear about the sizing issue. It sounds like the holes need to be smaller — but it’s a good idea to reinforce them (holes always end up stretching!). It will be worth the extra work :)

    I like the updated look of your blog!

    Reply
  11. jenna

    I love that there’s always something new to see around here. :)

    Can’t wait to see the Vintage Cardigan! It’s a lovely pattern but I don’t think I’ve seen very many of them online.

    Reply
  12. leslie

    I’ve been a long-time lurker and I love your work. I’ve just finished a sweater based on your Cloud Cardigan pattern and wanted to thank you for your patterns and more importantly, the inspiration your lovely work gives me.

    I also wanted to ask if you had any tips for the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Fair. I saw that you were planning to attend and have in the past. A friend and I are planning to come up from Buffalo and were wondering what to plan for… besides the obvious workout our credit cards will be getting!

    Reply

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