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Loom FAQs: How To Make Holes? On Purpose






While working various patterns, holes are sometimes needed.  Sounds odd.  Who wants holes in their knits?  But I have seen questions like How do I make a thumb hole?  How do I made eye holes for a ski mask?  How do I make buttonholes?  Ponytail holes in hats?  Hole are needed.  Shovels are not.  So let’s toss that shovel aside and talk about how to work some holes into your knits.

While there are many variations of holes, there are basically only 3 methods to working a hole in knits.  Eyelets which are small and great for buttonholes, vertical holes which are great for thumb holes in fingerless gloves, and horizontal holes which are good for eye holes in ski mask and ponytail holes in hats.


Aren’t eyelets only used in lace stitch patterns?  Well eyelets are for more than just lace work.  They are great for making buttonholes in knits when the stitch pattern isn’t open enough for buttons.  While buttonholes can also be made using the horizontal or vertical methods for larger buttons in smaller gauge knits, there are 2 ways to make eyelets for buttonholes.  The first is with a 1 stitch decrease and the second is with decrease using 2 stitches.

– 1 stitch decrease eyelet

eyelet1When working a 1 stitch decrease eyelet, you just need to work a k2tog (knit 2 together) or an ssk (slip slip knit) depending on which direction you are working leaving an empty peg.

Move the stitch off the peg where the eyelet is to be.





Place the stitch on the next peg.  Then knit both loops together for the k2tog or ssk.  1 peg is left empty.




Then work a yo (yarn over) on the next row or round to replace the stitch on the empty peg.  There are 3 sizes of 1 stitch decrease eyelets depending on how the yo is worked.

There are 2 ways to work a yarn over.

eyelet flat

The first way is to lay the working yarn in front of the peg straight across the peg like working a flat knit.  This method will leave the smallest eyelet hole.





The other way is to wrap the peg like an e-wrap.  If you wrap the peg, there are 2 sizes of eyelets.  One is to leave the peg wrapped and just work that stitch with it wrapped.  This is the middle size eyelet.





To make the largest 1 stitch decrease eyelet, wrap the peg for the yo, but unwrap it and lay the working yarn in front of the peg when working the stitch on the next row.  It will be loose which is why it makes the bigger hole.



Eyelet using flat yarn over.
Eyelet using flat yarn over.







Eyelet with e-wrap yarn over.
Eyelet with e-wrap yarn over.







Eyelet using unwrapped e-wrap yarn over.
Eyelet using unwrapped e-wrap yarn over.











– 2 stitch decrease eyelet

big eyelet1

With the 2 stitch decrease eyelet, you will work a k2tog and an ssk leaving 2 pegs empty





big eyelet2






big eyelet3and then working 2 yo to replace the stitch on the empty pegs.


Same thing applies with the yo methods on this eyelet version as with the 1 stitch decrease eyelet.



Eyelet with 2 stitch decrease.
Eyelet with 2 stitch decrease.









Vertical Holes

Fingerless mitts or gloves are all the rage these days.  Especially with all of our touch screen electronic devices.  It’s easy to leave off the fingers of mittens or gloves.  But how do you work a hole for the thumbs?  Especially when working the mitts in the round.  It’s a great question.  And an easy one to explain.

Basically, all a person needs to do to work a vertical hole in their knits when working in the round is to stop working in the round and work a flat panel for several rows before starting to work in the round again.

Huh??  Yeah…  Easier said than done!  Or easier with pictures with step by step instructions instead of trying to explain in 1 sentence.  Let me show you how…



The hole will be between the pegs with the stitch markers.

When making the vertical hole in a mitt or other items worked in the round, just start working a flat panel at this point by slipping the first stitch



and knitting back the other direction






with the last peg being worked is the other peg with the stitch marker.






Then slip this stitch and work back in the other direction.





Work in rows until you get the length needed for your hole and start working the round again to close up the top of the hole.

Vertical hole worked in a circular piece.
Vertical hole worked in a circular piece.


You can see that the top and bottom of these holes are not the sturdiest so you may want to whip stitch the top and bottom for strength.

By slipping the first stitch, you get a nice chain edge on each side.





Horizontal Holes

Anytime I see someone asking how to make the eye slits in a ski mask, I always have just one thought.  Somewhere there is a bank waiting to robbed…  But then I live in the South of the USA where the winters are not that cold.  I do realize that up north and other places around the world have very harsh winters, and ski masks are very lovely to wear to keep a persons cheeks and nose from freezing when working and playing outdoors.

Also hats with ponytail holes are great for those who like to wear hats and still wear a ponytail.  Especially runners.  And those of us who are too lazy to fix our hair or don’t want hat hair when it’s cold.

Horizontal holes are best for these types of hats.  These type of holes require binding off several pegs and then working in a flat panel for however tall the hole is needed before casting those pegs back on so working in the round can be resumed.  Still confused?  Well back to that step by step photo tutorial…


For this demonstration, I am working in the round, working right to left, and want to work the horizontal hole between the pegs with the stitch markers.




First I will bind off those 4 pegs between the stitch markers using the basic bind off.  First knit the first 2 pegs to the left of the stitch marker on the right.  Then move the second stitch to the peg on the right and knit over.


Then move the stitch on that peg over to the peg on the left leaving that peg empty.





hhole empty pegs

Then continue with the basic bind off method until all the pegs are empty between the stitch markers.





Now work in rows like in the vertical hole until the hole is the size needed.  For this demonstration, I worked 3 rows until I was back on the right side of the empty pegs.  Now to cast back on those empty pegs.

hhole ewrap co

You can just yarn over those empty pegs with by wrapping the pegs with an e-wrap to cast those stitches back on.  Then continue working in the round again.




If you prefer the chain edge like I do, you can work the chain cast on.

hhole cco1

In order for the cast on to be joined, the first loop needs to be drawn up through the last stitch worked.

Put the crochet hook down through the stitch.




hhole cco2

Then catch the working yarn and draw the new loop up through the stitch.





hhole cco4

Work the chain cast on until all the pegs are cast back on.





hhole cco5

Then place the last loop on the next peg and knit over.  Continue working in the round.





hhole cco6

Horizontal hole complete!






Holes are fun because they break the boredom.  Now to figure out exactly where to put them in your work!  It’s always something, isn’t it?  Happy knitting!




  1. I really like these informational / learning posts. Thank you for taking the time to help us!

  2. I am knitting a baby blanket for a car seat for my great grand daughter and want to do an eight in horizontal three in opening between the two harness points as her car seat has adjustable strapes. Have looked all over for patterns but unable to find one. This will help me to create my own pattern. Now I just need to really reinforce that opening. Thanks for the help.

  3. I am making one part with only middle opening sweater on my rectangular knitting loom. I need to make arm holes on sides, so was wondering what would be the best way to do it? Could I combine vertical and horizontal holes guide here to make ones for my arms?

    1. We have great help from loom knitting designers at our facebook group: Please ask your pattern questions here.

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