No, I am not talking lace, I am talking buttonholes.
They are not as difficult to make as you might think – especially when you use my preferred method, which is first on my list:
1. The yarn-over-buttonhole: My reasons for liking this version a lot is that it is small. Over the years I have found that a lot of buttonholes made as specified in the pattern were just too large in the end and the button would slip out. I am of the opinion that the button you want to use should fit the buttonhole just so, meaning it should be hard to get the button through – at first. With use it will get easier, yet hopefully never so large that the button is going to slip out!
You work it as follows: Ssk, yo – that is it. Or, if you prefer, k2tog, yo. On the next row you continue with your pattern as established. Super easy. If you want to use this method but think your button is just a tad too large, work two yo, that should take care of that.
2. The one-row-buttonhole: As it says, you work the hole in one row, meaning any pattern you have been working in (rib, seed stitch etc.) can be continued on the next row as before. There is no reason why you should not use this particular version, just make sure you do not make it too large. Same reasoning as above, however, the one-row-buttonhole stretches differently due to the bind-off used.
To make a buttonhole, you bind off the required number of stitches, then cast them on again. The binding off requires no knitting, you just slip on stitch over the other. You can find a good illustration by Interweave here.
3. The two-row-buttonhole: Worked just like that, on two rows. On the first row you bind off the required amount of stitches, on the next row you cast them on again with the knitted cast-on. For this you have to turn your work and cast on on the side you are currently NOT working on. Since this is worked over two rows it is the stretchiest of the three. Again, be careful not to make it too large. found the perfect little video from Rowan, just 2.20 minutes long. I couldn’t have shown it any better!
For buttonhole placement I find it the easiest to pick up the required stitches for the band and work about two or three rows. Since you want your buttonholes evenly spaced it is much easier to pick the right place once the rib (or whatever pattern you are working) is established. Which is less work than trying to figure it out beforehand – unless the pattern specifically specifies where to place the buttonholes.
Happy Knitting, as ever!