Thursday, March 29, 2018

I-Cord With a Hook, Part 2: Self-Buttoning I-Cord

The techniques in this series were developed for I-cord made with a hook, but many of them can be adapted to I-cords made by other methods.

Welcome back to our series on making I-cord with a crochet hook. In Part 1, we learned three techniques for making a Better Basic I-cord: the Knotless Longtail Cast On, the Afterthought Column, and the loop-by-loop Bind Off.

Today we'll be making Self-Buttoning I-cord, which features a looped start and a button end, both worked in one with the cord.

Note: All variations in this series will use the Afterthought Column technique for the body of the I-Cord. See Part 1 for instructions.

What you’ll need:
Yarn (non-slippery is best, worsted weight or larger)
Yarn needle for weaving in
Optional: Extra hook two or three sizes smaller
Optional: Stitch marker

Instructions are written for right-handed crocheters.

Self-Buttoning I-Cord

This very fun I-cord makes a charming foundation row for hats or mitts. You could also use it to make some quirky yarn jewelry.

Tutorial is for a 5-stitch I-cord, but feel free to experiment with other sizes of cord. Note: the button size will change with the number of stitches, so you may need to adjust the number of chains in the starting loop.

Starting Loop
1. Leaving a 6” tail, ch 5 (see photos below).
2. Bring ends together to form flat ring, slip stitch in first ch.
3. Ch 1, tug yarn to tighten ch.
4-5. *Insert hook in ring, pull up a loop, then ch 1, tug yarn to tighten ch.
6. Repeat from * three more times – 5 loops now on hook.

7. Remove hook from loops. Leaving rightmost loop free, insert hook in second loop from the right.
8. Working from right to left, gently pull up a loop in each loop to complete the I-cord row. (Ignore that hanging loop for now.)

9. Continue working I-cord rows over these 4 loops to desired length. (See “Working the Body” in Part 1 for details). Keep gentle tension, and do not tug the cord. Your cord should be tidy on the front and laddered in the back, as in photo below.
Tip: If you plan to use this as a foundation for crochet, work 2-3 more rows of loops than the desired foundation stitch count.
10. Use yarn loop or stitch holder to temporarily secure top loops.
11-12. Inserting hook from bottom to top of hanging loop, hook up the afterthought column (see “Afterthought Column” in Part 1 for details).

Button End
Remove the yarn loop or stitch marker to release the secured loops.
Remove hook from afterthought column loop, and insert hook into the loop where the running yarn is attached (this should be the next loop to the right).
13-14. *Insert hook in next loop (to the left), yarn over and draw through all loops.
15. Repeat from * until all loops are bound off.
16. Slip stitch in first bound-off stitch. You will be working the next round into the back loops of the bind off round.

17-18. Chain 1, sc 2 in back loop of same stitch, then sc 2 in back loop of each stitch around. Optional: Sc in slip stitch for a flatter button. (See also Varying the Button Size, below.)
19. Cut yarn, leaving a 4"- 6" tail, and invisible join to next sc. (Click here for invisible join tutorial.)
20. Check that the button fits through the loop. Fit should be snug enough to prevent the button from slipping out when tension is applied to the cord.
Tip: If loop is too loose, thread the yarn tail on a yarn needle and whipstitch around the back bumps of the chain stitches, tightening as  needed to shrink the loop.

When you are satisfied that the loop fits, weave in all ends and bury yarn tails in the cord.

Varying the Button Size
  • For a smaller, firmer button: switch to a smaller hook when making sc round.
  • For a button that cups: do not sc in the slip stitch; you can also invisible join to second sc of round.
  • For a larger button: work a second round of stitches before tying off.

Ideas for Variations
  • Use the yarn tail to sew a bead in the center of your button.
  • To make a larger, more decorative button loop: use the Longtail Cast On from Part 1, and work 8-10 extra rows of I-cord. Sew the tip into a circle for the button loop.
  • To add a purchased button: use the Loop Start from this post, and finish the cord with the Bind Off from Part 1. Use yarn tail to attach button.


In Part 3 we'll tackle Open-Ended I-cord. (I had hoped to include it here, but I think this post is long enough already, don't you?)

You may do whatever you like with any items you make using this tutorial, but you may not distribute the tutorial, its text, or images, without permission. (Links are always welcome.)

Thanks for reading, and happy I-cording!

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  1. Thank you sweet friend for all the hard work you have put into these awesome lessons. Happy Easter ((hugs))

  2. Magic! You have a truly innovative mind.

  3. I can imagine having a collection of those as bracelets on your arm! Very nice! Thanks for the tute! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  4. Wow, that's incredibly beautiful and handy! I really like this for jewelry and am stewing now as to how to adapt it to coat button loops... :)


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