Ryðrauð-y Sweater for Me

comments: 42











I finished my Ellen-ish version of a Ryðrauð-kind-of-yoke sweater and I wanted to show it to you before I get on to other things and forget to do it. Lately I feel like I'm getting behind in certain things and then they just disappear from my brain somehow. But I finished my navy-blue sweater yesterday and I am so pleased with it that I decided to have a nice time this morning taking its picture on the dining room table.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I used the Ellen Cardigan pattern in size XL and made no modifications to any of the math used in the pattern. My original version of that sweater (I finally put some stuff on Ravelry, and my Ellen is here, for what it's worth) fits me perfectly (for once). I was so excited about it that I cast on for this navy sweater almost immediately after I finished Original Ellen, and decided to use a modified/simplified version of the Ryðrauð yoke and pretty much plug it into the stitch counts for the Ellen yoke. The construction of the original Ryðrauð is bottom-up and completely different than my navy sweater, which is top down. But I think my flower pattern definitely gives a nod to the original Ryðrauð and that makes me happy. I still think the original Ryðrauð is really gorgeous and maybe I will make that actual pattern someday, I don't know. The chart I used is on this post and I think anyone could modify the number of repeats to use with the Ellen (which is a free pattern) yoke in any size if you wanted to.

Anyway, a few things about it: The floats were huuuuuuuuuuge between the first three rows of colorwork. Thank you to those of you who suggested different links so that I could look at potential solutions to that. In the end I sort of jerryrigged it (mostly because I had already knit it but also because the solutions seemed kind of complicated!) and literally just used a bit of embroidery floss to tack down the longest floats in the center. I didn't actually sew through the yarn there, but I sort of wove the floss over and under the strands, keeping them together but still letting them move. That said, I don't even know how much they needed to move. I probably could've tacked them all the way down. Either way, it seems to have worked just fine and it was super easy!

Also, I did cast on and knit the neckband before doing the colorwork, and then when I knit the button bands on I just picked up the neckband stitches, too. For some reason I got a lot fewer stitches on my buttonbands than last time and I had to kind of recalculate the buttonhole placement, which I did but I still kind of messed up by  couple of stitches at the end. But the buttons at the top look good and the placement is better for me than on the original Ellen.

What I really wanted to tell you, though, was how I lined the button bands. I really, really like this treatment of button bands because it adds some stability to your bands and knitted buttonholes and prevents the knitted button bands for stretching out and gaping when buttoned — I really do not like it when the button bands gape on a sweater. And also, the button bands are just so pretty and nice and kind of like a little secret luxury. No one really sees them while you're wearing the sweater but for some reason just having them on my very own sweater feels so luxurious and special and sweet.

I got some questions about this the last time I did it on a sweater for Mimi so I thought I'd elaborate on how I did it here: After the sweater was blocked, I laid it out on the table and lined up the knitted BB's (button bands) and measured how long and how wide each of them was. In my case, they were 21 1/2" long by 1 1/8" wide. Adding a 1/4" hem on each edge meant I cut two pieces of fabric that were 22" by 1 5/8". I cut these on the straight grain (instead of using bias tape, which you could also do) so that they wouldn't stretch. (You could also use a ribbon for this but I can never find exactly the ribbon I want when I need it.) I carefully pressed under 1/4" along all edges. Then I laid one of the pressed strips face down on the table and then laid the BB of the sweater right side up, directly over it. You'll want to take some time to make sure that both sweater and strip are carefully placed here; you could pin them together if you want to, but I didn't. I used a water-erase fabric marker to mark where each knitted buttonhole fell on the fabric strip, and then marked that through to the right side of the fabric. Then (after some testing on scraps of the same fabric) I used the automatic buttonhole feature on my sewing machine to stitch all of the buttonholes vertically on the fabric strip. (This feature is totally awesome. You put the button that you want to use in the back of the special foot, pick the correct setting, and press "play." If your machine doesn't do this, stop in a machine shop sometime and ask them for a demonstration of this feature; it's pretty life-changing if you like to sew clothes.) I opened all the buttonholes as you usually would, with a seam ripper, and then just whipstitched, by hand, each fabric strip to each knitted button band using thread the color of the sweater. Typically, if you use a ribbon you usually don't stitch down the inside edge. But with fabric you have a folded/hemmed edge instead of a finished edge and so I sewed it down.

I should also mention that my linings here are a bit different than the way you would do them if you've steeked your sweater. (This sweater was knit back and forth, not steeked.) Usually the lining ribbons on steeked sweaters are used to cover the cut edge of the steek itself, and I've always seen the ribbon falling just shy of the buttonhole. But I suppose you could make the lining or ribbon wider and do buttonholes in that, too, as I've done here. It's a bit of a laborious process but after all of that knitting, it's really nothing, and such a nice way to finish a sweater. If you've done this, or if you have any suggestions of questions, let me know. I'd love to hear them.

