Carbeth Cardigan KAL: i-Cord edging for buttonholes


Oh, my! We are SO close to being done. Today we're all about making the finishing edge for the button band and buttonholes. It's a fun stitch to work and these steps go quickly.

We start by picking up 8 stitches at our folded collar. This is a "pick up and knit" situation, not just pick up like we did on the collar fold. Be sure to pick up the stitches through both layers of the folded collar.

Now that we have all of stitches on the needles we're ready to start the i-cord edging. We'll add two stitches at the beginning using the e-loop or thumb cast-on. This is the quickest way to add stitches to a needle and there's a good tutorial here.


Knit i-cord edging

Working the i-cord edge is fun and fast. I use a DPN to knit my stitches onto in conjunction with my long circular needle that is holding all the stitches on my button band.

First, knit one stitch. Then knit 2 together through the back loop. Then slide those two finished stitches back to the lefthand needle. 


Repeat that all the way down the button band edge.


So pretty! I think this is the nicest finishing edge I've ever had on a sweater. Now we get to work the other side where we'll add buttonholes.


The steps say to use another needle but I just added my needle tips and yarn and picked up straight to the existing needle.

Placing buttons and planning buttonholes

Our next step is to figure out where the buttons will go. I am using 6 buttons as the pattern recommends but if you added a few extra inches to the length of the sweater then you may want to add an extra button or three. It's up to you.

First I started by laying the sweater flat and arranging my buttons where I thought they looked nice and felt evenly spaced. I didn't count any stitches. I knew I'd want one at the top, one at the bottom and one at the base of the collar. The other three I set fairly equally spaced in between. Then I placed my clip-on markers at the corresponding spot on the other edge.


After I decided that I liked where everything was sitting I went a step further and added stitch markers where the buttons had been. This way I can just rest the sweater in my lap to sew on the buttons rather than having to continuously line it up to make sure I'm in the right spot.


Now we work our i-cord edging again but from the other end and we're adding in buttonholes! The buttonholes are just i-cord that isn't attached. I found it easiest to use 2 DPNs while working this edge, one to knit and then a spare to use when working a buttonhole. We're working "applied i-cord" and just regular "i-cord".

Knitting i-cord buttonholes

To begin, add 2 stitches as before then work three rows. Your first button should sit right about here at the bottom edge of your sweater. Rather than moving your stitches back to the left needle you'll pull the yarn behind and work plain i-cord for 3 rows. When you've stitched those then continue back to working the applied i-cord until you reach your next marker.

And there you have it! We have buttonholes on our sweaters! Now you can sew on your buttons, I know I'm going to do that tonight because I'm so excited to finish this up.


When you're finished with the button bands then we're ready to graft the underarms. I have a tutorial on the Kitchener Stitch here. You'll place your live stitches back on to DPNs, hold them parallel and then work the Kitchener Stitch to graft them together from the RS of the work.

Next post is blocking!

Check in, ask questions, keep knitting!

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