Getting Closure (in knitting, at least)

Asian inspired closure from Knit Kimono, Too by Vicki Square

I'm a button junkie. When I travel, I always visit yarn shops and fabric stores (big surprise!) and I usually end up with a special button or two to remind me of my trip. I think button collecting is in my genes. I have buttons that were saved by my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother. I've added to this collection over the years, and it's become really special to me. The family collection lives in an old Crisco jar from the 30s. I love it!

There's always a balance, though. For every fabulous button there's a buttonhole to make. Not my favorite thing in this world of knitting. But you know what? Clever designer Vicki Square has created an Asian-inspired "buttonhole" made out of a length of I-cord. It's the perfect closure for one of her kimono designs, the Re-Su Yukata from Knit Kimono, Too.

The Re-Su Yukata kimono is a casual wrap that you can use as a bathrobe. It's knit in a soft cotton chenille yarn; perfect for cozy mornings with a cup of coffee.

But back to the closure; I just have to show you how to do it!

You'll need to knit a 3-stitch I-cord that measures 11 inches from the cast-on edge. Instead of binding off traditionally or drawing the yarn tightly through all three stitches, Vicki provides the following instructions, which make a really nice end to your cord: slip 1 knitwise with yarn in back, knit 2 together, pass slip stitch over. Cut yarn, leaving an 18" tail (use the tail to attach the closure to your garment). Pull the tail through the remaining stitch to secure.

Follow the illustrated steps below to twist your cord into the buttonhole loop.

Circle cord end #1 (the one laying on top) clockwise and place cord end under, and circle cord end #2 counterclockwise and place cord end over, making sure the loops are the same size and aligning the ends.

This closure works best for a button with a shank. If you happen to have the perfect button for your piece but it's not shanked, though, never fear, Vicki is here!

Insert threaded tapestry needle from WS of fabric through one hole in button and loosely back to WS of fabric through the next hole. Place a size U.S. 1 or 2 (2.25 or 2.75 mm) dpn between button and sewing yarn. Rep once in same holes, then rep 2 times for any rem pair of holes. Bring needle to RS of work behind the button (not through the button), remove dpn, lay down the threaded needle, and with cotton yarn held close to button, wind the yarn around the button sts several times to create a shank between the garment and the back of the button.

This is such a great technique. Now any button can be a shanked button! Get more ideas like these in Knit Kimono, Too. You'll find so many unique patterns in this book; your wardrobe will thank you!


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