Beaker Button Tutorials

Dorset Button Crosswheel Tutorial
Simple Sideways Shawl Tutorial
Temperature Blanket Worksheet

Instructions for making a Crosswheel Dorset Button

1 closed ring, thread, blunt ended needle.
There are four stages to making a Dorset Button on a ring. Casting, Slicking, Laying and Rounding.

Hints and tips:
If you find you are running out of thread simply thread the tail of yarn neatly through the back of the button and leave a long tail. Add new yarn by threading it back the opposite way to the first thread, leaving a long tail, and continue rounding, stitching over the tails as well. The tails can be woven into the back of the button at the end. When laying the spokes make sure the spoke you are laying is perfectly in the centre of the ring at the front. Don’t worry about the back. This will help to make your spokes central. The holding stitches you put in will pull the back spokes into place. As you are stitching with single ply thread it helps to twist the thread every now and then to stop it unravelling.

Have a length of yarn about 100 times the width of your button. A 2cm ring will use about 2m of 4ply thread. You 'll need more thread if you are using something thinner and less for something thicker.
Tie the yarn round the ring in a single knot, leaving a tail of about 1-2cm.
Stitch round the entire ring in blanket stitch, covering the tail as you go. Bring the needle towards you through the ring and pass it away from you through the loop created. Make sure to cover the whole ring, moving the stitches along the ring so there are no gaps.

The first knot                    Casting in blanket stitch                                                   Slicking

Turn all the stitches so that they face inwards, leaving a smooth edge to the button. The thread should drop from the back of the button.


Bring the yarn from the back, down and towards you under the ring, then back up to the start.  This forms one spoke. Turn the ring slightly and repeat until there are several spokes around the ring.  The spacing should be even.  For this button 10 spokes looks good (that’s 5 wraps).  Each wrap will move to the left at the bottom and the right at the top.  The back spokes will not lie centrally at this point.  Make two stitches in the centre of the wheel to hold the spokes in place, being careful to catch all the threads from the back and pull them into the middle.  The first stitch comes up from the back of the button opposite the last spoke laid. I make my second stitch across my first, so they look like a cross. If your spokes are not central and you want them to be, firmly tug the middle until it’s placed centrally, using the side of the needle.


Laying stages                                                                                                                  


Back stitch round the spokes.  Bring the needle up from the back.  Pass it back down clockwise over the spoke.  Bring it back up two spokes anti-clockwise (include the stitch you just stitched over).  Pass it down one spoke clockwise.  Repeat this until you reach the start of your first round.  Continue back stitching rounds in this way until the entire button is filled.  To make the button more central push the stitches closest to the edge into the middle with your finger, but leave the stitches furthest away.

Completed button              Finishing off   Use the tail to sew the button on through the middle.

Thread the tail of the yarn at the back of the button into the middle and make one or two holding stitches.  Leave the yarn tail for sewing onto a garment.


Simple Sideways Shawl

This shawl is worked from point to long side using a simple increase. Tension isn't really important. I used 4mm needles for both the shawls in the photos. I'd recommend knitting the first few rows and seeing if you like the fabric you produce. If it feels a little to holey then start again with smaller needles. If it feels a little stiff then try again with larger needles.

Cast on 3 sts.
Row 1: With yarn in front knit row (1 st inc). This will give a nice loopy edge to the top of the shawl.
Row 2: Knit.
Repeat two rows until nearly out of yarn.
Cast off loosely (I used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn cast Off). This cast off is done using a long tail of yarn and looks very similar to long tail cast on. It matches the garter stitch edge to the shawl nicely too, which is why I used it here. Thread the tail onto a yarn needle. Pass the needle purlwise (as if to purl) through the first two stitches on the knitting needle. *Pull it so the slack is taken up but not to tight. Remember we're loosley casting off. Then pass the needle knitwise (as if to knit) through the first stitch on the knitting needle and pull through so the slack is taken up. Drop the first stitch off the knitting needle. Pass the needle purlwise through the next two stitches on the knitting needle.*Repeat from * to * until all the stitches have been cast off.

Elizabeth Zimmerman Sewn Cast off 1 

Pass the needle purlwise                                     Pass the needle knitwise

Block shawl to shape. You can either make a right angle triangle using blocking wires at the base of the shawl and pin, which will give you more depth, or stretch the top as far as it will go and pin, which will give it more length. 


Temperature blanket, shrug or scarf

Each day you work 1 or 2 rows of colour, dictated by the temperature at 12pm in the area where you are currently situated. You can knit, crochet, Tunisian crochet, weave or any other crafty skill where you create rows. The choice of stitch is yours, and you can vary the stitch or stick to one stitch as you like. The important thing is to work the same number of rows each day and to stick to the colours in your chart. Below is a colour chart for you to fill in. Below that is a chart with suggested stitch count, based on an average tension, needle size and what you want to make. This is only approximate as it will depend on what stitch, needle size, personal tension etc. The shrug is worked as a large rectangle and the sleeves sewn up when it’s finished. I would avoid doing the shrug in thicker yarns as it may get very long!

Share on Beaker Button Facebook page as and when you like. There is also a dedicated Facebook page for a wider audience at

where you can share your project and get ideas.

Temperature in Celsius at 12pm

yarn and colour used

below 0

0 - 5

6 - 10

11 - 15

16 - 20

20 - 25

26 - 30

Over 30


Yarn weight

stitch count blanket (1m approx)

stitch count shrug

(50cm wide approx)

stitch count scarf

(20cm wide approx)


lace weight






























If you want to be more accurate work a square in one of your chosen yarns using your chosen stitch, measure across 10cm and count the stitches. You can then work out your own stitch count. You can also see if you like the stitch, yarn etc. You can do this for crochet, weaving, Tunisian crochet or anything else you fancy making.