Tutorial on how to work Knotted Buttonhole stitch

sample of hand embroidered knotted buttonhole stitch I found  Knotted Buttonhole stitch in Marion Nichols in her book Encyclopedia of Embroidery Stitches. There are a number of different varieties of buttonhole that is knotted, some are knotted on the base line others knotted at the top with a combination of pistil and buttonhole stitch. But that is not what we are looking at this week. This variety is knotted at the base of the buttonhole.

Once you get into a rhythm this stitch is simple and quick to work and produces some great twiggy like stitches that look great as foliage in flower sprays.

Also since this stitch is a member of the buttonhole family you can work it easily on a curve, in a circle or create great variety by changing the upright lengths.

How to work Knotted Buttonhole Stitch

This stitch is worked from left to right over two imaginary lines.

knotted buttonhole stitch step 1

Bring the thread out on the lower line, insert the needle in position in the upper line making a straight downward motion and then loop the thread under the needle point as you would buttonhole stitch.

knotted buttonhole stitch step 2Pull the needle through the fabric to form a loop and repeat this process. In other words make two buttonhole stitches with the second buttonhole stitch fairly close to the first

knotted buttonhole stitch step 3Next from the left point the needle right and pass the needle under the stitches you just made, but not through the fabric. Make sure the thread passes under the needle as illustrated.

knotted buttonhole stitch step 4

Pull the needle through to make a loop. Pull until snug but not too tight.

knotted buttonhole stitch step 5Continue in this manner along the line.

knotted buttonhole stitch step 6It is an interesting stitch that you can work in a variety of traditional ways or can be layered to create heavy texture.

I hope you enjoy the stitch!

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50 Responses to Tutorial on how to work Knotted Buttonhole stitch

  1. vero says:

    super ce point je viens de le finir bravo sharon

  2. http://stitchinfingers.ning.com/profile/JeanneMarieMellor
    Hi Sharon,
    I’m a few weeks behind because I wasn’t feeling well. Now I feel hopelessly behind withTAST, re-stocking my etsy, Christmas presents and everything. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed knotted buttonhole stitch! And I am doing all the TAST stitches to hopefully catch up someday soon.

  3. Ann says:

    This is my post about the stitch and the embroidery journal I’m keeping with all the stitches in it:


    I enjoyed learning this stitch.

  4. Diane says:

    Each hexie has a different stitch from the final six months of the 2012 challenge.
    It’s really beginning to look like a ball and I’m anxious to finish.

  5. So I’m ready for next stitch ! Here’s my 39th Tast week
    It’s going hard to find motivation.

  6. crazypatch says:

    Voici le lien vers ma broderie de la semaine. amicalement
    Marie Christine

  7. Liz Eph says:


    dear sharon, here’s my contribution for this week. i’m pleased with the result but found it a bit of a struggle. the wretched thing slews over to one side as soon as i’m not concentrating like mad. worth working at, i like the effect with the bumpy knotted line along the bottom. xx liz xx

  8. Laurel says:

    Hope I’m not to late – here’s my example of the Knotted Buttonhole stitch. Loved it – like I love all knotted stitches!


  9. Karrin Hurd says:

    After my extensive room renovations, with no time to stitch, I finally got caught up:


  10. Luiz Vaz says:

    Hi Sharon & Friends! My post for the week. Thank you all!

  11. Julie JC says:

    Here is the short link to my post about this stitch. http://wp.me/p1GXVK-iu

    My work is very simple this week as I sustained a very severe injury Wednesday night. I’m not getting around very much, but didn’t want to just disappear without a word. I’m only out of bed for about 1.5 hours at a time a couple times a day at most.

    But “Ah’ll be bahck!”

  12. Annet says:

    It was so much fun to experiment with this stitch again. My sampler is here:
    and I wrote about the details on my blog:

  13. Here’s mine: http://210920746822434353.weebly.com/1/post/2012/09/2012-a-year-of-challenges-week-thirty-nine.html
    As usual, I couldn’t come up with a way to use it other than a simple seam treatment so — added a few French knots and made it part of my September “garden”!

  14. Marjolein says:

    Hi Sharon,
    I made a flower spray using knotted buttonhole stitch and Algerian eye stitch, which I wanted to catch up.
    Here is the result: http://threads-and-patches.blogspot.com/2012/09/tast-week-39-knotted-buttonhole-stitch.html

  15. Well, I’m nowhere near week 39, but I did get caught up from week 17 to 29 yesterday and posted it here:
    Just some small samples. I plan to be up to date within the next 10 days, so let’s just see if it happens!!=)

    • Rosemary Tweedie says:

      Well done Elizabeth. I am also behind and have a new strategy. I do the present week’s stitch and then some catch up stitches as well. Feeling much better with myself, rather then just working weeks behind 🙂 In fact I am feeling a tiny bit virtuous!!

  16. Hi Sharon,
    I have started working on this week’s stitch, and the details are here-
    Thank you,

  17. Debbie says:

    My Knotted Buttonhole sample for this week – I’ve also included the Drizzle stitch from last week.

  18. Claudia says:

    Hi Sharon and all,
    I like Knotted Buttonhole stitch very much and had fun with the exercise: http://www.flickr.com/photos/75992012@N08/8034002003/in/photostream

  19. Just a small sample and an old one, I do like the stitch and hope to do more of it in the future.

  20. Hi Sharon, great stitch this week !
    I’m away from Sunday, for my daughters wedding in vegas!
    So I shall not take part in next weeks TAST, but will catch up!
    You can see my sample here………………..
    Chris Richards

  21. Lilian says:

    Hi Sharon,

    This is my first TAST! I’m relatively new to stitching so mine is a simple mini sampler. I especially like Leela’s poodle this week.

  22. Hi Sharron,
    I like this stitch so much I thought I would stitch another sample. I blogged about it at; http://www.carorose.typepad.com and add it to the Fickr group. http://www.flickr.com/photos/carorose/8029007394/in/pool-56846286@N00/


  23. Ms Sharma says:

    My previous sampler on this stitch is here:

    I like this stitch and will try to work out more

    Ms Sharma

  24. Maureen says:

    Hi Sharon,
    Interesting comments, Firstly I have been receiving the Tast stitch either late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. I tried unsubbing and re joining to no avail. I now see you are having Feedburner problems so that is most like the reason.
    Seeing Annet’s comment and yours to Jeanne-Marie I searched again for the Knotted Buttonhole in my Tast 1.
    Found it at last. I could not find the Knotted B’hole in the Stitch Dictionary though and have forgotten the original method.
    I like the stitch.

  25. latha says:

    http://latha-mycreations.blogspot.com/2012/09/tast-week-39-knotted-buttonhole.html This week’s stitch was an easy one still had difficulty finding a design, hence a simple freehand design ” Hedgehog in a meadow”. Other stitches used are buttonhole wheel and stem.

  26. ValerieL says:

    I am finally back doing TAST after finishing a large crazy quilt/embroidery project.
    You can see what I have done at:

    Thanks so much.

  27. Hi Sharon,
    Does this stitch produce the same look as up and down buttonhole stitch?

    • sharonb says:

      Jeanne-Marie – no it does not look up and down buttonhole stitch. If you compare the two one has a knot at the base and the other a straight stitch – you can do different things with it as a result.

  28. Annet says:

    I’m glad the knotted buttonhole is this week’s stitch, I had to look at my samples to remember it! Here’s my weekly post with old knotted buttonhole stitches:
    And here’s my TAST 2010 sampler:

  29. Kathy says:

    Sharon, for some reason I am no longer receiving your daily note in my mail. Would it be possible for you to check your end.
    Thank you Kathy

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