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Getting Closure (in knitting, at least)

Nov 17, 2010

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!


Featured Product

Knit Kimono Too Simple Designs to Mix Match and Layer

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Best-selling author and knitwear designer Vicki Square returns with more than 20 brand-new Asian-inspired designs that flatter all body types. The special techniques and stitches that make these garments so elegantly wearable are demonstrated on the included DVD.


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on Nov 22, 2010 6:09 PM

really cute!!! love the idea...much more interesting than a boring buttonhole!

on Nov 17, 2010 10:36 AM

Hi Audrey! The closure is sewn onto the garment, so that keeps it in the correct shape. You could also tack it in place before you sew it to the garment.


AudreyD@2 wrote
on Nov 17, 2010 9:29 AM

Okay. Sorry to ask an obvious question, but how do you get the closure to stay like it is in the drawing? I've tried it out with a piece of yarn, and it won't stay without sewing or (horrors!) glueing. Is it sewn together by itself, or onto the garment? The closeup doesn't show how it is attached.