theraineysisters knitting and so much more

January 24, 2012

From Susan — Holier than Thou

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:59 pm

Not too much is holier than this FO!! When knitting peep and friend Kim and I went to Knitters Camp last summer, we fell in love with the Swiss Cheese Scarf (free pattern on Ravelry) made by a fellow Camper. So much so that we made a pit stop at The Yarnery on the way back through town to buy a skein of Kauni EQ (Rainbow) yarn. Kim started hers and finished it a lot sooner than I. But here mine is, in its subtle glory:

Swiss Cheess Scarf 111

And in a slightly different pose:

Swiss Cheese

Do you like to do buttonholes? Well this puppy has 171 buttonholes and 48 notches. If you HATE buttonholes, make this scarf. They will not bother you at all by the end!!

I must admit that I am not impressed with the traditional buttonhole of old:

Row 1: bind off “X” sts (in this case, 10)
Row 2: cast on “X” sts using backward loop method

These BH’s are usually kind of sloppy with a large loopy edge on one side. I experimented with a LOT of options and fell back on my standard for larger BHs: the one-row buttonhole, made as follows (for 10-stitch BH):

Note: Back and front mean as they face you, no matter if you are on the right or wrong side (back is the side facing away from you and front is the side toward you).
Step 1:
Work to BH, yarn forward, sl next st as to purl, place yarn @ back and leave it there; *Sl next st from LH needle to RH needle. Pass the first slipped st over it (counts as 1 bound off st). Repeat from * 9 more times more (not using yarn to knit the sts, just passing the sts over). Slip the last bound off st to left needle and turn work.

Step 2:
With yarn to back, cable cast on 11 sts, but on the last st, pass working yarn to front between sts 10 and 11 and then place st 11 on the LH needle; turn work.

Step 3:
With yarn in back, slip the first st on the LH needle to the RH needle; pass the extra cast on st over it to close the buttonhole. Continue to end of row.

Repeat 170 more times and voila!!

Swiss Cheese
Close Up of Buttonholes

I also slightly felted my scarf. Did I felt it enough? Did I felt it too much? I guess that is a matter of opinion. I do love the way it looks and how much it softened up, so I am very happy with it.

Swiss Cheese Scarf
Ravelry Project Page
NOTE: My Ravelry Page has all the details about how I accommodated the 74-stitches and my one-row buttonhole.

Kauni EQ, one 150 gram skein
Needle: US 4
Stitch Count: 74 sts
Finished Size: 10×60 inches, after felting
Grade: A+ for the smile it puts on my face when I look at it! 🙂

PS: 2muchfun asked why I chose to felt my scarf. Kauni is thin, fingering weight yarn and a bit uneven. Like Daniel Cleaver says to Bridget Jones (about her tiny skirt), I wanted to fatten it up a bit. It plumped up the yarn and filled in the spaces where the yarn was thinner. You can see from the photos that I did not felt it enough to lose the stitch definition.

PPS: Mary asked how I “lightly felted” my scarf. Basically, you felt wool by washing it. I placed it in the machine and washed it on a hot/cold setting twice. I checked it often to make sure it did not fully felt. I kind of thought it might because it is such a “wooly” wool. I consider something “fully” felted when you cannot see (or can barely discern) the individual stitches. I have lightly felted many things in the past…notably my baby Elefante:



  1. Thank you, that’s a fine button hole and the only thing stopping me from knitting this scarf was the mess I made of the “button holes”.
    cheers, gem

    Comment by gemma — January 24, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

  2. I don’t often look at project photos and simply say “WHOA” but this is spectacular! A+ indeed!

    You’ve tempted me to add this to the queue.

    Comment by Veronica — January 24, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

  3. Ooh, I might need to make it.

    Comment by surly — January 24, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

  4. Fun looking scarf to knit. I will have to add it to my to-do list. Thanks for the help on the button holes.

    Comment by Michele with one "l" — January 25, 2012 @ 1:39 am

  5. Thank you!!! I tried knitting this scarf a few years ago and hated the way it looked. I may have to try it again. I sure wish I remember what yarn I was going to use!

    Comment by Maria — January 25, 2012 @ 2:23 am

  6. Thank you for the button hole instructions. I have to give that a try. It sounds like it will become my favorite way to do button holes. It makes sense even without having a swatch to practice on right now. May I ask why you chose to felt the scarf a bit?

