Friday, August 24, 2012

"Eye of Ra" Buttonhole

The Eye of Ra Buttonhole

I have to give credit where credit is due here: I would not be posting this if it were not for TechKnitter, whose always-impeccable illustrations and technical knitting mind have always been a great inspiration to me and many others.  My Eye of Ra buttonhole is very similar to her Tulips buttonhole, but uses different methods of reinforcement at either end, and requires no tools other than 1 pair of knitting needles.  Other than that, Eye of Ra is very similar to Tulips, as well as other reinforced horizontal one-row buttonholes in the knitting sphere.

If you're familiar with Lucy Neatby's crochet provisional cast on, you may recognize the adaptation of this method here for use with two knitting needles, rather than a crochet hook.  That said, feel free to use a crochet hook if you prefer.

Here's a YouTube video showing you how to do Eye of Ra.

Below are written instructions telling you how to do it.

The example used here is a 3-st buttonhole worked in stockinette, but this buttonhole can be worked on any stitch pattern over any number of sts.

1. Reinforce opening edge:
  1. Wrap st (reverse YO; sl1, pass rev YO over st and off R needle, sl st back from R - L).
  2. Sl1 R > L, then k this st.

2. Bind off 3 sts:
  1. sl2, pass 2nd st over 1st st and off R needle
  2. [sl1, pass 2nd st over 1st st and off R needle] 2x.

3. Work top of buttonhole:
Sl1 R - L and turn work.  This section is worked from WS.
  1. Insert R needle tip into the back leg of the 1st st on L needle from back to front; slip off to R needle .
  2. Bring working yarn between needles and to the back.
  3. Wrap yarn around both needles and pull loop through st on R needle.  Gently snug, not too tight 
  4. Repeat step 3 three more times, for a total of 4 cast on sts (number of bound-off sts +1). 
  5. Slip st on R needle up onto L needle without twisting. 
  6. Turn work.

4. Reinforce closing edge (RS)
Yarn should be in front at this point. 
  1. Sl1 R - L, then bring yarn to the back -- over the work and under the needles.
  2. k2tog
K to end.

On the next row, work plain.  You may find some loose stitches next to the opening edge; if so, use your needle tip to gently distibute the slack backwards along the previous stitches in the round.

Note that although you added a total of 5 sts when casting on, two of them end up getting worked into each edge, leaving you back at your original stitch count.


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