“Handmade Not Homemade”

I thought I would post my latest article on finishing your projects, titled “Handmade Not Homemade” with the addition of my favourite buttonhole, the One Row Buttonhole.


Finishing knitting projects is more than sewing the pieces. With knitting experience, patience, and some information you will understand why finishing begins well before you cast on the first row. It begins the minute you make the pattern choice and continues till the final seam is closed. The following describes the main steps of finishing, and some tips to consider.


Read your patterns thoroughly to make sure you understand them, and they match your skill level. Some questions to think about: Are you familiar with the abbreviations? Is there a schematic drawing with a clear representation of measurements and shaping? What about sizing? Sizing is not an exact science, and patterns are based on average or standard measurements. Close fitting and oversized garments in the same size fit differently. To help you decide on size, compare the measurements of a garment that fits you well with those in the pattern.


When substituting yarn that is different from the one suggested, think about how this change will affect the project. For example, if the fiber choice is different from the one used in a pattern, a garment may hang differently than what the designer intended.


This is probably the most important part of finishing. The swatch will reveal not only stitch and row gauge, but tells the true story of how the yarn performs.


Prior to assembling the pieces, there are many helpful tips when knitting. These are but a few…Leaving yarn tails at cast on edges to use for seaming. Make sure the yarn tails are long enough to weave in. Decreasing and increasing within the edges, rather than at the edge. Even shoulder slopes. Blocking! (I even block my swatches). Appropriate seams. The perfect buttonhole-One Row Buttonhole (described below). Picking up stitches evenly. Weaving in yarn ends…Thinking about the above leads to more success with your projects.

I love finishing, the whole idea of all the processes involved to create a professional looking garment or other project. It’s not tedious for me, it is part of the creative process, and it is the difference between looking “handmade” not “homemade”.

One Row Horizontal Buttonhole

This is the type of buttonhole I use most often, because it is neat, firm, leaves no gaping hole, and is self reinforcing. One row buttonhole can be used for a vertical or horizontal placement.

Steps in making the one row buttonhole:

  1. Work in pattern stitch to where the buttonhole is to be placed, with the yarn in front of work slip the first stitch from left needle to right needle, then place the yarn in back of work.
  2. Slip the next stitch off the left needle to right needle and pass the first stitch over it, thus one stitch is bound off. Continue to bind off the total number of stitches for the buttonhole.
  3. Slip the last bound off stitch to the left needle and turn the work.
  4. Now place yarn to the back of the work. Using the cable cast on method cast on the number of bound off stitches plus an extra stitch. *That is, insert right needle between the first and second stitches on left needle, work as if knitting a stitch and draw loop through leaving the loop on the left needle. Repeat from * until all stitches are cast on. Before slipping the extra stitch or loop onto left needle bring yarn to the front so it sits between the last two loops; finally place last loop onto left needle. Turn work again.
  5. Slip first stitch from left needle to right needle and pass the extra stitch over the slipped stitch. One buttonhole is completed; resume pattern stitch and work across the row repeating this technique for all other buttonholes.


Give this buttonhole a try; I know you will be pleased with the results.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s