How to Knit a Ribbed Buttonhole Band for a Sweater or Cardigan

About: Born in England many years ago, moved to California in 1980, moved to New York in 1993, became a US citizen. Favourite place to visit, besides London England, is Lake Winnipesaukkee in New Hampshire, home o...

For this example I am using 3mm needles.

Cast on 12 stitches and knit 4 rows of knit one purl one rib, remembering to slip the first stitch of every row as if to knit, without knitting, to maintain a nice neat edge. If you do not do this you may get a sloppy loopy edge which you won't like!

Step 1: Creat the First Buttonhole

Row five, continue in knit one purl one rib for 5 stitches.
Cast off 3 stitches (in rib, i.e. purlwise, knitwise and purlwise) and continue knitting to end of row in rib, starting with a purl stitch.

Next row knit 5 stiches in knit one purl one rib, starting with a knitted stitch. Cast on 3 stitches onto the right handle needle (you may have to turn the work around, depending on how you personally cast stitches on). Try not to make these stitches too "loose and loopy"!

When you have cast on the 3 stitches on your right hand needle continue to work across the piece in rib across the left hand needle, starting with a knitted stitch.

Step 2: You Have Created a Hole (on Purpose!)

Knit 18 rows in knit one purl one rib, (as before)then create a second button hole as previously explained. You will need to create a series of button holes at a regular 18 row interval for as long as is required for your sweater or cardigan. Of course you may vary the width of the rib band and the number of stitches in between each button hole

Note: I have knitted the right side front band (for women's garments). You will need to create a matching left side band, on which you sew the buttons. The easiest way to get your two bands exactly the same length is to knit them both together on the same needles with separate balls of yarn and omitting making the button holes on the left side band, when you open and close the hole by just knitting two rows of rib.

When you cast off your ribbed bands, cast of in rib, i.e. knit one plain, knit one purl, pass knit stitch over, knit one plain, pass purl stitch over. It it much neater than just casting of plain-wise.

When finished these two bands will be sewn neatly in place on each side of the two cardigan or sweater fronts.

Participated in the
Craft Skills Contest



    • Barbeque Challenge

      Barbeque Challenge
    • DIY Summer Camp Contest

      DIY Summer Camp Contest
    • Beauty Tips Contest

      Beauty Tips Contest

    2 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Could I knit a separate one for this pattern ,I'm a new knitter and finding this a bit confusing,could you tell me how to do this thank you x

    WP_20160302_17_16_30_Pro 1.jpg

    10 years ago on Introduction

    i know how to make the button band...but how do you actually attach it to the sweater. I'm attaching a garter stitch band (5 stitches wide) to a stockinette stitched cardigan. Do i use a mattress stitch, blanket stitch, whip stitch. Any help would be great.