Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Still Running

If you remember the posts "Running Away" and "Running Away Again", then you might know where this is going... If you're new to the subject of this nightmare cone of yarn that won't hold its color, then I encourage you to follow the links to see the original disaster and the previous attempt I made to fix the dye.

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  The Cross Burst Granny square washcloths were created from my bleeding cotton cone, and I knew to take pictures before washing them. Now the pattern is finished, and it's time to start another experiment...

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  On the left, we have one of the plain granny squares from my previous experiments. That one doesn't look so bad, but its twin was already used in the shower with hot water and soap... And it's fully blue now. The other two squares are the Cross Burst grannies that I'm hoping to fix the dye in. Both of those are unwashed and untreated. In today's test, I'll be using vinegar as the fixative.

  I originally began educating myself about the dyeing process to learn how to handle this situation. During my investigation, I realized that I'm not dyeing yarn (duh). This is a problem with already-dyed fabric bleeding, so I started researching a different subject... And came up with some answers that contradict what some call "tried and true" methods. Here are the sources I've been using for information during these attempts:

How to Set Dye and Stop Dye Bleeding in Clothes - This is where I originally read that salt and vinegar won't stop the color from running. And the gears started turning from there...

Using vinegar or acetic acid for dyeing - This article was extremely helpful in explaining how vinegar works in the dyeing process, as well as providing a ton of science behind which fibers to use it on. (Psst... Cotton isn't one of them!) But, it didn't help much with what to do about bleeding dye.

How to Naturally Colorfast Your Clothes for a Longer Life - Again adding to the controversy, this site claims to have success with a mixture of salt and vinegar. They do say you might see dye in the water, and the previous source might explain why... You're not locking the dye in; the salt just absorbs the excess dye in the water to keep it from running onto other items.

How to get dye to set in clothing? - I found amusement in the back-and-forth answers provided on this social site... Salt; vinegar; neither will work... But the information provided by the poster "Ery" was the most beneficial. This is where I made a decision to stop my research.


bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  So with my knowledge about dyes and fixatives broadened, I set my mind to test the vinegar anyway. I had my doubts that it would work, but I felt like I should still perform the experiment to share the results with you all.

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  Two things to keep in mind before we begin: 1) I'm using a new light for photos, and I had the settings on my camera set so the photos washed out some (kinda like this dye). Above you can see the item on the left looks slightly bluish, but not that far off from the item on the right. I assure you the difference in more noticeable in person...

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  And 2) A reader had commented on one of my previous posts asking about the condition of my water... Pictured above in the bowl is the city water we use for cooking, which is provided for free by the county because of the bad water in the area. The measuring cup contains my tap water... And this is a good day, because sometimes it looks like weak tea. I'm using the city water for the experiments, but the items will eventually be exposed to the well water when used and laundered. (Still a mystery: Could the water explain why the bleeding occurs again after use, is it because of hot water and soap, or is this yarn just hopeless?)

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  Time to start the test... First item: 4 cups cold water and 1/2 cup vinegar. Again, I'm keeping the unwashed items in the photo for comparison - The picture above was taken immediately after immersing the item.

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  Soak time: 1 hour. No change seems visible in the yarn, but the water has a blue tint. I gently removed the item and rinsed it in cold water. (No wringing!)

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  Compared to the other two items, this one already looks like the dye ran just as much as the previous experiment with salt. Again, it's not as bad as what originally happened to the untreated yarn... But you can see that the flecks of color aren't as crisp, and the white looks slightly dingy. We'll come back to this item in a moment...

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  Next experiment: Same concentrations of ingredients, but with hot water this time. I know it's against logic for getting the dye to stick; I just can't help but try. Since these washcloths will be used in hot water, I feel like they should be put to the test.

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  And while this next subject soaks in its warm bath, let's go check on the first one... Knowing the dye is likely to run, I'm drying my experiments on white paper towels. It saves any good towels from getting destroyed, and it quickly lets me know whether my test has worked...

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  Thankfully, this is where I noticed my camera settings were off and I adjusted them. Above you can see the washed-out version where the items all look pretty nice compared to my first disaster... And below you can see that it doesn't matter what my settings are, because there's blue dots on the paper towels:

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  One might ask why I continue these experiments at all. I'm starting to question that as well. But, anyway... The test is already in action. Let's continue even though we can already guess the results.

