Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lazy No More

Lazy, good-for-nothing, gaping, stretched out buttonhole
I've always known that lazy was a "four-letter" word.  General usage usually says, "lazy, good-for-nothing."  Of all the lazy, good-for-nothings I've seen lately, the buttonholes on my recently-completed-and-highly-bragged-about sweater are the worst.

Why would a person button up a coat?  Why button up a sweater?  To keep out the cold.  I've been wearing my sweater nearly everyday all day for several weeks now.  When it feels really cold, I button it up.  Shortly after, I begin feeling a chill in my midsection and look down to see that it has unbuttoned itself.  The problem is that the buttonholes are lazy.

My close-knit friend Karen was lamenting her angst over knitting buttonholes in the band on sweaters because they ended up being gaping holes that seemed to come from a laps in consciousness on the part of the knitter instead of a purposeful hole for a button.  I had just finished my sweater and considered my first attempt at buttonholes to be terrific--until I actually tried to use them.  At that point they seemed all stretched out and, well, lazy.

Karen and I discussed the buttonhole blight when I was east to visit.  "Just don't make them.  Use snaps instead," she suggested.  Since mine were already in, my thought was to use elastic thread around each one to strengthen its grip.  But something about that solution wasn't quite right, either.

A functional, get-a-good-grip buttonhole

Tonight as I'm at a stopping place on a sewing project, the solution to lazy buttonholes floats easily to "next" of the Things I get to do today.  I grab my red yarn, thread it into a needle and trace it around a buttonhole on the wrong side of the band.  A gentle tug to decrease the size, an overhand knot, a test with the button, another overhand to make a square knot, snip and tuck in the yarn tails.  Repeat seven more times.  As I sit now to write this blog, I'm cozy and warm, and those once-lazy holes are tight and firm as a teenage muscle--lazy no more.


  1. hmmm, i'm trying to figure this out, but think i'll have to try it out. in the dark of night the other night, i thought perhaps a blanket stitch might re-enforce and tighten the buttonhole. but i have tried neither. i like my solution: have you do it!

    ps: Asta -- guess who finished my buttonholes for me!!!!!

  2. oh, and no picture can properly show the beauty of this sweater. can't wait to read the hat blog!