Better Button Bands

Hello! Today’s post starts with a few nifty knitting tips that some of you will love. If that’s not quite your thing, perhaps you’d like to scroll on for some sightseeing.

The green cable cardigan I knit for our grandson in early summer had warned me about the quality of the patterns in the pattern booklet – there were serious errors in the instructions for the sleeves. I loved the vintage look of the baby items in it, though, and was prepared to give it another try.

Forewarned, I looked through the pattern first. What did it say about the sleeves? ‘Work as the sleeves of sweater 11, p. 57.’ But, but… this IS sweater 11 on p. 57! Ugh, I gave up, just looked at the photos and worked out a pattern myself.

On the green cable cardi, I wasn’t happy with the ends of the button and buttonhole bands – they didn’t form a straight line with the ribbing.

At the time, my friend A. sent me a link with tips for ‘Button Band Gladness’. There was a lot there about how many stitches to pick up, but I didn’t think that was my problem. For me the magic tip came at the very end. Or actually there were two:

1) Find that hard-to-find place VERY close to the edge of the cast-on (or bind-off) to pick up your first (or last) stitch.

2) The first and last stitch of ribbing always roll. So for a k1, p1 rib, instead of starting and ending with one knit stitch, start and end with two.

Especially the last tip helped me get much better button bands, both at the bottom…

… and at the top. Thank you for the link, A.!

However much I would have liked to sew a pair of trousers to go with the little cardi, I can’t do everything. So, after an appointment in a business district of Zwolle, I drove to the city centre for some shopping. The shortest route from the parking place to the shops crosses two canals. My maternal ancestors lived and worked on boats like these.

Behind the old gables some high new ones are now towering.

A long time ago, I worked in a psychologists’ practice here and often strolled through the busy shopping streets during my lunch break. I still love coming here from time to time. One of my favourite shops belongs to a Danish retail chain selling things for the home as well as great crafts materials. Wouldn’t you love to have shelves like these at home, with glass jars filled with ribbons, just to look at?

Into my shopping basket went a tin of Danish butter cookies for the hostess of the next get-together of my knitting group and a few other small gifts.

I treated myself to a lunch of pumpkin soup with bread rolls and a glass of fresh ginger-and-orange tea at the café in a big book shop.

It’s a marvellous shop in a former church building. The original vaulted ceiling and the organ are still there.

But the old familiar feeling of overwhelm came over me and I left the shop without books. I did succeed in finding a pair of soft size 98 sweat pants in forest green (not in the book shop, obviously). Don’t they look nice with the sand-coloured cardi?

Next week, we’re having friends to stay and I don’t know if I’ll be able to write a post. If not next week, I’ll be back the week after that. See you then!

8 thoughts on “Better Button Bands”

  1. Marijke, thanks for the tips. I have a favorite hot pink cardigan that I made and it really bothers me the way the ends look. It was to be an open cardigan but I put a zipper in it. Perhaps I’ll take out the zipper and see how I can change it.
    Just love the sand cardigan you made!

    • Exchanging tips and passing them on is the best way to preserve all that knitting knowledge, I think. Taking out a zipper will take quite some courage and determination, but if you think it’ll improve your cardigan to re-do it and you’ll enjoy wearing it more, it’ll certainly be worth the time and effort.

  2. I love the cardigan and thanks for the tip – now I just need to remember it when I make something like this in the future.

    I also love the pictures of the city or town – just beautiful and what gorgeous weather.

    • That’s a good point – how to remember all those handy tips you come across. Maybe make a special file on your computer to collect them, but then you need to remember that you’ve made that file. Zwolle, is it a city or a town? I always find it hard to distinguish between the two. For me it feels like a big city anyway.

  3. The result looks great! I am working on a steeked cardigan for myself right now, so hopefully in a few weeks I will be ready to look at Patty’s tips myself again.

    And I love this simple knit/purl diamond texture pattern so much! A friendly reminder that truly beautiful does not need to be complicated.

    • Thanks again, these tips were really useful. A colourwork cardigan for yourself – that’s wonderful. Happy knitting!

  4. Wat een fijne, goede tips! Dank voor het delen! Zeer handig.
    En nu heb ik natuurlijk zin om naar Zwolle te reizen ?

    • Zwolle is altijd leuk, en het is ook het eind van de wereld niet. Gewoon een keertje doen, alleen, of met een vriendin of dochter… Door het delen en doorgeven van dit soort tips, kunnen we misschien een heel klein beetje bijdragen aan het voortbestaan van allerlei breikennis. Ik doe het in ieder geval graag.

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