Who's got the button? Me -- and two of the pillows I recently knit.
I'd been fretting about buttons for these pillows, especially the round Spiral Galaxy Pillow, for some time. I looked for a fancy glass button at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival this year, but couldn't find anything I liked. As I thought about it, I decided I wanted it too look like those old shiny, silky pillows my grandmother had in her living room, with a button out of the same fabric. Something to draw it all together, but that wouldn't steal the show. For the just-completed Smocked Rib Stitch Pillow, I needed buttons to rein in the end caps, which were being pushed out by the pillow form and were decidedly nipple-ish. Not a good look.
Knitted buttons made from the same yarn as the pillows themselves would be the way to go. So while running errands this morning, I stopped by Bolt Fabrics and got some Dritch cover button kits and heavy upholstery twine. The salesperson was so helpful to walk me though the process. It was pretty obvious I was in over my head.
Based on our conversation, I realized that my knitted covers would be too thick to snap on the backs. Kindly, Jeff sacrificed an old brown t-shirt so the buttons would have a base that wouldn't let the metal shine through. Then, I knit some small covers using matching yarn and constructed as follows:
- Cast on 4 stitches
- Purl a row
- Increase one inside each edge stitch every right-side row until 12 ston needle
- Make two rows plain
- Decrease one inside each edge stitch every right-side row until 4 st on needle
- Bind off
I ran the tails through the inside edge of every other selvedge stitch around the edge and drew the cover in tightly. And, voila -- a knit-covered button!
I found some instructions on sewing buttons on pillows and away I went. Drawing the thick twine through the long pillow was a bit of a chore, and upholsterers would probably have a special tool for such purposes, but I can report that a seaming needle, squishing hard and grunting can work in a pinch.
Way easier than I thought it would be and I'm happy with the results. Now, I have one more naked pillow form to get covered...