Sewing on buttons has always been a little bit of a tedious task for me.
It’s not a difficult one. It’s just… I wish the buttons would sew themselves on.
And there’s always at least one that doesn’t go on straight. It’s always in the wrong place. Not lots. Just enough to annoy you.
Recently I’ve been knitting lots of preemie baby cardigans for the Warm Baby Project.
If you want the pattern I’ve been using it’s free here.
Anyway, as I was knitting it dawned on me that I could use a technique typically used with lace, but for my buttons.
That is… to add the button directly on to the stitch with a crochet hook!
When you knit a buttonhole, the button needs to be added to the corresponding opposite side. Right?
So if we knit the buttonhole and add the button to the same row, then they are both in exact alignment to each other!
And as a bonus you don’t need to sew on the button later (or weave in any extra ends).
Please note that this only works perfectly on garments where the button bands are knit in with the main body of the garment. Where button bands are knitted on after you may not get perfect alignment, but you can avoid the sewing.
Oh and it also works best with shank style buttons. The ones with the loop at the back of the button. It does kind of work with 2-hole buttons, but not 4-hole buttons.
If you’re not familiar with the technique or need a refresh, then please keep reading…
1. Decide which stitch you are adding your button to. Knit the stitch as usual. In the Preemie Sweetpea Cardigan I add the button to the third stitch from the end.
2. Optional but I find slipping the stitch back to the left hand needle easier to pick up with the crochet hook.
3. Slip the crochet hook through the shank of your button.
4. Slip the crochet hook through your stitch.
5. Use the crochet hook to pull the stitch through the button shank.
6. Place the stitch back on the right hand needle.
7. Remember to turn your button so it faces the right side of your work!
8. Continue knitting the pattern and repeat the above for any more buttons.
For 2-hole buttons use the crochet hook to pull the stitch from back to front, and then the same loop from the front to the back.
Really. That’s all there is to it.
Let me know how you got on or if you have any questions in the comments below.
Best wishes, Sam xox