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Yarny Buttons: Heathered

Remember waaaaaay back in October when I showed you how to make buttons to match your tweed sweaters? Well, I’m back, as promised, to show you what to do if your yarn is of the heathered variety. Many of the steps are the same for the two types, so I will refer you back to the tweed instructions, when necessary.

In addition to the black clay and all of the supplies listed in the first tutorial, you will also need clay to match the color of your yarn. Heathered yarn consists of one main solid color, and one (usually) secondary color that has been wound into the main color.

When mixing your colors, be careful to really see what component hues are present in the yarn. It is easy for the eye to blend the colors for you, resulting in inaccurate mixing. See the tweed tutorial for more color-matching tips.

Condition the black clay and your two yarn colors.

Roll the black clay out to a thickness of 8 cards. (See the tweed tutorial to learn why we are measuring thickness in stacks of playing cards.) Cut off about 1/4 of the sheet and set the rest aside. Roll the smaller piece through the pasta machine on the 4-card setting.

Roll out your two yarn colors at the 8-card setting, and trim the sheets to square-shape.

Slice diagonally into the blue to create two blue triangles, and set one piece on top of the other to make one thicker triangle.

Repeat with the green.

Line the two thick triangles next to each other, slightly offset, to create a rectangle. Cut off the protruding tabs.

We’ll be using this square to make a partial Skinner blend.

Place the rectangle in the pasta machine and roll through at the 8-card setting.

Fold the resulting sheet in half, as shown, and put it through the pasta machine again, fold-side-down.

Fold that sheet in half, the same way as before, and put it through the pasta machine again, fold-side-down.

Repeat one last time.

Your sheet won’t look very blended from the outside, but you will see, there is quite a bit going on inside the clay sheet when you slice it.

Cut the sheet down the center as shown. Take note of the direction you should be cutting – it makes a big difference!

Place one sheet on top of the other without flipping it in any way.

Cut this stack of two in the same direction as before, and stack one of the pieces on top of the other without flipping.

Repeat this process one more time, and then look at the cross-section of your cuts: the colors are fading into one another, but there are still “strands” visible. These narrow stripes of color should resemble the individual strands in the heathered yarn.

Using your clay blade, cut very thin strips from the face of the blended stack, and place the strips side-by-side on the thinner black sheet.

Run this sheet through the pasta machine at the 8-card setting, keeping the blend running vertically (top to bottom).

Repeat, same direction, on the 6-card setting.

Now, flip the sheet in the other direction. Is it too wide for your pasta machine? If so, slice off an end of the sheet to make it fit. I would recommend cutting from the end that is not your main yarn color. In this case, the green.

Run this trimmed sheet, with the pattern running horizontally, through the pasta machine at the 4-card setting.

Trim the sheet into a rectangle and slice into 1/4-inch strips as demonstrated earlier with the tweed buttons.

The woven sheet is created the same way for heathered buttons as it is for tweed, with one exception: the order of the strips matters.

You’ll notice that one side of your sliced sheet contains strips that are more blue than green. The other side contains strips that are more green than blue.

When placing strips on the base, pull from the bluer side for the vertical strips, and pull from the green side for the horizontal strips.

Your sheet should look something like this when you are finished.

Form your buttons, bake them, and finish them in the same manner as for the tweed buttons.

Next time? We’ll make bigger buttons, and we’ll make them to match variegated yarns. Stay tuned!

If you’d like all three Yarny Button tutorials in one handy eBook format, you can snag a copy below. I appreciate your support!



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Posted on 5 Comments

5 thoughts on “Yarny Buttons: Heathered

  1. Wow, that is such a cool technique!

    1. Glad you like it!

  2. Lovely tutorial. I’m adding “learn to make buttons” to my goals board on pinterest (with your tutorial obviously).

    1. When you do sit down to learn, let me know if anything needs clarifying 🙂

      1. As soon as I finish these grad school applications I’m rewarding myself with something crafty!

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