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How to: work a one-row buttonhole

video by

Let's Knit Together

  • Overview
  • Practical Guides

Buttonholes can be worked in a band that is attached to or sits within the main fabric. A one-row buttonhole is a little more involved than the two-row version but does create a more sturdy edging for a larger aperture horizontally across the row.

If your pattern doesn’t give you any guidance as to the number of stitches, you may have to work this out for yourself. Just put your button or toggle on the knitted fabric and count how many stitches wide it is. As buttonholes can stretch over time, make your buttonhole a couple of stitches smaller, bearing in mind how stretchy your yarn is. Usually, the hole will sit a few stitches from the outer edge, far enough away for your button to cover the hole, yet stay within the band. Tip: Remember that a horizontal buttonhole can become a vertical buttonhole, depending on the orientation of the buttonhole band. To make the buttonhole in stocking stitch, work up to the point of your buttonhole on the knit (right side) row, then bring the yarn to front between the needles. Slip the next stitch purlwise by passing it straight across to your right needle, then take the yarn to the back again between needles. Cast off the next stitch by slipping it purlwise onto the right needle and passing the previous stitch over it. Repeat this method of casting off the correct number of stitches. You can check the width of your buttonhole on your right-hand needle; when it is the correct width, put the ‘end’ stitch back onto the right-hand needle. Turn the work and, with wrong side now facing and the yarn at the back, cable cast on the same number of stitches that you cast off. To work a cable cast on, insert the right-hand needle between stitches from front to back, wrap yarn as usual, pull loop through and turn it as you place it onto the left-hand needle. Cable cast on one more stitch, but leave this on the right-hand needle. Bring the yarn between needles to the front and turn the work back to the right side. Knit the first two stitches on the left-hand needle together (k2tog), these will be the last cable cast on stitch and the next stitch, and this finishes the buttonhole. Carry on with your pattern, and then work back across the cast on stitches as normal stitches for a smart horizontal buttonhole with a neat edge top and bottom.


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