Saturday, June 11, 2011

Buttons Alive :-

There may be no easy button to push in real life, but buttons galore there is to enliven visual riches of life.

Knitted Buttons Cuff

Button Scatter Pins

"Of course there are as may ways we can reuse something.  We can dye it. We can cut it.  We can change the buttons.  Those are other ways to make it alive."
- Issey Miyake -

Materials for Knitted Buttons Cuff :-

“Fizz-Wizz” knitting yarn
Size 7 knitting needles
Assortment of vintage “cabochon style” acrylic buttons

Step-by-step :-

1.  First arrange your assortment of buttons (thirteen were used in this cuff) in a straight line.  If you’re using buttons of different sizes, opt to arrange the largest buttons in the center of the line with some slightly smaller ones tapering towards the ends.  Some even smaller buttons can be scattered in between those buttons as well.

2.  Before you start to cast on your stitches, thread the buttons onto your knitting yard first in the order of your pre-arranged button line.  Then cast on ten stitches to your knitting needle.  Simply knit a couple of plain stitch (aka “knit” stitch) rows.  About six to eight rows out to do.  Thereafter, you can start by knitting in the buttons.  Try to knit them in one button per every second row.  This will ensure that all the buttons lie on the same side of the knitted fabric.  Also try to include them on alternating positions of the stitches (top, middle or bottom).  Go pretty freeform if you like, so long as they look pleasing to your eye.

3.  After you’ve knitted in your last button, simply knit some more plain rows to comfortably fit around your wrist.  Six to eight rows ought to do again.  Also remember that you’re going to sew the ends together, so keep in mind that your hand should also stretch through.  Tie off the stitches and leave a tail of approx. 30cm to sew the ends together.


Materials for Button Scatter Pins :-

Vintage “cabochon style” acrylic buttons
Jump rings (5mm to 7mm)
15mm brooch backs (with one hole)

Step-by-step :-

1.  The smaller the size of the jump ring you use, the steadier the pins will display.  Should you however fancy an en tremblant effect, meaning that the pin trembles a bit as the wearer of it moves, then use jump rings in slightly larger sizes.  En tremblant effects work particularly well for crystal cabochons, making the light reflections dance with the wearer’s movements.  Pearl- or matt cabochons usually do better with the steadier effect though, thus requiring smaller jump rings.

2.  Figuring out which jump rings to use was the scientific part.  The rest is absolute gravy.  Simply open the jump ring, slide it through the loop at the back of the button as well as through the hole of the brooch back.  Close the jump ring and voila!  Make as many pins as you like and pin an arrangement of them on to your lapel or any part of the garment.  They’re literally pin-on embroidery!

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