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Tuesday, December 13, 2005


The person who taught me to knit actually didn’t care too much for the sticks and string. For her, the call of the Hook was much sweeter and slippers and blankies and lace flew from her hands as long as I was a child.

And as a child I pestered. And Pestered. And one snowy afternoon while she was sitting us, Grandma taught me how to knit.

I didn’t want to be like Doily Grandma I wanted to be Mitten Grandma and that being perhaps the one thing she really enjoyed knitting, she obliged. Gussetted mittens were my first project and I wore those uneven, Mutt & Jeff gloves of love UNTIL I’d mastered stitching well enough to make a pair that actually worked. Even at 10 years of age, I was Stubborn; I was Willing; I had lots of time on my hands…

But Grandma’s real love was crochet – I recall fondly the many pairs of pillowcases she edged with lace, frosted with embroidery. I have one pair I save for guests – the white-on-white floral design on the fabric is wide satin-stitched roses and vines; the hem – 5 inch deep, intricate lace. They will grace the Holiday House for Christmas and She will be with us again.

I thought of Grandma while I was making the Sheila sweater – I needed a button. And She of the Thousand Buttons (NOTHING was thrown away in that household if it could be even remotely used again) might’ve come up with a match but I was empty handed.

So OUT came the hook! I’d read about covered buttons, none of which really filled the bill here, so I decided to try my own. First I found a lightweight ring-type shank button in my button box. You could use some plastic curtain rings in the right dimension, but I had this and it already had a shank (a little metal loop that you sew to the garment to attach) and was the right size.

I was using aran weight yarn so I used a size C hook and made a 5 stitch chain, slipping them together into a circle, to close. Then I made 20 Treble crochets into the center of the circle making a disk. You could use double crochet if you want a smaller diameter button; or single crochet, etc.

Then I went around the edge of the disk, in single crochet – one stitch made in every odd number st (1, 3, 5, etc) and two stitches made in every even stitch. This made a rim on the outside edge of the disk.

I then broke off a generous tail of yarn and threaded it through the very outside edge of the disk, placed the ring into the *cup* , tightened and knotted off.

VOILA! A matching button…

10 responses to “Tuesday, December 13, 2005”

  1. Carrie says:

    Um, not to be obtuse, but did you make one stitch in every odd numbered stitch (1, *3*, 5, etc) or one stitch in every other odd numbered stitch? I’ve never liked covered buttons until I saw yours, and I’m keeping your recipe somewhere for when I have a sweater nice enough to warrant them.

  2. margene says:

    What a lovely memory. The buttons are perfect for the sweater. I hope that is one you’ll publish (and how to do the buttons, too!)

  3. Laura K. says:

    Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you for the lovely description and instructions. I, too, had a Crochet Grandma (my Polish Gram) and I’ve been coveting the button since I saw it on that gorgeous sweater. I’m somewhat “crochet impaired”, but I think that I could tackle this one. By the way, in addition to lovely pillowcases, doilies, warm slippers and afghans, my Grandma also specialized in horrific toilet paper and soap covers. (Not to be repeated in this generation!)

  4. Bonne Marie says:

    Right you R, Carrie! thanks for the headsUP! I’ve gone and changed the directions… :)

  5. Karen B. says:

    I’m so glad you not only embrace the needles, but also the hook! I’m one of those people who firmly believe that all stitching has its purpose and its own intrisic beauty.

  6. Wanda says:

    Those are neat. I love the crocheted buttons!

  7. Emily says:

    Wow, fantastic! Thanks for the detailed instructions, you rock.

  8. JoVE says:

    Very cool idea.

  9. Jenn says:

    Great buttons! Thanks for the shout out – so sweet! :)

  10. Michelle says:

    I’ve got to start hooking again- I can never find buttons that are just right. I’m still trying to knit as well as my Grandma. Oh, the Fair Isle and patterns…

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