are commonly used in cardigans but you'll also find you'll need to
make one for purses, shawls, or scarves at times. Many patterns
will have an instruction to make a basic buttonhole by working a
yarn over and then knitting the next 2 stitches together. This
buttonhole is functional but it's not very stable and it can look
a little sloppy. Moreover, the size of the buttonhole is totally
dependent on the weight of the yarn and the needle size. The
thinner the yarn and the smaller the needle, the tinier buttonhole
will be. This may be fine for a given pattern, but what if you
want to use an extra large button?
A vertical buttonhole can be made any length. It can be used in
many situations when you would usually work a horizontal
buttonhole. If you are working a 6 stitch buttonhole band on a
cardigan however, it's not practical to use this type of
Work across the row to where you want to place the buttonhole.
Drop the yarn, add a second ball and continue across the row. On
the next row, work across until you come to the other ball of
yarn, pick it up and complete the row. Continue until the
buttonhole is the length you wish. Work all the stitches across
the next row with one ball of yarn only and this will close the
horizontal buttonhole can be made any size you wish. You'll need
to count your stitches and carefully determine the placement as
this buttonhole requires 1 extra stitch…a 3 stitch buttonhole
requires 4 stitches total to knit it.
Work to the point where you want the buttonhole. With yarn in
front, slip the next stitch purlwise. Place the yarn in back and
leave it there. Slip the next stitch purlwise and pass the first
slipped stitch over it. Continue to bind off in this way for the
required number of stitches (if you want a 3 stitch buttonhole, do
this 3 times total).
Slip the last stitch you bound off back to the left needle and
turn. Place the yarn at the back of the work. Using the Knit Cast-On
or the Cable Cast-On, cast on the number of stitches you bound off
plus 1. Turn. With yarn in back, slip the first stitch from the
right to the left needle and knit these 2 stitches together.
With a little practice, you'll
master buttonholes in no time. Try a baby sweater (like the Fresh
Melon Sideways Cardigan shown above right) or an accessory
pattern like our Embroidered
Hood for practice, then graduate to an adult project
(like the Modern
Raglan Cardigan shown above left).