Finding the right buttons has got to be one of the biggest challenges when knitting a cardigan. Here’s what I came up with after two trips to fabric stores and one to a yarn store.
Most of the buttons at the fabric store are on little white cards with two to three buttons per card. What a stupid packaging idea. Of course I hadn’t knitted the buttonholes so slipping a button through a hole was out of the question. Holding those white cards up to the sweater wasn’t very useful. If they really must put the buttons on cards couldn’t they use transparent ones?
Looking for buttons at the yarn store was a totally different
experience. All the buttons are stored in tubes that are easy to open. The clerk encouraged me to lay my sweater on a large table and try on buttons. It’s just too bad that they had nothing in stock that worked well. Many of the tubes I initially pulled out only had three to five buttons. I was looking for 10.
So now I’ve arrived at the point where I can pick up stitches for the button bands. Of course before I can do that I need to figure out the number of stitches to pick up. This time I decide to use the bottom band as a starting point for the calculations .
Yes, here are more of my quirky math calculations.
1. Measure the front from collar to lower ribbing = 48cm
2. Place bottom ribbing along measuring stick and count how many 1×1 rib stitches in 48cm = 119
3. Count number of rounds in body (from bottom rib to collar) = 161
4. Find pick up rate through trial and error.
161/4 = 40.25
40.25 * 3 = 120.75 (Very close to 119 – so 3 sts out of every 4 rounds will work)
Finding the placement of the button holes was easy thanks to the formula on page 13 in Sweaters from Camp which is attributed to Mary Rowe.
Here’s my approach to the button selection dilemma. First, I retrieve my original swatch. Then I pick up stitches along the edge and knit a band, including a least 1 buttonhole.
This allows me to figure out the correct pick up ratio and what type of buttonhole looks best. Then I can take the swatch w/ me to the fabric/button store to audition buttons. I find that I can generally button the swatch on to those annoying white cards and get a pretty good idea how it looks. I’ve also been know to take the buttons off the card (if they have the twisty or clips on the back)–Shhhh!!
I’m seriously jealous of your Kauni cardi. If I didn’t have entirely too many projects lined up in front of me, I’d be making an international order right now!
Wow, you’re nearly done. Great buttons.
Re: the sleeves being different. I feel that is how they are supposed to be. There is no way to truly match them and the beauty of the sweater is the unique and sometimes quirky way the colors come together. Wear it proudly! My Kauni is winging its way here as we speak 😉
Question – since this is a cardigan, will you block it on the wooly board before you cut the steek, or after you both cut the steek and knit the button bands?
Cheryl, that what I should have done and probably would have but I ripped out my swatch a few weeks ago thinking I no longer needed it. Darn it, what a stupid move. I’m now having buttonhole issues and wish I still had the swatch.
Abby, I cut the steek first but I’m not sure if that’s ok. It’s funny you asked because I read somewhere this week (after cutting the front) that the cardigan should be blocked before cutting it. I hopeg it doesn’t matter so much.
You’re so right. Buttons can make or break a project. These are terrific and your sweater is a knockout! Oooooh, the color combination!