Buttonholes are a pain

extra stitch

I ripped out what little of the button band that was started last week. I wanted a fresh start and a chance to try a new technique that I found while flipping through one of my Japanese knitting textbook s(page 49 – Beginner’s book).

Instead of picking up the first stitch from a row, it shows how to cast on an extra stitch by looping the yarn around the needle and then continuing to pick up stitches along the edge as normal. Before ending the row another extra loop stitch is cast on as the last stitch.

After applying this technique my button band has 121 stitches instead of 119 as previously mentioned.

My class notes from the Winter Retreat mention that adding an extra stitch at the start and end of a button band will help keep the ends of the band from pulling in. My first attempt doesn’t look so great but once I sew in the ends I think it will look better. I’m also considering crocheting a chain stitch to the bottom of the last row so it looks more like the rest of the bottom edge.

Besides reworking the partial button band, I did make several false attempts at starting the buttonhole row. None looked right. After taking a break I think I’ve hit upon a workable solution after reading (and re-reading) Medrith Glover’s Buttonhole for corrugated ribbing in Sweaters from Camp. It’s based on that buttonhole but tweeked a bit. Once it’s perfected I’ll let you see it.



Here’s one of two homework projects for my next class – a top-down raglan pullover.

It’s so simple.

The number of cast-on stitches are based on the circumference of the head minus 10% – 20%. Knit increases every other row until the front and back equal the circumference of the torso. Next we’ll put the sleeve stitches on hold and join the front and back before knitting to the waist.

Notice the red thread at the top? A provisional cast-on was used. Later we’ll add ribbing from those provisional stitches.

8 thoughts on “Buttonholes are a pain

  1. I have yet to try the top-down raglan and I really must. I hate seaming raglans and I love simple sweaters. I just need to add some waist shaping for my peculiar short-waisted figure and it’s a go.
    I love that green, by the way.


  2. Sure they’re a pain, but look at how gorgeous your sweater is– and is going to be! It’s a lot of fun to watch your progress. You’re certainly inspiring me to dable in colorwork.


  3. melinda, when i do a buttonhole in corr. rib, after i made the buttonhole, i make sure and trap and the strands of the looser yarn. no strands poking through the buttonholes.
    does that make any sense?
    are the front and back for your top down raglan the same?


  4. Hi I was reading your blog regarding button bands and the Japanese tip. I was taught that you make a slip knot with waste yarn and knit a stitch in that at the begining and end of your bands. Your bands should end with knit stitch at each end. If you were doing a K1, P1 band you would start with K2 and end with K2. After doing a few rows you cut away the waste yarn. This extra stitch gets rid of that little jog on the bands. If you do it your way it does not match the rest of the band. Hope you understand what I mean. Happy Knitting!


  5. I’m sorry to do this to you but in the same breath, you’ve been memed!
    Go to my blog and read the 7 random things about me and what you need to do!
    Don’t kill me, ok?


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