Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Christmas Sweater

IMG_9659_thumb[5] At long last, I have finished and photographed this sweater and can share it with you! This is S1’s Christmas sweater for 2015, knit from a modified CustomFit pattern from Bartlettyarns sport yarn.

When last we chatted about it, I told you about my mods. After a little more thinking and a nudge from Steven, I ripped out the button band I was working on (yes, the one that was 45” long) and started over so I could work a stronger buttonhole. Steven wrote: “I would totally redo it. You've put so much work into this already. Plus it's for your sweetie. A bit more button band knitting isn't going to kill you. As I very wise knitter once said to me, ‘You'd just be knitting something else, right? It's still knitting!’” He was right – the button holes are much better now. I followed these instructions, which appear to be very close to the one-row button hole directions I usually follow (by Margaret Fisher). Then I put my blocking mats together this way to block 64” of button band:IMG_9585_thumb[2]My button band instructions: CO 13, then

RS: slip 1, (K1 P1) x2, K1, YO, K2tog, P1, K1, P1, K2
WS: P2, K1, P1, K1, P2tog, YO, (P1 K1) x2, P2


I used mattress stitch to attach the button band, and the result is quite handsome.

I put locking stitch markers in to indicate where to sew the buttons on:  IMG_9612_thumb[1] You’ll notice that the button location isn’t centered in the middle of the band. I got this tip from Megan Mills’ button hole website. In fact, they are such great tips that I’m going to include them here (but they are Megan’s tips, not mine!):

Four handy hints regarding buttonholes

  1. Position buttonholes so that their ends are where you want the buttons to sit. If you position the middle of them where you want the buttons to sit the buttons will slide to the end of the buttonholes anyway once any stress is applied and the buttons ends up off-centre.
  2. Use horizontal buttonholes when the stress is pulling sideways and vertical buttonholes when the stress is pulling downwards. When stress is applied it 'pulls' the buttonhole more closed around the button. If you do it the other way the stress helps to pull the buttonhole open - exactly what you do not want. This is why buttonhole bands on cardigans that have vertical buttonholes so often have trouble with the buttons popping undone.
  3. When it comes to remembering which side to put the buttonholes on for Men's or Women's garments - Women are always right!
  4. If you're making a garment for a baby that is on its way and you don't know whether it is a boy or girl you can put buttonholes on both sides and 'close' the buttonholes that are not required when you sew the buttons over them.

I think the result looks clean (I also think the button band will pull more to the left when it is worn regularly, which will make those buttons look a bit more centered):IMG_9665_thumb[1]I really do like this type of button band. It’s worked in 1x1 rib, but it looks like stockinette. I slipped the edge stitch for a clean finish:IMG_9664_thumb[1] Want to see how the back shaping works?


This sweater required a LOT of mental attention, but I’m pretty pleased with the way it came out. It is a warm but lightweight sweater (it weighs only 380 grams, including buttons) and I think this yarn will wear quite well. The color is fabulous on S1. IMG_9669_thumb[5] And it’s DONE! We’re both happy about that.


  1. That's a beautiful sweater, made even more perfect with your attention to details. I've never thought in terms of Steven's wise words, but he's certainly right. S1 looks SO happy, and I would be, too, wearing that wonderful sweater!

  2. I'm so late to reading this. And Bonny - those wise words were from Janelle originally! ;-) Those words of advice for all things button-y are spot-on. I'm wearing a machine knit cardigan right now with vertical button holes that are driving me nuts. This sweater makes me so happy -- and S1 clearly loves it. She should -- it's beautiful!