Button Loops are most often artistically used instead of buttonholes. They are especially useful for large, irregular shaped buttons or toggles when the buttonhole would need to be too large to work or when the buttonhole will distort the pattern. They are wonderful for cardigans, pocket and purse closures, decorative cuffs and to use as an afterthought to close up an open cardigan. They can be used to keep kid’s mittens attached to their coats and as a hang loop for the inside back of a hoodie or a dishcloth.
They’re super cute on kids garments when worked in bright, contrasting colors. They add a fun and artistic element to any garment. And best of all, they are made at the very end, when the whole garment is finished, so you can put them where you want, and make them whatever size you want.
I like to work my button loops on the WS of the fabric to give a neat appearance. When it emerges from behind the fabric, the button loop base is hidden, looks neat and doesn’t disturb the edge. The top loop is formed on the edge. The bottom loop is formed on the WS of the fabric.
Here are two of the most common ways to make button loops.
Sewn Button Loop
1. Thread a tapestry needle with your button loop yarn, leaving a 2’ tail.
a. To place at the edge: With RS of work facing you, insert needle tip where you want your button loop to begin, from back of garment to front between the complete edge stitch (2 strands) and the stitch next to it. Pull yarn through, leaving 6” tail. Insert needle tip where you want your loop to end, about the width of the button, from front to back between the complete edge stitch and the stitch next to it, leaving a loop large enough to fit your thumb through. Insert the needle from back to front through the same hole as you began leaving a same-sized loop. You will have a large circle with one loop on the RS of fabric and one loop on the WS. You’re now ready to work the buttonhole stitch.
b. To place on the WS of fabric: With WS of work facing you, insert the needle tip under a stitch, from one stitch in and pull yarn through, leaving 6” tail. Loop the yarn around your thumb and insert needle tip under a stitch where you want your loop to end. Loop yarn back over your thumb and go through the same stitch as you began.
2. Hold both loops together and adjust the size of your double stranded loop so that it’s slightly bigger than your button. Test your loop size by sliding it over the button.
3. Press the fabric between your left fingers with the loop rising above and take the yarn over your left index finger, and bring needle tip through the center of the loop from back to front.
4. Turn the needle and take it from front to back, over the top of the loop and under the yarn draped around your index finger. The needle will pass in between the loop and index finger yarn.
5. Remove your finger and pull yarn tight. Wiggle it down next to the fabric, so it’s the first stitch on the left side of the loop. One buttonhole stitch completed!
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until you’ve made enough buttonhole stitches to fit around loop. Note –Slide the stitches next to each other and decide if you should make another stitch or two. Keep “knots” of each stitch on the outer edge and each stitch tightened to the same size.
7. Cut yarn and weave in tails.
Crocheted Chain Method
1. With a crochet hook and button loop yarn,
a. To place at the edge: With RS of work facing you, insert crochet hook where you want your loop to begin, front to back between the complete edge stitch and the stitch next to it. Draw up a loop and work a crochet chain to the desired length. Enlarge that last loop, remove the hook and insert it from front to back where you want your loop to end, between one complete edge stitch and the stitch next to it. Put the enlarged loop back on the hook, snug it up and pull it through your fabric.
b. To place on the WS of fabric: With WS of work facing you, insert crochet hook where you want your loop to begin, under a stitch one stitch in from edge. Draw up a loop and work a crochet chain to the desired length.
Remove the hook and insert it from the WS, under a stitch, one stitch in. Put the last chained loop back on the hook, and pull it through the stitch.
2. With RS of work facing you, insert hook from front to back through the top strand of the last chain worked of your button loop, pick up the yarn and pull it through both loops on the crochet hook.
Vogue Magazine Editors. Vogue Knitting. New York, NY: Sixth & Spring Books, 2002.
Hoenig, Pam. Knitting Tips & Trade Secrets. Newtown, CT: The Taunton Press, 2006.CLICK HERE FOR PATTERN DETAILS - Nikko Cardigan with Button Loops
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