Learn to Make A Chinese Knot Closure

Note from Sandi:
On Wednesday, Vicki Square, author of our book Knit Kimono: 18 Designs With Simple Shapes, shared some thoughts about her passion for knitting with us. Today, as inspiration for your own creativity, Vicki shares her instructions for a Chinese knot. You can use these to dress up your sweaters, jackets, and of course, knitted kimonos. Heeeerrre's Vicki!

How To Make a Chinese Knot

Just to get you inspired, let’s make a Chinese knot. This is fun once you get the hang of it, and it’s great for closures and simple embellishments.

1. Make a 3-stitch knitted I-cord about 11” long. (Try worsted weight yarn with size 7 dpn’s.)

2. To tie the knot, hold the cord between your thumb and finger, leaving about an inch of one end free.

3. Circle the yarn counterclockwise, a bit to the left of the starting end, making a small 1” diameter circle.

4. Lay another circle over the first in the same manner, slightly to the right of the first.

5. Bring the second end under the starting end, then weave through the circles right to left over, under, over, under.

6. Pull the second end through.

You will have to keep pulling and adjusting the path of the knitted cord through the knot until the ends are even, and the knot is rounded.


Making a Button Closure

The Chinese knot is perfect for the button side of a closure. To make the loop side:

1. Knit a second 3-stitch knitted I-cord about 9” long.


2. Tie a slip-knot in this piece, leaving the loop about 1” long, making sure the ends are even.

3. Pin for placement and sew in place from the wrong side of the piece with a whipstitch.

4. Bar-tack adjacent to the knot for stability.

— Vicki Square

P. S. from Sandi:
I just found out that Vicki will be author of a new ongoing feature in Interweave Knits magazine called "The Thinking Knitter," where she shares her thoughts about why we knit. Look for it starting with the Winter 2008 issue!

Learn how to knit your own stunning kimono!

Vicki Square's Knit Kimono has 18 gorgeous knitted kimono patterns, each with a lovely modern twist on ancient Japanese tradition. Included is a wonderful section on designing your own kimono, as well as historical and cultural tidbits throughout. Learn more about this wonderful book.

Look for this and other Interweave books at your local yarn shop.

This free pattern's for you, Franklin!

I owe an apology to the men of the world. Last week when Franklin Habit was our guest on Knitting Daily, I had intended to offer everyone a lovely free men's pattern in honor of Sir Franklin The Funny and his new book It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons.

(In my defense, I was laughing so hard at his post that I'm surprised I remembered to send the email out at all.)

Anyway, what's even better than an apology? A great free vest pattern: the Camel Vest by Tara Jon Manning. Cold in the office? This classic vest, with a simple cable accent down the front, can be worn with jeans (for those of you with a more casual workplace), or with those sleek tailored pants you downtown fellows wear to work.

This snazzy vest is an excerpt from Tara's book Men In Knits: Sweaters to Knit that He WILL Wear. (Learn more about this book.)

You can find Men In Knits at your local yarn shop. (The book, folks…you can find the BOOK Men in Knits at your local yarn shop. You might also be able to find actual men in knits wandering around your local yarn shop, too, if you hang around the shop for a bit. There you go: Dating Advice for Knitters. You heard it here first, people. You're welcome. No extra charge.)

Download the Camel Vest

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Remember that "interesting adjustment issue" with the Camisa? It turns out I have to Rip. OhNOOooo! Just a little ripping, nothing too major, but I have to undo the shoulder seams…so. Again. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, I am consoling myself with a pair of Nancy Bush socks: Denmark from Knitting on the Road. (Comfort knitting!)

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Knitting Daily Blog

9 thoughts on “Learn to Make A Chinese Knot Closure

  1. well sandi maybe you should cast on for it and send it as a chain mail knit ending up with franklin casting off after it has been in the loving care of let’s say a hundred knitters. a token of appreciation from the knitting community. or maybe ship off what is inside the sweater for his calendar…

  2. If anyone is interested in Chinese knots, there is actually a BUTTON KNOT, which is specifically designed to be button closures. There is a demonstration on how to do this (and many more) on:

    The button knot is the one at the very bottom of the page. The completed picture shows the knot with a bit loop on top – to finish it off and use it as a button, simply adjust the knot till the loop disappears into the knot itself.

    This knot is not only beautifully formed but is also more 3 dimensional, so makes a much more secure closure.

    Also just for your information the knot demonstrated here is called the ‘double coin’ or ‘double money,’ because it looks like two coins intertwined (if you don’t pull it tight). If this knot is repeated or joined onto each other, they can make some very pretty variations.

  3. OK. Just want to understand this. Maybe I missed something last week. This week’s free pattern actually goes to last week, when we didn’t get one? Sooo, this week we don’t get a free pattern?

  4. Love the Chinese Knot, however, I am really disappointed that the “Free Pattern” was knit with yarn that costs $125 a skein (3 skeins needed for smallest size). It would be $375 for a sweater vest. I have noticed this throughout most of the knitting magazines, why??? Or maybe it is the patterns that I am drawn to are using more expensive yarns.

    Do knitters have endless amounts of money or am I the only one who cannot afford such things. I know how to substitute yarn, but wouldn’t it be great if some of the patterns were knit with yarn that us middle income knitters could afford!

  5. This is great! Yesterday I was grumbling to myself about having to track down my notes for a chinese knot closure. I file things in the safe place called “can’t remember where”. Your post was so timely. I am yet again in full appreciation of your postings. You thrill me. (OK, I am easy but life is short.)

  6. Bixby Library in Vergennes, Vermont has a great drop-in and knit group that meets the 3rd Saturday of each month from 11 AM until 1 PM. It’s free. Anyone out there in the Vergennes, VT area skilled at double knit? We need help.