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November 01, 2006

Little Dodges

Last fall at the Olema knitting retreat -- or workshop depending on your perspective -- my friend and I stalked a wonderful cardigan.  Think seed stitch details, dart waist shaping, lapel collar, and silk/wool yarn.  The kind of sweater that improves any outfit, including your pajamas.  Yes we're both knitting one, jointly creating the pattern as we go along.

While working on her right front my partner-in-crime became obsessed with the horizontal buttonholes, frustrated by the small hole created to the left of the button hole.  Hole?  What hole?  Did I have the hole?  Sure enough, I too had a small hole next to each button hole -- previously unnoticed, but now glaring.  My friend's buttonhole quest lead her to Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac and the "definitive" one row horizontal buttonhole.  Needless to say, I ripped out my right front and reknitted the thing using this excellent buttonhole.

At this point, experimental reader, I'm sure you're salivating to learn this ingenious buttonhole.  Think me cruel, but I want you to learn this buttonhole from the original source.  Really it's for your own good -- EZ is such a funny, opinionated, and clever woman that everyone needs to be exposed to her writings.  Run -- don't walk -- to your nearest library or LYS, grab a copy of Knitter's Almanac and read the "July" chapter.

To quote Elizabeth Zimmermann from her classic, Knitting Without Tears:

It is little dodges like these that make a craft a joy; some of them one picks up from friends and enemies; some of them one discovers for oneself.

nona considers the one row horizontal buttonhole to be a little dodge I picked up from a friend.

November 1, 2006 in Tips and Techniques | Permalink


that's my favourite buttonhole too!

Posted by: nat | Nov 1, 2006 5:42:21 PM

Of course, I immediately had to check some of the bottonholes I've knit. Some look good, some have "the hole". Can't remember or explain why they didn't or did. But, luckily, I have the Knitter's Almanac and will be reading up on it. Thanks for the tip.

By the way, your messenger bag is lovely. Enjoy it proudly, and brag about your creation every chance you get. (if you don't already!)

Posted by: Anne | Nov 1, 2006 7:02:39 PM

*Frantically take my copy of Knitter's Almanac and flip the said section*

Posted by: yuvee | Nov 2, 2006 5:35:06 AM

Hmm. I get that little hole, too. Time to go to the library again!

Posted by: Arleta | Nov 2, 2006 5:38:43 AM

i just picked up a copy for the mittens!! now i will be reading the chapter on the button holes! thank you!

Posted by: margaux | Nov 2, 2006 10:12:30 AM

One-row buttonhole instructions also available in the Vogue Knitting Ultimate Knitting Book. I have to reread them every time, since I haven't quite memorized the procedure. . .

Posted by: Gretchen | Nov 6, 2006 8:51:12 AM

I'm headed to the Olema knitting workshop this weekend--I hope I have as much fun as you seem to have!

Posted by: Becca | Nov 14, 2006 12:13:07 PM

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