Mimi and I went to the fabric store yesterday and she helped me pick out the buttons so I sewed those on when I was done with the bands. I'm wearing the sweater as I write and couldn't be happier with it.


I am in awe...you really have a knack for clothing, whether for you or your sweet daughter. The sweater is beautiful !! and the little details make it so special !! Love !!

Stefanie P. says: January 12, 2018 at 02:07 PM

Absolutely gorgeous!!!...Isn't it nice knitting something for yourself?...Loving the fabric lined button placket...that is so you!...ENJOY wearing it!!!

I have been looking for a way to do this for YEARS on a cardigan I love but don't wear due to gaping button bands. THANK YOU!

Thank you for this very clear explanation on how to add the fabric button band! I've been wanting put one on a cardigan, but kinda of afraid to try it. A little Liberty on the inside of a garment is so special, isn't it? And I LOVE your Navy cardigan! Navy is one of my favorite colors to wear. I just realized your sweater would look so good with my Scarbourgh Fair Skirt! O I'm very excited about these sweaters and happy about your knitting success! :)

This is how I tack down a new strand of yarn when I join it, and I don't see why it wouldn't work for floats. Don't let the the length of instructions fool you; it's really simple. http://sockpr0n.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-to-weave-in-ends-while-knitting.html

Oh my gosh I LOVE it!

Beautiful work, Alicia! Both of your sweaters are gorgeous.

Oh my! Those flowered button bands are YOU! Congratulations on a very tasteful sweater! Yikes, I'd better get mine cast on...

The sweater looks beautiful and so toasty warm. I will learn to knit because of your inspiration. Sometime, not now, but sometime in the future.

I am inspired! For some reason the fabric on the band just makes it! Enjoy!

Such a lovely cardigan and thank you for sharing how you did the button band. It really does give an added air of luxury.

I've no idea what most of that means but I loved reading it and am intrigued by the idea of placing fabric behind the button holes. And, coincidentally, I was using the automatic button hole maker thingy on the sewing machine today and yes! it is indeed very clever! Beautiful sweater, you do such lovely work.

So talented dear Alicia..my first manager knit as beautifully as you do..I have saved the sweaters she made me..:)I love the buttonhole treatment.
By the way I was 28..I am 64..I have saved them a while:) Precious.

I just finished knitting a cardigan for my sister, and am going to try your method of stabilizing the button bands! I have a very old sewing machine but I bet I can make this work out. Thank you so much for the detailed instructions!

I was so practical in my enthusiasm I forgot to add that your cardigan is gorgeous. Maybe I will make one at some point. Thanks so much for sharing, and enjoy wearing it!

Beautiful work, and I greatly appreciate your detailing the process of the button bands. It looks like you tacked down some of the longer floats by hand after-the-fact. Did you know that you can "catch" the floats with the other colored yarn (in your case here, the blue) as you knit? That way, they're held securely closer to the finished work and you don't have to tack them down later. You just kind of 'wrap' the carried float yarn in the working yarn every so often, depending on the weight of the yarn used. I generally don't go more than 3 stitches without wrapping the float, but it's an individual choice. I've read suggestions to wrap every inch worked, but... Still, a beautiful work! Thanks for sharing.

Whoops! Just went back and reread the entire post (which I didn't do the first reading). Apparently you talk about floats, so... never mind. :-)

Wow! You are a speedy knitter! It takes me forever to finish a sweater. I love the Liberty fabric on the button band and your explanation of how to add it. Both sweaters are lovely, well done you!

What a great sweater! Those band facings are the perfect finish.

I just LOVE all your projects! This is so pretty..and the button band is the icing on the cake! I was inspired to learn to knit by you..and quite a few others on IG. I have really struggled with it, but its getting easier, and I understand it better! Im working on my FIRST sweater, and I am so hopeful it will turn out right! Congratulations on another gorgeous finish!

I have nothing original to say but I can't let this sweater go by on my computer screen without commenting, to say that i agree with everyone who got here before me, that the sweater is lovely, your photography captures its beauty, the button bands are just as you say, a secret little finishing touch that not only looks good, but keeps the sweater together and fitting right. I love visiting here, as I never know what feast for the eyes I'll find.

Thank you for giving me the incentive to try this. I hate stretched out buttonholes. One question - the sewn buttonhole goes only on fabric? Do you somehow tack it to buttonhole or does it stay lined up just by tacking long edges?

I LOVE this cardigan. And I especially love the slightly secret button bands.

Amei! Lindo Sweater!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.