How to Knit Buttonholes


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Learning how to knit buttonholes is one of the tasks that every new knitter will face at some point during their knitting journey.

Although the end result is very similar, there are several methods that you could use to make the buttonholes in your garment.

The method you choose will depend on the type and size of garment you are making.

© Mel North | Flickr  Knitting Buttonholes

Instructions for How to Knit Buttonholes

Simple Eyelet Buttonhole

This type of buttonhole is typically used on small garments, like garments for babies or children. They are occasionally used for adult garments but only where small buttons are used and when you are learning how to knit buttonholes, they are usually the first type to be attempted.

With the right side facing knit (in whatever pattern you have been using up to this row) to the position that you want the buttonhole. Wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle to make a stitch and then knit the next two stitches together.

Knit the next row as you normally would.

Eyelet Buttonhole Over Two Stitches

This method of making a buttonhole creates a large hole for your button to pass through.

With the right side facing knit (in whatever pattern you have been using up to this row) to the position that you want the buttonhole. Knit two stitches together, wrap the yarn around the needle twice, and knit the nxt two stitches together.

On the next row, follow the pattern until you reach the yarn over, purl into the front of the first loop, then purl into the back of the second loop. Pattern to the end of the row.

Horizontal Buttonhole Over One Row

With the right side facing knit (in whatever pattern you have been using up to this row) to the position that you want the buttonhole. Cast off the number of stitches required for the buttonhole. Slip the last stitch back onto the left-hand needle and turn the work.

Cast on the number of stitches you cast off plus one. Turn the work again so that the right side is facing you. With the yarn at the back slip the next stitch onto the right needle. Then using the left needle slip the extra cast on stitch over the slipped stitch. Now you just continue knitting to the end of the row.

Horizontal Buttonhole Over Two Rows

With the right side facing knit (in whatever pattern you have been using up to this row) to the position that you want the buttonhole. Cast off the number of stitches required for the buttonhole and continue knitting to the end of the row.

On the next row, knit to the edge of the buttonhole and turn the work so the right side is facing you. Cast on the number of stitches you cast off. Turn the work again and knit (or purl) to the end of the row.

Vertical Buttonholes

When you are learning how to knit buttonholes, this is probably the trickiest type of buttonhole to do. But very effective for adult sized jumpers!

With the right side facing knit (in whatever pattern you have been using up to this row) to the position that you want the buttonhole. Knit two stitches together, turn and knit (or purl) back to the beginning of the row.

Work with these stitches for the required number of rows ending with a right side row.

Join another ball of yarn to the knitting on the other side of the buttonhole. Knit two together and knit to the end of the row. Continue knitting on these stitches until both sides match ending with a wrong side row.

Using the yarn attached to work on the right side of the buttonhole, wrap the yarn around the needle twice and knit all of the stitches on the left-hand needle.

On the next row, knit (or purl) until you reach the yarn over, purl into the front of the first loop, then purl into the back of the second loop. Pattern to the end of the row.

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