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  I considered leaving the next test to soak for 24 hours, but then noticed that the yarn looked like it had an excess amount of fuzz building around it. Lint from other yarns (and maybe some cat fur) started floating to the top of the water, as if the fibers were beginning to break down and release whatever they contained. I got worried and decided to end the experiment after a little more than an hour.

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  An immediate comparison of the two experiments showed the hot-water item looks more dingy than the first test subject. But - Where the white looks a bit whiter on one, the blue looks a little darker on the other. I only gave it about ten minutes before peeking under the washcloth...

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  And again found little blue dots on the paper towels. In my research, I learned about a dye fixative called Retayne that's rumored to work. I briefly considered purchasing some for more experiments...

bleeding, color fast, color running, cotton, crochet, dye, experiment, fabric, fixative, Peaches & Creme, vinegar, washcloth, yarn

  Instead, I think I'm going to end these useless tests. The point was to save the yarn I have, not to spend more money. If a quick fix with kitchen ingredients was possible, I was willing to go through the work. But for the cost of a bottle of that stuff, I could just go buy another cone of yarn (from a different brand) and end this headache.

  Although I'm curious to see if  a commercial fixative would work, I'm getting tired of these chemistry experiments. Part of me wants to apologize for giving up so easily, but somehow I think most of you would agree that it's not worth doubling the cost of this yarn... Especially not when these washcloths will be used by my concrete-covered, truck-driving husband! Rip van Winkle doesn't care what color they are, and I'd rather spend my time working out the pattern for my latest design.

Happy Crocheting!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Re"purr"posed

ball, cats, crochet, plarn, plastic yarn, recycle

  When I was left with extra material after a pattern gone wrong, I re-purposed the plarn (plastic yarn) into a small ball filled with plastic bag scraps. It was an experiment for another idea of mine... I want to crochet a floor pouf or maybe a whole "bean bag" chair entirely of plarn, even using the scrap material for stuffing. 100% plastic. Before starting a large project, I wanted to know how well the all-plastic stuffing would hold up to use. I planned to use this mini-experimental version as a stress ball for now...

ball, cats, crochet, plarn, plastic yarn, recycle

  However, it seems to have been re"purr"posed... Jump Steady decided to go outside and prove himself to be a big man-kitty, but got pretty beat up instead. He's been sulking around the house ever since. When he got all excited over the plarn ball, I decided to let him play with it...

ball, cats, crochet, plarn, plastic yarn, recycle

  And as usual, not much "play" happened. But Jump Steady did offer to give me his opinion about the project, so I'll step back and let him take over from here. (Don't worry; he speaks normal English, not cat-gibberish, but he does get a bit sidetracked at times...)

Jump Steady - What do you want to tell everybody about the project you stole?

ball, cats, crochet, plarn, plastic yarn, recycle

  Human Slave kept making crinkly noises with this thing she made for me, but wouldn't let me have it at first. It took a lot of begging, but she finally let it go. Ha - Look, I can put my foot on it! Okay, that's enough of that. Time for a nap...

ball, cats, crochet, plarn, plastic yarn, recycle

  Ooo, this thing is soft and squishy. Purr-fect for a pillow! It was so nice of Human Slave to make this for me... Maybe I'll leave her an extra hairball to play with. Don't know why she's always wrapping them up and putting them in a bag - Maybe she has a collection of them somewhere? Humans are weird.


ball, cats, crochet, plarn, plastic yarn, recycle

  This is really nice to have after getting my head thumped. It was really mean of that other boy-kitty to beat me up after I picked a fight with him, but I'm glad to have the extra attention. Speaking of that: Hey... Hello?... HEY!!! My pillow fell flat. Anybody wanna fluff it back up for me?


ball, cats, crochet, plarn, plastic yarn, recycle

  You! Yes, you - Human Slave with the camera. Want to put that thing down and help me out here? I mean, if you have that thing out, then it means you're going to be sitting in front of the other glowing rectangle for a while, making all those click-y noises that disturb my sleep. The least you could do is help me get more comfortable before you start all that racket...

ball, cats, crochet, plarn, plastic yarn, recycle

  Thanks, that's much better. Now I'll start working on that hairball as a reward for your good behavior.

