I've been on the search for the holy grail of button bands for quite a while. I like button bands to be sturdy in order to prevent button band "gaposis" in fitted cardigans. Here are some of the things I've tried:
- Knitting a separate double knit band and sewing it on -- It can be almost too thick and it's a pain to sew it on, even though I don't mind sweater seams.
- Sewing a ribbon backing on the underside -- It's way too much work and I don't like the look and the band does not stretch.
- Using a linen stitch -- This is okay, but I don't love the stitch pattern on a button band.
- Using a needle size of a much finer gauge -- This is my favorite method for worsted weight yarns because you can achieve a pretty dense fabric that way.
- Using an attached I-cord and leaving gaps for the button holes -- I love this method, but it does not look good on all sweater styles. Sometimes you just need a ribbed band.
I buried my button holes in the purl stitches. I've also been on the quest for the perfect sturdy button holes. These are almost there. They look pretty good and are extremely sturdy. Here's a close-up of the button bands. You can see that the ribbing has more separation between the knit stitches and the purl stitches look slightly different. The thickness is not obvious from the photo though. Another thing I like about this band is that knit stitches at the bottom do not scrunch up and curl under like they do with the normal ribbing.