Keyhole in scarf--how to do it without breaking yarn

I am new at this and i knit continental, if that makes a difference WRT my problem.

I started a toddler scarf using 1 strand of Patons Carmen which is fuzzy and 1 strand of Caron Simply Soft which seems skinny to me but is worsted weight. Beautiful combination.

Well, along my way through 12 K stitches back and forth, I got to thinking about a slot where one end of the scarf could be tucked through. I don’t really like this look but it makes sense for kids who can’t keep a scarf tied and cannot retie one.

The keyhole is my problem.

i had my experience with holes with a now-frogged dog sweater. I knit part way across a row, broke thread, and eventually picked up.

This time, I tried to knit the keyhole like the “windy city scarf” in Stitch 'N Bitch", p. 159, where it says for the division:

“Rib 15 sts, attach second skein of A and rib rem 15 sts. Rib 10 rows, knitting both sides at the same time.”

i worked out the second skein thing. I think. The problem was that at the end of the first row i turned it around and it looked like this:

at the pointy end of the left needle, the nonworking end of the new skein hung down in an eight-inche tail. Then there were six lovely stitches ending with the working end of the new skein (the end from which i would get more yarn) hung down, on the inside, right in the middle where there was the break.

Then there was a “break” between stitches which is where the skeins changed and where I was supposed to be making my keyhole by continuing knitting with the original skein.

There, in the middle, the working end of the original skein hung down from the seventh stitch which was the first of the second six (and second side of the keyhole).

So. There was no way to knit from the end of the left needle because the tail end of the yarn was out there, not the working end.

it is hard to describe but i think i knit in the second skein in the wrong direction or something.



I don’t understand. Can you post a picture?

Are you supposed to BO those middle stitches and then CO them again at some later row? That would give you something like a large buttonhole. OR, do have to slip the middle stitches for a while while you work to two sides? I’m not familiar with this pattern, but if you’re making a hole, there needs to be a place where these stitches are stopped and then started again. Make sense? :thinking:

Nope you don’t BO and CO. You knit halfway across with the first ball, then add a second one and knit the rest of the way across… then turn, keep knitting with the second ball, and when you get to the middle where the first ball is you knit with that, turn, keep going, switch again etc.
Optomh, did you break your yarn when you went to start the keyhole? If so, that’s what the problem was; when you knit those first 6 stitches with ball A, you should drop that ball completly and pick up a totally new ball to do the last 6 stitches. That way, you have something to knit with when you come to those stitches again. HTH.

Oh I get it, you’re getting a vertical hole between the two balls of yarn. :doh:

Thank you everyone. i could not post a photo because i had already frogged that section. i studied online and in the stitch 'n bitch book over the weekend and i practiced various techniques with some scrap yarn.

turns out, i had correctly picked up a new “ball” of yarn, as you mentioned, hildegard, but i had the ends of the new yarn reversed.

I tried the buttonhole technique that you mentioned, ingrid, but it went sideways. found instructions for a vertical buttonhole using yarn forwards but that was disaster. i am going to practice again with the two yarn balls before i commit to the scarf which is to be a gift. i am not happy with the looseness of the stitches at the beginning and end of the section where i knit with two yarns.

if anyone has any ideas for finishing those loose ends, i am all ears. i don’t know that merely weaving them into the adjacent stitches will be sufficient since the hole is an area where there will be pulling and strain, especially if the niece figures out how to stuff the other end of the scarf in the hole.

i will try to get a photo when i get through. at least without having to cut the original yarn, and not having to cut the new one until i am ready, i can always undo things.

thanks again//optomh

Have you considered slipping the first stitch on the side inside the “hole” every other row? This might tighten up the edges. If you snug up the hanging ends where you attached the yarn and then weave them in horizontally, they should stay pretty well, especially if you use a sharp needle and sew through yarn rather than just under stitches.

thanks, ingrid. i am still practicing so i will look up how to slip a stitch and try that next.

i just looked at the video on making buttonholes which is not what i am doing but it was the only place i found where the video showed slipping a stitch.

so my next questions are:

(a) if i try to tighten the keyhole in the scarf by slipping the first stitch at the edge of the hole, do i slip it knitwise or purlwise, and

(b) do i slip the last stitch on the other edge, and again, purlwise or knitwise.

i guess i am asking if i should slip the stitch at both sides of the hole, and which way.


i may be late coming into this game and i am sorry about that…i don’t know why i didn’t look at this thread before. there was a scarf on DIY Network that had the hole in it. I know there was someone around here who was knitting it before and i couldn’t figure out why you would want to knit a hole into the scarf until someone got out the crayons and explained it to me. here is the link to the scarf

there is a video on there too. hope it helps…sorry if i am too late for ya!

btw…DIY has been very slow this morning for me so be patient…that link really should go there! :wink:

I’m making a scarf right now and I’m slipping the first stitch (purlwise) and knitting the last stich of each row. It’s making a very nice edge.

For the hole, if the k side is facing you for the first stitch of the hole, I would slip it purlwise. If the p side is facing you for the first st, I would slip it knitwise.

Good luck with it.

I use this pattern for my keyhole scarves. I adjust length to the person I’m making it for child or adult.