  And thanks for your help, Jump Steady! Now I know the plastic should be stuffed a bit more so it will keep some of its shape. I wanted it to be nice and squishy, but too little stuffing will just leave me sitting on the floor in a plastic cocoon. It might be hard to find a medium between "comfortable" and "durable". That's making me doubt whether I want to attempt the project at all... What if it turns out to be a disaster? This is going to be a lot of work, but maybe it won't be wasted time if it doesn't work out. After all, it looks like I can always turn a mistake into a cat bed.

Happy Crocheting!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

From the Stash #2: A Country Loom Review


6, Country Loom, From the Stash, Loops & Threads, review, super bulky, Yarn

  The story behind how this yarn found its way into my stash is something many of us can relate to. Unlike the yarn from the first of this series, it wasn't bought for work purposes. A beginner at the time, I just wanted to crochet a blanket... A full-sized blanket. I picked colors, mixed brands, and bought more than I needed for a project that would soon be abandoned. Now it's time to resurrect the three remaining balls of Country Loom from the depths of the stash. Why not do a review? I will be comparing it to another yarn for the purpose of the story, but you'll learn why they're nothing alike...

6, Country Loom, From the Stash, Loops & Threads, review, super bulky, Yarn

  Packed in the depths of the stash for way too long, the Country Loom yarn has lost its fluffy texture and become more like a tape yarn. This yarn fell as flat as my hopes for that blanket. 😅 The bumpy, loopy, fluffy texture is what attracted me in the first place, but I found it difficult to work with back when I was at that beginner level. Now with more experience and advanced skills, I have no trouble at all. But, let's jump back into that story before continuing with the review...
 
6, Country Loom, From the Stash, Homespun, Loops & Threads, review, super bulky, Yarn

  Put yourself in the yarn-shopping shoes of beginner-me: Wandering the yarn section at Michaels, where Loops & Threads yarn can be found... Looking for an awesomely bold color combination, I fell in love with Country Loom (by Loops & Threads) in the color Merlot. I already had some Homespun (by Lion Brand) in my stash, left over from the attempts at knitting a blanket. (HAHA!!!) Beginner-me didn't bring along a yarn label or a piece of scrap... Beginner-me only had colors in mind... And beginner-me actually thought they were the same yarns at the time of purchase.

6, Country Loom, From the Stash, Homespun, Loops & Threads, review, super bulky, Yarn

  Fast-forward past the frustrations of gauge not working out after color changes, ripping back, and the eventual discarding of the project which led to the burial of the yarns... Let's get back to modern day, where advanced-skill-me knows to check yarn labels and weights: Although they look quite similar and are both 100% acrylic, these two yarns are nothing alike! Homespun is a bulky-weight (5), and Country Loom is super-bulky (6).

6, Country Loom, From the Stash, Homespun, Loops & Threads, review, super bulky, Yarn

  Comparing them at first sight, they almost could be mistaken for the same yarn. But, no. Homespun is loosely-spun around a core, while Country Loom is more dense. It's a hard yarn to pick apart... I'm not sure if I see two core threads in there, or if a tighter twist just makes it look that way. Mine has lost some of that bumpy-fluffy texture from being smashed in the stash, but a closer comparison still shows that it is thicker than Homespun:

6, Country Loom, From the Stash, Homespun, Loops & Threads, review, super bulky, Yarn

    And if you're asking yourself why I would do a review on an old squished-down yarn, the answer is because I had little faith that this mess could become something after all these years. My poor, flat, acrylic yarn had lost the character that gave it life, and we all know there's no hope for acrylic that looses its shape, right? Right??? Ah, but I was in for a surprise...

6, Country Loom, From the Stash, Loops & Threads, review, super bulky, Yarn

  I debated over whether I should just throw it out or try to work something up. I feared any project made with the deflated yarn would look just as flat and lifeless. I gave the tail a few twists between my hands, trying to fluff it back up a bit...

6, Country Loom, From the Stash, Loops & Threads, review, super bulky, Yarn

  Well, would you look at that? With just a little fluffing, Country Loom went back to looking like new again! The texture that I loved was back, and now I have the skill level to tackle a project without frustration... Oh, how many times did I split and snag those loops as a beginner? I remember wanting to cry when I realized my stitch count was off from mistaking those bumps as extra stitches...

