I can't work it out!

Guys I need help!

I've done everything on my 1940s sleeveless vest project except the button band ribbing -- its a k1, p1 rib and the pattern says that I should cast on 10 stitches, make 3 rows of K1, P1 rib and then:

pattern 3, cast off 4, pattern 2 -- ok can do that and then the next row it says:

pattern 3, cast on 4, pattern 2

my problem is I can't work out how to cast those stitches on. I've tried just making 4 stitches out of one, but that looks horrible and clumpy (isn't that the way one makes a bobble?).

I've tried knitting the next (4th) stitch and using the English cast on to make 4 more stitches, which works and is neat, but leaves two strands across the button hole... as the yarn went forward to get to the 4th stitch.

Then I tried simply wrapping four loops of yarn around the right hand needle, knitting to the end of the row and then making those loops into proper stitches on the next row. That works but is loose and looks more like a hole -- I really need something that has a firm and definite edge.

Any ideas or help much appreciated. It'll be at least a week until I can get to my LYS to ask the ladies there for assistance...

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping you brilliant men out there can a) decipher my notes above and b) come up with a method I can follow!


AdrianG's picture



stef's picture

I like the cable method of casting on when making buttonholes. You can find a good description here: http://www.learn2knit.co.uk/knitting/buttonholes.php

i would try a simple cast-on.
(my apologies, she's so sacharine, its rather grating, but you can't mess up if you watch her)

there are also some good ideas for reinforcing the button hole where you manually go in after the sweater is complete and hand sew around the hole -- might be worth looking into if you're particular about the top and bottom looking the same. like the blanket stitch, above. you can google it for a simple youtube instruction.

here's another idea for a buttonhole:

hope that helps, buddy.

Tallguy's picture

If you get a chance to watch the Lucy Neatby's DVDs, she has a good way to make a buttonhole. It's a little complicated to explain, but looks terrific, and rather simple to do as well, once you get past the fiddly transfers.

Usually the directions expect you do the simple backwards 'e' cast-on, or the thumb method, but I do like the cable cast-on, since it resembles the cast-off. As long as you are consistent throughout, and are happy with it, then that's the right one for you. You can also go back over your buttonholes with the blanket stitch for a neat finish.

AdrianG's picture


Thanks guys...
I'm going to try the cable cast on... as it looks like the cast off. Thats what I've been trying to do but not succeeding. I'll check out the videos.