Double knitting is often seen showcasing its decorative possibilities, but its sturdy, reversible structure also makes the ideal fabric for long-wearing, elegant buttonbands like those seen in ready-to-wear knits. We will learn the basic recipe for a double-faced stockinette band with matching buttonhole and find out how to apply it to almost any cardigan pattern. This buttonband is knit separately from your cardigan and added after the sweater is assembled. Its structure ensures a strong, durable band to sew your buttons to as well as firm, elastic buttonholes that will hold up over time. This method is suitable for a large variety of fibers and thicknesses of yarn and adds finesse and structure to a hand-knit cardigan. We will also cover how to determine buttonhole placement, the best ways to attach buttons, and the use of backing buttons and thread shanks to improve the longevity and performance of your buttonband.
Please knit a swatch using worsted-weight yarn and size 7 needles (or needles to get a fabric you like) as follows: Cast on 26 sts and work in K2, P2 rib for 1 inch. Switch to stockinette stitch and work until swatch measures at least 5 inches long from cast-on edge. Bind off and block (if possible). All swatches should be at least 4"x4"/10x10cm. See Supplies for info on yarn.
Materials you should use for the swatches: smooth, worsted-weight yarn in a light to medium color with corresponding needle size (suggested size: US 7). Please do not use textured, novelty, or difficult-to-use yarn. You will also need a calculator, paper, pencil, a yarn needle, locking stitch markers, double-pointed needles in size US 2, and enough extra yarn to work a small buttonband sample and seam the band to your swatch. If you also have a sewing needle and either DMC, Pearl Cotton or quilter’s silk, these can be used when sewing on the buttons but it is not necessary to purchase these for class. If possible, please bring at least one 1/2”-5/8” button (with or without a shank).