And here is how to make them! What could be simpler, less than a metre of yarn and a tapestry needle is all you'll need for your first birds eye button. Here's how:
Cut your length of yarn, approximately 70-80cm (27-31”). Wrap the yarn around a crochet hook/knitting needle/pencil several times (the more you wrap it the bulkier your button will be).
Pass the needle right through the centre of the bundle and back up through the loop you have created on the outside of the bundle before pulling the yarn tight - in effect a blanket stitch (see below).
Don’t worry about the tail of the yarn bundle, you can work it in as you move around your button and snip it off at the end.
In a circle, keep working blanket stitches through the centre of the bundle. I often work with my needle upside down, pushing the blunt end (where the yarn is threaded) through the centre of the button. The sharper end can sometimes split the yarn as you go through and prevent you from getting a sharp tangle-free finish.
To finish off, just turn your button over and stitch through the top of your first stitch (a bit like a slip stitch in crochet! Sorry, I'm not very good with sewing terminology, but hopefully the photo helps!!).
Flip your button face side up and stitch up through the edge of the next blanket stitch, before passing the yarn through the centre of the button and out through the back, leaving a length of yarn to sew the button on when required.
Here is the finished button alongside a larger one I made earlier. The pink one is worked in dk wool over a 10mm crochet hook - hence the hole in the centre of the button. The smaller button in cotton glace wound around a 3.5mm hook.
And why not stack your finished buttons? You can sew them together, I just pass a few stitches around the stitched edges of the top button, through the inner circle of the button below. Then you only need one yarn tail to stitch your button into position.
Hope you enjoy making your own buttons, let me know how you get on xxx
ps. Rachel, I look forward to seeing them on your apple cosies!
pps. sorry about the scruffy nails, it's been a hectic few days and I haven't had time to tidy them up!!!
ppps. And 'thank you' to the quite wonderful Marion Howitt who taught me how to make these buttons at one of our Wool Workshop meetings in Corfe Castle.