  And that's what leads us to the conclusion of the review: Country Loom is a yarn that can take a lot of abuse, but it can be abusive towards a beginner's patience. The super-bulky weight works up fast, which makes the length of a 5-oz skein disappear quickly. You can barely finish a scarf with one ball! That's something that will usually steer me towards other brands with more yardage. Although I can't complain about the yarn itself, I do wish it was sold in 8-oz or even jumbo skeins...
 
6, Country Loom, From the Stash, Loops & Threads, review, super bulky, Yarn

  I mean, can't you see the problem here? I sat down to take pictures for the series, and Country Loom ended up on my hook. An hour later, the ball was gone and I had finished the project! What on earth is a crochet junkie supposed to do about that? Make another? Well, I suppose I could, since there's two more skeins that came from the stash... 😉

Happy Crocheting!

PS - If you're interested in an easy one-skein project using Country Loom, the pattern shown above is "in the works". We don't say "coming soon" around here anymore... But, we can hope.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Cross Burst Granny - GrannySpiration Challenge

chart, cotton, crochet, diagram, dishcloth, double crochet cross stitch, free pattern, giveaway, granny square, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, in the round, linkup, square, washcloth

  For this month's GrannySpiration Challenge, I have a versatile project for you! As soon as I started making a few washcloths with this pattern, I knew I wanted to make something else with this square. The texture of the double crochet cross stitch is so amazing when worked in the round, and a group of these squares together is absolutely stunning. I simply added a long chain in one corner to create a hanging loop for a washcloth, and you could do the same. Or, skip the loop and create a bunch of regular squares to be joined for any project you like:

chart, cotton, crochet, diagram, dishcloth, double crochet cross stitch, free pattern, giveaway, granny square, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, in the round, linkup, square, washcloth

  Whether you're looking for a luxurious-feeling washcloth, a dishcloth with extra scrubbing power, or a square to join into a blanket, this pattern is sure to please. A burst of double crochet cross stitches around the center combine with a beginning and end of simple stitches, and it all results in one of those "I can't stop running my hand over this awesome texture" sensations. Lacy and pretty enough to create an heirloom baby blanket, but rough enough (in the yarn I used) to scrub the worst grime off of a construction worker... Believe me, I know because I married one. 😉 I could mention more about "texture", "awesome texture", or "the coolest texture ever", but maybe we should get on with the pattern before I talk too much about texture... Oh, wait... I forgot about reversible texture:

chart, cotton, crochet, diagram, dishcloth, double crochet cross stitch, free pattern, giveaway, granny square, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, in the round, linkup, square, washcloth


*After the pattern, be sure to check out what everyone else in the Challenge is creating. You can also share your granny-inspired projects at the linkup - And don't forget to enter the giveaway, too!*


Skill level:
Easy - intermediate


Materials:
Worsted weight (4) yarn
I used Peaches & Creme cotton yarn in the color "Happy Go Lucky". Click here and also here to read why I'm not happy with it.
Size J/10 - 6.00 mm crochet hook
Yarn needle
Stitch markers (optional - use to mark corners and beginning spaces if needed)


Gauge:
In 4" x 4" (10 cm x 10 cm)
14 double crochet across
6 rows


Notes:
Chain 1 at beginning of rounds does not count as a stitch. (Chain 2 if you find this to be too short.)

Single crochet (used to join) counts as a chain-1 space at the end of rounds.

When following the chart, join rounds with a slip stitch unless otherwise noted in the diagram.


Stitches:
(American terms)
Chain
Slip stitch
Single crochet
Double crochet
Double crochet cross stitch


Instructions:

Begin with a magic circle/loop.

