Self Reinforcing One Row Buttonhole

Contributed by Bemiece /.. Hampton, San Clemente, California

This is a finishing detail, and does not really belong in a book about patterns. But it is well worth knowing, so it is included here for the benefit of those who may not know it.

Methods of making buttonholes are many and various. Nearly every knitter has a different favorite. But for neatness and durability combined with ease of working, your author has never seen a buttonhole to beat this one. There are "bound" stitches all the way around it, with no loose strands in the corners. It can be worked from the right or wrong side of the fabric, as desired, for both sides of the buttonhole are very trim; in fact, the second or "wrong" side is perhaps even tidier than the side on which the buttonhole is started. On a purl fabric (reverse stockinette) or garter stitch it is well-nigh invisible. It stretches readily to let the button through, yet keeps straight and does not gap open. And it is all finished on the same row.

Worked in reasonably sturdy yarn, this buttonhole requires no extra reinforcing or ribbon backing. With loose, soft, or fuzzy yarns you can still make self-reinforcing buttonholes by this method, by knitting a thin cotton thread (or two) along with the yarn across the buttonhole stitches on the row before the buttonhole; then on the next row the entire buttonhole is made with the yarn and cotton thread(s) held together. The cotton is dropped after completion of the buttonhole. Its free ends remain at the left-hand side of the buttonhole, where they can be knotted together on the wrong side. This will create a strong buttonhole even on a very soft or limp fabric.

The buttonhole is shown on seed stitch, stockinette stitch, and garter stitch, three popularly used button-band fabrics. It can be worked also on double seed stitch, moss stitch, reverse stockinette, ribbing, or any other fabric that your button-band happens to be made of.

Step 1. Work desired number of stitches before starting buttonhole. Step 2. Bring yarn lo front of work, si 1 st from left-hand needle to right-hand needle, pass yarn to back of work and drop it there. (The yarn is left hanging, and is not used during Steps 3 and 4.) Step 3. Slip another st from left-hand needle to right-hand needle, and pass the first st over it—1 st bound off. Repeat Step 3 until the desired number of sts for buttonhole have been bound off. Step 4. Slip the last bound-off st back to left-hand needle, and turn work. Step 5. Pick up hanging yarn and pass it between needles to back. Now cast on the same number of stitches that were bound off for the buttonhole, plus one more, using the Cable Cast-on as follows: * insert right-hand needle between the 1st and 2nd sts on left-hand needle, draw through a loop, and si this loop onto left-hand needle to serve as a new first st; rep from * until the desired number of sts have been cast on. Before placing the last loop on left-hand needle, bring yarn through to

Alternative Buttonholes Knitting
A Self-Reinforcing One-Row Buttonhole left: On Seed Stitch center: On Stockinette Stitch right: On Garter Stitch

the front, to form a dividing strand between the last st and the next-to-last one. Turn work again.

Step 6. Slip the first st from left-hand needle to right-hand needle, then pass the last, extra cast-on st over it. Buttonhole completed—work to end of row.

Note: Step 6 may be worked also as a plain "'k2 tog"—i.e., the first 2 sts on left-hand needle. This is an alternative way of decreasing the extra stitch.

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