Knitty�: little purls of wisdom

Why knitters need a (crochet) hook, part II.

Hi everybody! This issue is a continuation of last issue’s Why knitters need a (crochet) hook and I’m going to be using some of the techniques described (slip stitch crochet and single crochet) in the following techniques, so if you’re not familiar with crochet terms and wonder what I’m talking about, check that out first.

This issue we’ll be looking at adding a couple of decorative crocheted edgings and crocheted button loops to your knitted items.

Crochet picot edging

I love picot edges! I think they’re wonderful and charming and particularly adorable on knits for little girls. There are several methods of knitting picot edgings -  I’ve written about one of them before, but the crocheted picot edging has a couple of advantages: you might find it a bit quicker and easier and it can be added on – or removed for that matter - later!

The size and spacing of the points on your picot edging are entirely up to you. For larger points, simply add more chain stitches and for more widely space points, do more single crochet between points.

Attach the yarn to the edge of your knitting with a slip stitch and chain X stitches. (Here I have chained 3 stitches after joining.)

*Then stick the hook through the first of the chain stitches you just made...

...and single crochet (grab the yarn with the hook and pull through the chain stitch, grab the yarn again and pull through both loops on the hook).

Then single crochet X times in the edge of the knitting; the more single crochets you do here, the further apart the points on your picot edging will be. Now chain the same number of stitches as for the first point...

...and repeat from * until you’re completed the edging.

The result looks like this:

Crab stitch

The first time I came across directions for a crab stitch edging for a knitted cap (in Norwegian, no less!) I understood absolutely nothing. Crab stitch is worked in the opposite direction of normal crochet and involves a motion that is stubbornly difficult to describe in words. Hopefully a few pictures will help.

Crab stitch creates a sturdy and stylish corded edging that looks like this:

Attach your yarn (or continue using the yarn you have used to cast off) to the edge with a slip stitch and *insert the hook into the outermost edge of the knitting to the RIGHT, grab the yarn with the crochet hook...

...and pull it through.

Now rotate the crochet hook 360 degrees clockwise...

s...o that the loop you JUST made is sitting furthest to the left on the crochet hook. (In other words, when you rotate the crochet hook, you’re changing the order of the loops on the crochet hook.)

Then grab the yarn once again, and pull it through both loops on the needle.

Repeat from *.

Pink Needles

Crocheted button loops

Ever finished a cardigan and realized you forgot all about making the button holes? Well, here’s your solution! You may want to first mark your desired button loop placement with a safety pin so that the loops are evenly spaced.

Attach the yarn to the edge of your knitting with a slip stitch. *Slip stitch (or single crochet) to the far end of where you want the crocheted button loop to be.

Turn the work and crochet a chain large enough for the button to slip through.

Insert the hook into both loops of the slip stitch/single crochet edging...

...and slip stitch to attach the chain.

Turn the work again and single crochet along the loop you just made.

(Single crocheting over the chained loop stabilizes the button loop and keeps it from becoming looser with time.)

Repeat from * until you have enough .

Crocheted button loops can be easily removed and expanded later if you wish to change the size of the buttons. The loops themselves can also be made longer so that a favorite sweater fits a growing child a little bit longer! Loops are also particularly suitable for use with buttons with shanks.

Pink Needles


The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie M. Wiseman
The Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden

Special thanks to for explaining the crab stitch "swoop"!



Theresa is an American who has lived, worked and knitted in Norway for nearly a decade.

She’s overly ready for spring.