There is much gratification and excitement in finishing any handcrafted item. However, some of these items require an extra touch to make them really shine. These extra touches can be blocking, edging, overstitching, appliques, and my favorite, buttons! I love the hunt to find the perfect buttons for my cardigan, to make that statement that that is both functional and unique. But why limit buttons to closing cardigans? One of the cutest uses of buttons I have ever seen is to put one on a headband to attach different flowers and shapes to the headband (Spring Baby Headband by Amy Andersen). Another use I have seen recently is to use buttons to create folds and drapes in knitted fabric (Clarity Cardigan by Gretchen Ronnevik).
But who wants to use just any buttons for their handmade item? I prefer to think that while they are just as functional, they give off a different impression. I like to find buttons that really match my item. L&B just received a large shipment of buttons. We are restocked on quantity and have new buttons to inspire! I found some really elegant ones that are silvery and opalescent. Also some of the buttons are textured on one side and smooth on the other, so I feel like either side can be used based on the final look.
I like pairing buttons to my work, but find that sometimes the buttons I think match the best are either a little too large or too small for the buttons described in the pattern, which means the buttonholes are not the right size. I am a firm believer that everything can be customized, so here are some really quick guidelines to my personal way to modify the buttonholes. This is only effective if the yarn and buttons are paired up before buttonholes are made. First, measure the diameter of the button. Next, take your gauge and figure out how many stitches are the closest to the measurement of the diameter. For example, 1 inch diameter button, and your gauge is 16 stitches to 4 inches. So 1 inch of fabric is 4 stitches. So I’d change the buttonholes to binding off 4 stitches on a row, then casting on 4 stitches and continuing the pattern as written. -Mikki
Things to keep in mind when choosing buttons:
In the case that your number of stitches is a fraction of a stitch, then it is better off rounding down. Buttonholes will stretch.
Sometimes buttons are a certain size because of some characteristics of the fabric made. Going up to a much larger button may not always work well.