How to Knit a Button Hole

by Kaye Jones
Once you can knit a buttonhole, you can embellish any project with buttons.

Once you can knit a buttonhole, you can embellish any project with buttons.

Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Once you've mastered the basics of knitting and completed your first project, like a scarf or hat, you may want to move onto more advanced items, like a sweater or cardigan. To do this, you'll need to learn how to knit a buttonhole. Although it may seem like a complex task, knitting a buttonhole is quickly and easily done and only requires some casting on and casting off.

Step 1

Calculate the size of the buttonhole. If you are working from a knitting pattern, the size will be included in the directions. If not, you can calculate how many stitches you will need to bind off for the buttonhole from the size of the button. For example, for a 2-inch buttonhole, measure this amount across your existing knitting and count the number of stitches.

Step 2

Work the pattern until you reach the desired buttonhole location. Bind off the relevant number of stitches, depending on the size of the buttonhole and finish knitting the row.

Step 3

Work the next row until you reach the bound-off stitches. Now cast on the same amount of stitches that you bound off. If you bound off four stitches for your buttonhole, for example, you will need to cast on four new ones. The backwards loop cast-on method is useful for this part. To do this, make a backwards loop and place it over the right-hand needle to produce one new stitch.

Step 4

Finish your pattern. Your buttonhole is now complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Create a buttonhole on the left band for boys and on the right band for girls.
  • Knitting or purling through the back of your cast-on stitches will add stability to your buttonhole.

About the Author

Kaye Jones has been a freelance writer since 2009, specializing in history, education and mental health. Her undergraduate dissertation was published by the Internet Journal of Criminology. Jones has a first-class honors Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Manchester.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images