Can't make buttonhole!

I watched Amy’s video and I can do the first part of the buttonhole but then you turn it and I can’t figure out where she’s putting the needle when she’s going in behind the stitch on the left needle. Whenever I do it and pull it off, the stitch becomes undone. What am I doing wrong?

I looked at the cable cast-on video which is what she’s using in the buttonhole, and I can’t do it!

Is there another way to cast on?

I want to finish this darn sweater and I’m spending hours trying to figure out how to do buttonholes!!!


OK, let’s see if I can help…it’s been a while since I’ve done one, so I’m watching the video now…

There really isn’t another good way to cast on for the 2nd half of your buttonhole–what part of the cable CO are you having a hard time with? If I’m understanding your post correctly, it sounds like you’re just confused about how she does the CO. Is that right?

If so, really all she’s doing is sticking her right needle between (not through/into) two stitches on the left needle, and then wrapping the working yarn over the right needle and pulling it through. After the loop is pulled through, she places the new loop onto the left needle, and repeats the process.

Also, it sounds like you might be letting one of the stitches from the left needle slip off–is that why it’s unravelling? All the original stitches stay put while doing the cable CO. You’re just making new loops in between them. Does that help at all?

Yes, it’s the cable CO I can’t do. I put the needle in between the 2 stitches on the left needle and then after I knit that stitch and move it back to the left needle, it looks twisted. If I continue and try to do a 2nd stitch, after I move that 2nd st back to the left needle, it all falls apart!

I am totally at a loss as to what I am doing wrong.

Maybe I’m not slipping in the right direction?

Am I the only one who can’t do this???/


I think I did it. I must have been slipping the st off the needle like you said. It’s just really really really tight! And with each new st it seems to be getting tighter. I’ve got to practice this for awhile before I try it on the sweater I’m making.

Thank you for helping me!

Does everyone do buttonholes like this??? Seems very difficult. Maybe just because it’s new to me.

Cable cast on can be really tight. I did a purled cast on for buttonholes that I did, and I think I’ll do it for most castons because it makes a chained edge that looks like a BO.

You start with the slip stitch (if it’s a beginning CO, otherwise, do this in the stitch where you start the CO for buttonholes) then purl it and put it on the needle like you do a knitted cast on. It’s a bit awkward and the stitches look funny until you put the next one on the needle, but it really comes out looking nice. The chain is nice and firm while the stitches are a bit loose unles you pull them after they’re on the needle. I use a smaller needle and transfer them to the one I’m using when at the beginning of the piece.


When doing the reg cable c/o, make them REALLY loose as you work them. When you do the next one, the previous one will automatically tighten on the needle. If you do them with any tension, they’ll be so tight you can’t get your ndl in between. Also, make sure you’re putting them on the ndl knitwise (sounds like you are if you say they’re twisted).


Are they supposed to look twisted?

I read someplace that in this case slipping the stitch as if to k or as if to p will come out looking the same. ???

still confused…

Slipping P vs K will appear diff as K is turned 180 degrees. IMO they appear twisted. When you slip them on the end of the ndl, the bottoms of the sts should form sort of a ridge.


Well, I’ve been practicing these buttonholes and they are a pain!!! I guess I’m doing it correctly but they don’t look as good on the WS as I think they should. Like an extra loop near one end of the hole.

If I do the cable CO loose enough to be able to work with the stitches, I seem to get these loopy sts on the WS.

I am NOT having fun.

I just figured out that this loop that I’m getting on the wrong side is formed when I start the continuation of the row after finishing the buttonhole. The yarn has to pass over the end of the buttonhole. If I do the stitches loose enough, this loop hangs down almost enough to be seen from the RS.

Am I still doing something wrong or is this the nature of the beast?

Your cable c/o’s shouldn’t be THAT loose. Also, are you making sure to make one extra c/o so that the final one is passed over (joined with) the first stitch of the band? That helps to snug up the hole. The somewhat elongated join st on the WS can be reduced if you move your yarn to the front before doing the last cable c/o.


You’re welcome–sounds like a little practice was all you needed. :slight_smile: Oh, and Sue, that purl CO sounds cool! I think I’ll give that a try myself next time!

For a good lesson on buttonholes, go to this site where several ways to make them are explained.


Thank you! That site is very helpful. I’ve been practicing buttonholes for 3 days. I’ll be an expert when I’m through! Thanks to everyone for your help.