Round 1:
Chain 1 (does not count as a stitch), make 12 double crochet in the ring. Join with a slip stitch. 
(12 double crochet)

Round 2:
Chain 1, make one double crochet cross stitch in the space between each double crochet. Join with a slip stitch to the first double crochet made of the beginning cross stitch. 
(12 double crochet cross stitches)

Round 3:
Chain 1. 
*1 double crochet cross stitch in the chain-1 space of the next cross stitch; 1 double crochet cross stitch in the space between cross stitches. Join with a slip stitch.
(24 double crochet cross stitches)

Round 4:
Chain 1. Make 1 double crochet cross stitch in the chain space of the next cross stitch (makes beginning of first corner; to be finished at end of round). Chain 1.  
*(Work 1 double crochet cross stitch in the chain space of the next cross stitch) 5x.**
Make 2 double crochet cross stitches in the next.*
Repeat from * to * 3x.
Repeat from * to ** once more.
Make a double crochet cross stitch in the beginning space. Join with a single crochet (counts as chain-1 space) in the first double crochet of the starting double crochet cross stitch.

Round 5:
Chain 1. Make 2 double crochet in the joining space.
*Chain 1. (Double crochet in the space between next 2 cross stitches, chain 1) 6x.**
(2 double crochet, 1 chain, 2 double crochet) in the corner space.*
Repeat from * to * 3x.
Repeat from * to ** once more.
Make 2 double crochet in the beginning space. Join with a single crochet in the starting double crochet.

Round 6:
(Note - Pattern is written for a regular square. To create a hanging loop for a dishcloth or washcloth, simply replace the chain-1 of any corner in this round with more chains, then slip stitch in the top of the previous double crochet made. My loops are made with a chain of ten.)

Chain 1. Make 2 double crochet in the single crochet joining space.
*Make 2 double crochet in each of the following 7 spaces.**
(2 double crochet, 1 chain, 2 double crochet) in the corner space.*
Repeat from * to * 3x.
Repeat from * to ** once more.
Make 2 double crochet in the beginning space. Chain 1, bind off loosely. 

Join with a false stitch by bringing the tail through the starting stitch, then back through the top of the ending stitch. Weave in ends.


chart, cotton, crochet, diagram, dishcloth, double crochet cross stitch, free pattern, giveaway, granny square, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, in the round, linkup, square, washcloth

chart, cotton, crochet, diagram, dishcloth, double crochet cross stitch, free pattern, giveaway, granny square, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, in the round, linkup, square, washcloth


chart, cotton, crochet, diagram, dishcloth, double crochet cross stitch, free pattern, giveaway, granny square, Granny-Spiration Challenge 2017, in the round, linkup, square, washcloth

Happy Crocheting!

And now, on to the Granny-Spiration Challenge for August...

Check out this month's featured project - A scrap ottoman cover from Ghemuletul Incalcit:


http://ghemuletulincalcit.blogspot.ro/2017/06/normalitate.html

*A little help would be great here... Does that actually translate into "The Ghost Squirrel", or has my translator program gone bonkers? Either way, the translator doesn't have to work for me to know I love this project!

See what everyone in the Challenge is making:






Share your granny-inspired projects at the linkup:
This month's linkup begins at 12 a.m. EST on August 5th and runs until 12 a.m on August 18th.

New Granny-Spiration Projects will be shared from your hosts the first Saturday of each month. Post times will vary. You will be able to link up from 12:00am EST on the first Saturday of the month, through midnight EST on the second Thursday from the start date - specific dates are on top of the Rafflecopter form - giving you almost two weeks to link up and enter the giveaway!

Please share projects that are family friendly, and GRANNY INSPIRED through use of regular granny square or solid granny square, granny stitch pattern or other afghan square in the form of a free pattern, pattern review, or inspiration piece. Not limited to crochet or knit.

Please make sure to link to your post, and not your home page.

*If you don't have a blog, you can still share with us by creating a Free Flickr Account - powered by Yahoo. Add your projects there, and then come back here with the link for the project.

*Link ups cannot be to Etsy listings or Ravelry pages where patterns are sold. You can link to blog posts, Flickr or Facebook pages, Pins, etc that are directed towards it, but can't directly link to it.
To be clearer though, Raverly pages of finished projects are okay to share. Sorry for the inconvenience! That's per InLinkz guidelines. Thanks!

Features may be chosen at the discretion of each host. By linking up, you give us permission to feature your item.







And don't forget to enter the giveaway:
This month's giveaway is sponsored by EyeLoveKnots. One winner will receive a copy of Happily Hooked Magazine, issue #40 featuring light and lacy designs, including the pattern for Alexandra's Granny Square Tank Top.

