Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Neutral Baby Sweater and Experimental Hat

While each baby sweater I knit is a work of love, some are more straightforward than others.  This one knitted up just fine, I'd knit one before and have adored this pattern ever since.  The only problem was when it came to buttons.

The Afterthought Button

In the past I've crocheted a loop on one side and toggled it over to a button.  I had intended to do this again, but once I compared the toggle button with our homemade branch buttons, well, I knew the toggle wasn't the right one.

Problem was, this sweater was never designed for these buttons, and button-holes aren't a part of the pattern.  I remembered reading in my lovely Elizabeth Zimmerman book, Knitting Without Tears about the afterthought button method. I went looking on YouTube thinking someone out there would walk me through this.  I found no such instructions, so I cracked open the book on the table with my pile of tools, and I very, very bravely, CUT TWO HOLES IN MY SWEATER!!!

Yep, I unraveled two or three stitches, and followed the sewing instructions carefully to create a secure (I hope) hole.  I pulled on it to test the hole after and it seemed to hold up pretty well, so I will for now, call it a success!  If the recipient of this gift is reading my blog, and wonders later why the sweater fell apart- well now she'll know!! (And so sorry if that happens.)

That was my first time trying the very scary afterthought button technique, but It's a good thing to know about in case any of you get into a similar muddle with buttons.

I was of course, much happier with the branch buttons than the toggle one, so there you go. There was something about the natural wood tones against the charcoal-grey wool.  Loved it!

The next phase of the baby gift was a completely experimental hat.  I will put some rough notes on Ravelry for that soon, but in chunky 100% baby alpaca it was a dream to knit with, and took about 30 minutes to finish.  I don' t know how it will do for daily wear, but I had hoped it would make a great newborn photo prop hat.  If anyone wants me to write up a full pattern for this, just let me know, and I'll get it onto Ravelry.

Also, included with this baby gift was our first attempt at wood-burning baby hangers.  My husband is the artist around here, so I gave him the tools and let him go.  I love the way it turned out, and I'm pretty sure there's more of these baby hangers coming in our future.

Sharing with Ginny today at Small Things Yarn Along
And Frontier Dreams Keep Calm Craft On.


  1. I love the afterthought button. I've used it several times and it holds up very well. Your sweater is wonderful, btw.

  2. The sweater is gorgeous and I love the buttons. The hanger is adorable.

  3. I've not used that technique for button holes before, bit scary lol. I steeked a cardigan last year which was scary enough even though the yarn was chosen specifically for it.

    The sweater is so cute and the hanger is gorgeous

  4. Wow, I love all of your crafts. Although your knitting is wonderful, I have to admit that the hanger has me swooning. Beautiful