Week 7: Buttonholes!

w7Buttonholes… Aren’t they one of the knitter’s worst nightmares? They are small and mostly invisible when the garment is buttoned up and still we know they’re there and we want them to look nice and professional…

This week I’m going to try and find the perfect way to knit a buttonhole. I even have an idea of my own but I need to check first – some clever brain might already have come up with it well before me!


A handful of lions and tigers baby buttons from my stock

The best source I’ve found this time is the TECHKnitter (by the way, she’s a genius – to read without moderation!), she has a series of posts dedicated to buttonholes so I’ll simply post a link to her alphabetical index: go to the BUTTONHOLES section and see for yourself.

Now, if you are not a buttonhole maniac or a n incurable perfectionist (or just too very busy to experiment), check this Knitty tutorial featuring three classical buttonholes: the YO (sheep’s eye in TECHKnitter’s terminology), the one-row and the two-row.

There’s another method by Jesh of Jeshknits, and a clever one too!

And now I’m off to try a couple of methods!

* * *

All right, I guess it’s time for the verdict… I must admit that this week’s challenge hasn’t been a success: I’ve tried several methods and I’m not convinced… When I need to knit a buttonhole band, I’ll probably work it in two halves and then sew them together leaving vertical holes for the buttons. Another method I like a lot is a knit-on i-cord, I’ve already tried it on a project I can’t show you just yet and it does result in a clean professional looking finish. Here’s a picture from Kate Davies’ blog so you can see what I mean!


As a last resource, I’ve written to my Mom asking her about her buttonhole knitting tactics… I’ll let you know if she comes up with something original! Until then – good knitting to all of you!

4 thoughts on “Week 7: Buttonholes!

  1. wightcatwools says:

    Those are cute lion and tiger buttons. Hope you manage to find a way to do buttonholes, I agree, they are a pain! I am still hunting for the perfect technique too; on my latest project which was a super chunky cardigan I used the yarn forward and then knitted 2 together on the way back

  2. kbsalazar says:

    I find that vertical buttonholes gap and bunch more than horizontal ones – with one exception (below). The key with horizontals is to make sure that when buttoned over the button, the “outside” or garment edge side of the buttonhole is centered over the button itself, rather than planning the piece so the button is centered in the buttonhole slit. The best horizontal buttonhole technique I’ve seen is the one-row buttonhole.

    The all time best vertical buttonhole I’ve seen is Lucy Neatby’s Magic Buttonhole – self lined in its own placket. It’s an innovative method, with excellent professional-level results, and one of the few technique leaflets that’s truly worth buying. (No affiliation, just an honest opinion). -K.

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