How to Make the Perfect Button Holes

How to Make the Perfect Button Holes

February 19, 2019

I love cardigans! They can be worn anytime of the year regardless of the season and are very versatile. Whether complimenting an outfit or using as your very own cozy blanket with sleeves they are a must have in everyone’s wardrobe. One thing that makes them versatile is the fact that you can wear them open or closed. However lately I’ve been making them without buttons. I’ve just made simple front bands that I leave open. And to be honest I rarely button up a cardigan however having that option is very nice. Not to mention my obsession with buttons. I’ve purchased buttons with the intentions of making a sweater around them! 

So why have I been making my cardigans without button holes? To be honest I really only knew one way to do them. The very easy yarn over. Now I’m not going to say anything bad about the yarn over button holes since there isn’t anything wrong with this technique and could be another Knitter’s favorite way to do them. So I’ll just say that I haven’t found myself happy with the outcome of the yarn over buttonhole. I also find that when I make a yarn over buttonhole, it doesn’t have much elasticity and sometimes my button won’t go through the opening.

This technique that I've been using lately is very sturdy, looks great and the size of the buttonhole can easily be adjusted. For reference the yarn that I'm using is Biscotte's Griffon in Bisque. It's a very beautiful yarn and the soft pink color is another one of my favorites! Okay! Let's get started!!!

How to make the perfect button holes

Top left photo: It's best to map out your button holes with a removable stitch marker so that they are evenly spaced.

Top right photo: When you reach the place in your pattern where you are to make your buttonhole, bring your yarn to the front.

Bottom left photo: Slip the next stitch on your left hand needle purlwise to the right hand needle.

Bottom right photo: Bring the yarn to the back of the work. Your slipped stitch is now wrapped.

How to make the perfect button holes

Top left photo: Slip the next stitch on your left hand needle purlwise to the right hand needle.

Top right photo: Pass the first stitch you slipped over the second stitch you slipped to bind it off.

Bottom left photo: Continue to slip the next stitch on your left hand needle to the right hand needle purlwise and passing the prior slipped stitch over until you have binded off the number of stitches needed to fit your chosen button. I have binded off 4 stitches in total.

Bottom right photo: Pass the remaining stitch from the right hand needle over to the left hand needle purlwise.

How to make the perfect button holes

Top left photo: Turn your work.

Top right photo: Now you will cast on 1 stitch more than the total number that was binded off. In this case, I binded off 4 stitches so I will cast on 5 stitches using the Knitted Cast On Method. Except.....I will purl the stitches instead of knitting so they look nicer on the front. The technique is the same except you will purl into the stitch instead of knitting into it. Purl into the stitch but do not remove it from your needle.

Bottom left photo: Pull the loop out.....

Bottom right photo: And place it up on your needle. That is one stitch cast on.

How to make the perfect button holes

Top left photo: Pull the yarn to tighten up the loop.

Top right photo: Purl into the stitch you just cast on and pull the loop out and up on the needle.

Bottom left photo: 5 stitches have been cast on and the work is turned back to the right side again.

Bottom right photo: Slip the next stitch on your left hand needle to the right hand needle knitwise.

How to make the perfect button holes

Top left photo: The stitch has been slipped to the right hand needle.

Top right photo: Pass the last stitch you cast on over this slipped stitch.

Bottom photo: Voila!! The buttonhole is complete and looks very good if I must say so myself!!

How to make the perfect button holes

Here is the edge of my cardigan with the 3 buttonholes. The band lies nicely; I have purposely pulled each buttonhole open so they are more visible in the photo. 

Here is a video tutorial as well for those who prefer to see it in action!

How do you make your buttonholes? Will you try this technique for your next cardigan?



Carole said:

Thank you for this! I have a cardigan I finished over a year ago except for the button band. The instructions called for just one yarn over which I know wouldn’t fit any button. I am going to try this.

Olive Yau said:

Hello Andrea,
Thank you so much for your clear instruction n photo demonstration on this neat and sturdy button hole technique. It is very useful. I am going to use it in my next project.
Best regards,

Muriel said:

This is the best description of the knitted buttonhole ever. I have given up on buttonholes and sadly resorted to zippers. I am planning to knit another cardigan and am saving your tutorial for the buttonholes. I love cute buttons also. Thanks

Suzanne said:

Great video! Could you share the pattern for your cardigan as well as the yarn used. It is just lovely! Thank you.

Andrea said:

Hi Suzanne!
The yarn is Biscotte Yarn in Griffon. And it is indeed lovely! The colour I used is in Bisque and it’s the perfect soft pastel pink. I just LOVE it! The pattern is not yet released, but stayed tuned to Biscottes social media’s and emails as that’s where you’ll find out when it’s been released!
Thanks you 😊

Betty Smith said:

How can I obtain this pattern? I am a fan of cardigans.

Brittany said:

Wonderful tutorial!! Very detailed and easy to follow :)

Gail said:

Hi Andrea, I’ve been making a cardigan for my grandson, and it has detailed instructions for the buttonholes. Oh boy, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve followed them and ended up wanting to throw the whole project out. In desperation I searched the internet, and fortunately came upon your instructions: straightforward, logical, easy to follow. I now have 5 buttonholes done thanks to you! 😘

Usha Millard said:

This method is wonderful! Having never tried a knit buttonhole before, I found this method early, didn’t trust it (oops!!) and then literally spent hours trying other methods online that I thought looked simpler…with pretty unsatisfying results. Came back to this one with a readjusted attitude (and a much better appreciation of how hard it is to get a nice looking knit buttonhole) and I am in love! Thank you so much for sharing what must have taken a lot of time, effort and trial and error! Very grateful for this quality and sanity saving tutorial – thanks Andrea! 😊

Linda Feiertag said:

I love how you teach. Thank you. This is a great and easy button hole.
I got lucky to find you on google.

bacollin said:

Could you please tell me if this pattern has been released or what the stitch for the button hole band is called. I have an old half knitted sweater of my mothers that I would like to finish and the button hole band looks just like this. I am a new knitter!! Thanks

Nancy said:

Super helpful tutorial! My button holes are typically a big mess, but your technique made them neat and tidy. Thank you :)

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