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How to Become an "Expert Knitter"   *Buy this book on CD for offline reading!

table of contents » chapter 26 (of 29)

26: Buttonholes (cont.)

There is no way to make those stitches disappear, but they will look better if you use the point of the needle, and starting at the side of the buttonhole, firm the stitch by pulling gently at the side furthest from the buttonhole. Pull out a loop, then tighten it up by pulling out another loop from the next stitch [pic 10].

10: Tighten by pulling out a decreasing sequence of loops on either side of the buttonhole.

Gradually pull smaller loops from the next few consecutive stitches. and within a few stitches, the fabric looks undisturbed. Repeat on the other side of the buttonhole and the loose stitches will not be as obvious as before [pic 11].

11: Top: Sides have been firmed up.
Bottom: Loose stitches haven’t been fixed.

The buttonhole can be worked by starting on a knit row, but it really looks better when started on a purl row. Knit a patch and try it out. Any knitted buttonhole stretches easily, so make the smallest size possible. If used vertically, the buttonhole opens out and really doesn’t hold a button very well.

This way of working a buttonhole is first cousin to making a long horizontal slit for a set in pocket.


When working out where to make buttonholes on the knitted fabric of the garment, place the hole at least two button widths from the edge. A button doesn’t sit in the centre of a horizontal buttonhole, it pulls to the side nearest to the centre front [pic 12].

12: A clear button attached with blue thread to a yellow backing shows that a button pulls to one side of a horizontal buttonhole.

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