Monday, January 26, 2009

Vintage crocheted buttons...or....what was I thinking??

So, one of the gals on a list I belong to got us all excited about vintage/antique crocheted buttons. I have always been a button lover. any kind, any shape, any color so I got excited. Bring 'em on! I knew I had downloaded a very old vintage crochet booklet that had crocheted buttons. It took some searching but I found it buried in my files. It's from 1912 and it's Irish Crochet. very intricate and lovely.

Now, I've been a lifelong crocheter (is that really a word?LOL) and I certainly felt up to the challenge. Well, I didn't think it would be a challenge. I just thought it would be some time spent creating very beautiful new vintage crocheted buttons.

What in the great googlymoogly was I thinking?? They're worked with very fine thread and tiny steel crochet hooks. Usually no problem. Thread crochet is my favorite. And then I started. The pattern is made of alot of old stitches like the roll stitch (now called the bullion) and clone knots(sort of a strangely formed bullion). Plus the pattern stitches are off from what we know today. not hard to figure out, but you just need to really concentrate on translating the stitches to todays terms.
It took me 2 hours to do the first one. One simple looking button. It's on the brown button above. It looks great but those roll stitches were near impossible. I took a break and made the cute little pink flower button. It's crocheted on a small (3/8inch) 4-hole shirt button. It's darling. I started another vintage one and this one is even harder. there are 16 wraps in those clone knots that circle the center of the button. those took me almost 2 hours to do just the 8 knots. Whew. I finally took a break and chatted online with a few friends. One friend directed me to some more info on heirloom buttons and I discovered that once upon a time a special hook was made for making bullion stitches. It's design was very specific to make it much easier to crochet these stitches. It figures that the hook is no longer made.....sigh..... There is a brand of hook made now that works just a bit better for these stitches and I just happen to have 3 of them.
I found them and tried them and voila!! It did work a bit better. Maybe now I might actually try to make a few more of those stinkin' buttons. They sure are pretty.....

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