A horizontal button hole is the most useful for larger sweaters, cardigans and jackets. You should calculate the position of all the button holes before beginning to knit. Also it is a good idea to knit up a sample button hole before you start in order to check that your buttons will fit.

Horizontal Button Hole

Horizontal Button Hole

1. To make the button hole, knit up to the marked position (about three to four stitches in from the main fabric or button band), and cast off two or more stitches according to the size of the button. Continue in pattern to the end of the row.

Horizontal Button Hole 2

2. On the following row work up to the cast off stitches and replace them by casting on the same number of new stitches. Complete the row in pattern

horizontal button hole

Button Bands

Patterns often call for button bands which can either be knitted in two separate pieces or in one long piece which goes right up the front openings and around the neck. They can be knitted to match the garment’s colour or on contrasting shades and may be worked in either Garter or Moss stitch which gives a flatter surface.If you are knitting your button bands in two parts (one to hold the buttons and one in which to place the button holes), knit them together using separate balls of yarn as this will ensure they are equal in length. In addition, when you work the button hole on one band you can mark the position for the button on the other.

You will have to sew the button band onto the finished garment when making up at the end.

Button Stand

Button Stand

Sometimes when the knitting divides to form the opening of a garment, you will have to knit in an extra piece of fabric, a button stand, in order to hold a button.

Working Button Stands

Working button stands

To work in a button stand, cast on an extra number of stitches at the end of a row (in this case four), and work these stitches until the fabric is large enough to support your button. Cast off the extra stitches.