Granny Square Top, Happily Hooked Magazine issue #40, EyeLoveKnots, giveaway, win





How to Sew a Toggle Button

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest

  Wait... WHAT??? Me, the sewing hater, is going to teach you something about it? Yup, that's right! Unfortunately, crocheting sometimes involves sewing, which is something I absolutely despise having to do. But, hey... We can hate it, or we can just get over it and do it so we have a finished project already; right? I find toggle buttons to be one of the easiest closures to use for garments, and I'd like to show you how I (the sewing hater) make it even easier.

  You'll need a yarn or sewing needle (one that fits through your button holes), a small length of yarn or thread (plus scissors to cut it), and your crochet project. But most importantly, toggle buttons are required... Which leads to a side note: WHOOP! The local Michaels heard my plea, and now has a larger assortment of buttons available. YAY - No more out-of-town trips just to get buttons!

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  I'm also using stitch markers to mark where I will attach the button and closing loop, but we won't need our crochet projects just yet... You're going to start with the yarn (or thread) looped over, so you need to cut double the length you actually need to sew the button. I've started with 16" (40 cm), which will give me a little less than 8" (20 cm) to work with once doubled:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  The beginning stitch is one of the things I hate the most about sewing. That's why we're going to do this the easy way... Bring the two loose ends of the thread through the eye of the needle. You'll have a loop on one side, and the tails on the other:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  You can move the needle closer to the tails to give yourself more thread for sewing, as shown below. Bring the needle through the back side of one of the button's holes, leaving the looped thread protruding from the back of the button:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  Bring the needle through the front side of the other hole, to the back again. I like to leave a little slack so I don't accidentally pull the thread back out of the button until it's secured:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest

  To secure the thread, bring the needle through the loop at the back of the button:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  With the thread secured to the button, there's no fighting with trying to keep the button in the right place as you attach it to your project! You can tighten up the stitch at this point, but I still leave it a little loose for the following step...

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest

  To give me a bit more confidence that the button won't fall off, I run the yarn through the button's holes one more time in the same direction. (You can skip that if you have more faith in your work - or its wearer - but I like to have more than one length of yarn through it.) Now with the thread at the back of the needle again, bring it under the yarn that runs through the opposite hole:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  There, that looks about right! (In a few steps, you'll see how I run the yarn through one more time for even more security.) Now, to grab your crochet project to attach the button...

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  I have the extra trouble of trying to attach this button to lace - Oh! Why have I taken this on? Anyway, it's no big deal, really...

  For a solid-stitch fabric, you can sew your yarn around the stitches to the back of your work. For this lacy design, I'm working through the middle of the single crochet stitch:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  Bring the yarn back around to the front, then run under the loops at the back of the button once again:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  I want to have a little space between the fabric and the toggle, but not too much! Here's where you can tighten your stitches to place the button where you want it:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  Now for the super-cheating-extra-security part! I separate the tails, leaving just one on the needle:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  Run one tail through a button hole from back to front, then through the other hole to the back again. Drop the tail from the needle and repeat with the next...

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  And then, tie the tails together in a knot.(?) It's against my crocheting morals to tie a knot in my yarn, but I really like the extra security with this lacy design. Tied tight at the back of the button, the knot blends in well:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  It's now safe to weave the tails into the project. Again because of the lace, I'm taking an extra-security step... All tails are being woven into the yarn itself, Russian-join style:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest


  If you've seen my previous tutorial for this stitch, then you know I was using a super-big hook to work up super-fine yarn... This isn't the case for the loop I created for the closure - That would never work! I switched to a smaller size 0/3.75 mm steel hook, and made a chain of ten to fit around the toggle:

crochet, sewing, toggle, button, how to, tutorial, attach a button, lace, vest

  Ta da! I did it! I sewed something and actually finished it! Now, I just hope this tutorial can also make it easier for you. I may be an advanced crocheter, but I'm an inexperienced sewer. I fear my stitches looking sloppy; my back-stitches not holding; my buttons falling off. I took the experience I gained in learning how to make a shawl toggle to make sewing on a button less of a headache. It made the task seem effortless compared to the usual way I would do it. I think - just maybe - I might look forward to using this method for more garments in the future.

Happy Crocheting!
...And effortless sewing!