    Comment by 2muchfun — January 25, 2012 @ 8:21 am

  7. Oh, very cute scarf!

    Comment by Wool free and Lovin' knit — January 25, 2012 @ 10:09 am

  8. I love this! The Kauni really makes it.

    Comment by Claudine — January 25, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

  9. Hilarious! The text down to the words “subtle glory” appeared before the pictures popped into place on my screen – great (nonverbal) punchline.

    Comment by stashdragon — January 25, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

  10. I think I’ll give this a try. Are you saying you cast on 74 stitches instead of 110?

    Comment by LeighK — January 25, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  11. I have soooo much Kauni and this is such an awesome pattern. Thanks you for the buttonhole tips, I have been knitting 45 years and am finishing up a cardigan for my DIL and I said out loud, “Great, why couldn’t this be the post a few weeks ago” LOL..Many buttonholes in my future and looking forward to utilizing this technique. I so enjoy your blog..

    Comment by Cheryl — January 25, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

  12. I’ve had this pattern queued for quite a while. I love it in the Kauni of which I have several colors in my stash so I may have to jump on the band wagon.

    Comment by Beverly — January 25, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

  13. Susan, would you be willing to explain on your blog how you “slightly” felted your scarf? I have a hat that needs the same treatment. I knit it from jared Flood’s Loft and it has no spring,no bounce…needs to be pulled in. thanks, Mary in Cincinnati

    Comment by mary mcmahon — January 26, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

  14. This is stunning. Absolutely a work of art. Thanks for sharing your projects. 🙂

    Comment by Love To Crochet — January 26, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

  15. Love it. Ready to start! But same question as LeighK: cast on 74? How many stitches into the row do you start the 10 stitch buttonholes?
    I checked the Ravelry pattern but using 74 vs 110 stitches is not an easy translation for me.
    Wait, let’s see if I can figure this out. In your photos I see four hole rows alternating with 3 whole holes plus 2 half-hole rows. 40 stitches of hole per row?
    So 34 stitches in between those holes? I can’t divide 34 into a number of stitches that works out evenly before, between and after the holes.
    What’s the secret that I am missing? And as long as I’m asking, 5 rows in between holey rows as in the original?
    Love your work, Thanks!!!

    Comment by Helen — January 27, 2012 @ 10:53 am

  16. Just wondering if you use
    Row 7
    K5 (BO10,K8) 3 times, BO10 K4
    This equals 73 stitches and not 74.
    I have found this confusing.

    How many rows to you knit between buttonholes if you use the one row buttonhole?

    Thank you.

    Comment by MP — January 27, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  17. Thanks for the great pictures of your scarf! I printed out the scarf and ordered the yarn. I can’t wait to start. I am wondering about the questions using 74 stitches with the BO of the buttonholes.
    Thanks for any help you can give.

    Comment by Dawn — January 28, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

  18. I just checked your notes on Ravelry (I should of done that first)it makes sense now! Thanks very much!

    Comment by Dawn — January 28, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

  19. That buttonhole scarf looks like a lot of fun. I will put it up on my to-do-list,

    Comment by riot yarn — February 1, 2012 @ 5:05 am

  20. I really like your version of the scarf! Wonderful job! The elephant is adoreable.

    Comment by FoFo — February 29, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

  21. thanks for the step-by-step buttonhole instructions! I’m doing the same scarf, thanks to your resurrection of it, and wonder: aren’t you supposed to count cast-on st 11 as the first st in the K8 sections? if I do it exactly as you have written, I’m short a couple of sts at the end of the buttonhole rows … just another Saturday morning conundrum for me to figure out ;o) I’ll keep working on it, but just thought I’d ask.

    Comment by margaret — March 3, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

  22. LOVE LOVE LOVE this scarf. i made one out of the kauni in the rainbow as well but with the original buttonhole pattern. i tried my darndest to make the buttonhole nicer but couldnt figure anything out so i made it as is. it is gorgeous but those little loops formed at the end of the regular buttonhole bothered me. then someone sent me your ravelry tip and DOH! it made me remember the one row buttonhole but much too late. i tried it on some scrap yarn and it is a much nicer hole. i plan on lightly felting my scarf as well but i was working on 56 stitches on a size 4 so i dont want it to shrink much anyhow. thanks for the tip and my next scarf will be your way! thanks so much!

    Comment by raggz — April 27, 2013 @ 9:34 am

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