Posted by: Sylvia, aka Shucky | May 31, 2010

A Better Buttonhole – From Knitting Daily

A Better Buttonhole

Kathleen's New Button
My new button!

I found the most beautiful button the other day. It’s a heavy button, though, and it’ll need to be reinforced with a little clear plastic button on the inside of the sweater I finally choose to put it on. And because of its irregular edges, this button will need a really sturdy buttonhole to withstand the stress of buttoning and unbuttoning.

Guess what? I found that perfect buttonhole in the Summer 2010 issue of Interweave Knits! The regular Knits department, Beyond the Basics, introduces a new buttonhole construction, the tulips buttonhole. This is just the type of feature that you can expect from Beyond the Basics every issue: our knitting professionals delve into a subject to bring you step-by-step details and instruction. Beyond the Basics is a sort of Master Class of techniques, one that’ll push your knitting further with each issue.

Here’s Knits editor Eunny Jang to demonstr ate the latest Beyond the Basics topic, the tulips buttonhole. Plus, there’s an interview with its creator, TECHknitter. Take it away, Eunny.

The Tulips Buttonhole

I love cardigans. In Colorado’s crazy desert climate, dressing in layers makes life a lot easier—it’s nice to be able to cover up or cool off as needed.

I don’t, however, love knitting buttonholes. The usual one-row buttonhole is easy to work, but the results are a bit flimsy. As a firm adherent to the theory that finishing details can make or break a sweater, traditional buttonholes have never quite satisfied me—they’re not quite symmetrical from top to bottom; they pucker and gape at the corners; they need reinforcing after the fact with hand-whipped buttonhole stitches if they’re going to stand up to real wear. And who wants to do that?

In the Summer 2010 issue of Interweave Knits, the ever-inventive TECHknitter introduced us to the brand-new “tulips” buttonhole. This buttonhole is a bit trickier to work than the usual one-row horizontal buttonhole, but it solves all those niggling little problems: the tulips buttonhole is perfectly, truly symmetrical (a chain bind-off is reflected by a chain cast-on at its two edges); its corners are tight and strong (this buttonhole won’t stretch after being buttoned up a few times); it’s already double-reinforced. The finished result is neat, tidy, lovely to look at—extra effort, but worth it.

Check out the video how-to below:


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