Kara’s Quick-Knit Tip: Buttonholes Nice & Neat

My favorite knitted buttonhole is the one-row horizontal method because it produces a much neater finish and it is one of the sturdiest of all buttonholes because it does not require additional reinforcement.

Just follow these simple steps and you’ll never make a messy buttonhole again!

Step 1: Work to buttonhole location.

Step 2: Bring yarn forward and slip the first stitch on the left needle purlwise.

Step 3: Bring the yarn to the back.

Step 4: Slip the next stitch on the left needle purlwise to the right needle.

Step 5: Pass the second slipped stitch on the right needle over the first stitch (as if to bind off).

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until the buttonhole is the right size.

Step 6: Slip the last bound-off stitch to the left needle.

Step 7: Turn the work and use the Cable Cast-On method to cast on one more stitch than you bound off. (When you work the Cable Cast-On, if you insert the needle purlwise instead of knitwise between the stitches, the top edge will better match the bottom edge of the buttonhole.)

Step 8: Turn the work.

Step 9: Slip the first stitch on the left needle to the right needle and pass the extra cast-on stitch over the slipped stitch. Work the remaining stitches on the needle. The photo below shows the horizontal buttonhole.

The knitwise Cable Cast-On was used for the bottom buttonhole and the purlwise Cable Cast-On was used for the top buttonhole.

If you have a Quick-Knit Tip you’d like to share, send it my way and I just might publish it on this blog or in Creative Knitting magazine. For more tips, visit the archives here.

8 Responses to Kara’s Quick-Knit Tip: Buttonholes Nice & Neat

  1. Karen Berthine says:

    Great, clear explanation that should probably remove anyone’s trepidation! I remember my sewing teacher in school having us put button holes in by hand … Knit button holes are so easy by comparison. 🙂

  2. Martha says:

    Thank you for the instructions. Wish you had a video of this. Thank you

  3. Claudia Hayes says:

    I am a left-handed knitted. So….do I do everything the opposite as far as “left” and “right” are concerned in your instructions? Thanks!!

    • Kara says:

      Hi Claudia,
      There are many schools of thought, but I don’t believe you need to do anything the opposite way, because you knit with two hands and one does not dominate the other. Learning to knit and hold your needles and yarn is awkward in the beginning and it makes no difference if you’re left or right-handed.

  4. Juliana Blewett-Pocase says:

    I am right handed but I knit English which means I hold the yarn in my right hand while I’m knitting. I know a lot of people knit continental which holds the yarn in their left hand while knitting. There is no right or wrong way to hold the yarn.

  5. Ruth Gray says:

    I was having trouble with a nice looking button hole, thanks for the written along with the visual.

  6. Beth Vawter says:

    Thanks for the instructions. I’ve never done a button hole before and this was a really easy way to do it.

  7. Rita Corkum says:

    if I need a button hole at the end of the same row as the first button hole how close to the last stitch to I knit before starting the button hole

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