Wednesday, 2 May 2007


Completely irrelevant to anything that I am knitting at the moment - but I have thought of a new method of working a buttonhole. At least, it is new to me, and a quick look through Montse Stanley's invaluable book doesn't show it anywhere.

It was EZ's afterthought buttonhole that brought me to this, actually. To my mind, the main disadvantage of the afterthought buttonhole is the fact that the ends needing to be woven in are so small. And then I thought, why not remove the need to cut into the fabric - why not simply 'unlink' two rows of knitting?

So - work across the place where the buttonhole is to be. Slip the buttonhole stitches - two, three, or however many is appropriate - back from the right hand needle to the left hand needle. Then take a piece of contrasting yarn, preferably something smooth to make unpicking easier, and knit the buttonhole stitches again, in the contrast yarn.

And then just carry on. On the return row, simply work across the contrast yarn stitches as usual.

When you are ready to finish the buttonhole, you can simply stitch around the edges, going through each stitch loop twice. You could use back stitch, which would produce a nice neat result - or stem stitch is another possibility. I think I like the idea of back stitch though, particularly on a garter stitch background. Then unpick the contrast yarn - and there it is.

Now, I am not for one minute expecting this to be a new idea - after all, there are few things in knitting that are actually new nowadays - but I am rather taken with it nonetheless.

I'm swatching for the new Blue Moon socks at the moment - some surprises there. More later.

1 comment:

Bronte said...

I suppose the only issue with that buttonhole is the fact that it's not really an "afterthought" and needs planning. *grins* Never heard anything like it before, though, so maybe you can claim it as your very own unvention. :-)

It's ages since I needed to put a buttonhole in anything, but I used the six-stitch buttonhole from Maggie Righetti's "Knitting In Plain English" for Knitty's Voodoo wristwarmers and was taken with how neat it was. But again, that's not an afterthought.