Making a short button band

I really like short button bands on little sweaters. Buttons tend to spontaneously open on babies and children, but their heads need to some how fit through the neck. I like to make a small button band that only uses three buttons, then join to work in the round. I altered Puerperium recently to do just that. I wasn’t the first, but I couldn’t find instructions on how to join the two sides of the button band such that they over lap and lay flat. This is what I improvised for the top-down sweater and I must say it works quite well.

Before you start your project, determine if you need to adjust the number of stitches in either the button band or the rest of the project. If the number of stitches in a pattern repeat isn’t equal to the number of stitches in one of the button bands, you’ll get a funny stripe like I did in my first Puerperium. The number of stitches in each button band must be equal.


You’ll need two extra DPNs or cable needles, preferably smaller than the needles used for the project.

  1. Work button band as written to about 2-3 rows after the last button (ending on a WS).
  2. (RS facing you)  Put the stitches from each button band on the extra needles (DPN or cable). If you’re using straight needles to work the flat section, you’ll need to shuffle  the stitches around (which you’ll need to do anyway, since you’ll soon be knitting in the round).
  3. Now, hold the stitches as though you are about the join in the round. Hold the band with the button holes in front and the solid button band behind. 
  4. Now, starting with the front button band, move 1 stitch to the main needles.
  5. Move 1 stitch from the back button band to the main needles.
  6. Repeat 4 and 5 until all stitches are on the main needles. The button band stitches should be interleaved and the project should be essentially joined in the round.
  7. The working yarn should start a the left side of the button band, so knit a round in pattern until you reach the button band. In my example, I also separated the sleeves on this round.
  8. For each pair of stitches in the button band: k2t. This joins each front stitch band with the corresponding back band stitch. You should have decreased by the number of stitches in a single button band.
  9. For the rest of the sweater, knit in pattern (but in the round) and ignore the button band. For example, if it is a stockinette sweater with a garter stitch button band, knit stockinette for the rest of the pattern.

Short Button Band - labeled




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