Friday, August 24, 2012

"Keyhole" Buttonhole

The Keyhole Buttonhole

This technique was developed for a very specific instance; it is to be worked over 2 purl stitches that are flanked on either side by columns of knit stitches.  However, it would work just as well on stockinette.  The example uses (p2, k1) rib.

Keyhole is a hybrid of a two-row horizontal buttonhole and a yarnover (or “sheep’s eye”) buttonhole.  It doesn’t actually bind off any stitches, but rather uses paired decreases on the bottom row, and m1 increases on the top row.

Here is a YouTube video showing you how to do the Keyhole buttonhole.

Here are written instructions for the Keyhole buttonhole.

Work up to 1 st before the hole will begin, then:
Round 1
Ssk, YO, k2tog.
Work most of the way around, until you reach the place where you began – 1 st before the hole.
Round 2
k1, m3 in YO strand, k1.  (This creates an extra stitch on top, which just makes the buttonhole a little larger.)
Work most of the way around, until you reach the place where you began – 1 st before the hole.
Round 3
K1, p2, k2tog.
Continue working in pattern.


  1. I recently tried a buttonhole like this but found it a bit too small for my button. I used the tulips buttonhole instead, but it did make the ribbing look sloppy. I'm wondering now if I couldn't have used a double YO, followed by m4, then two decreases on the following round. The extra YO might give the extra bit of width I needed. Hmmmm, must swatch...

    Thanks for the great blog! I often find myself here (and on TECHknitter's blog) when my inner knitting geek is stymied by some technique that no one will ever see in the end result but me. So good to know that I'm not the only one who does that!!!

  2. Are these instructions for knitting in the round? Are there changes needed if I wish to use this buttonhole and I'm knitting flat? -Thanks

    1. This can be done flat or in the just requires a count of 4 stitches.

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