Many a knitter has lamented a wonky bottom edge of a button band. The tell-tale “arch” is the result of picking up too few stitches. But never fear! If the button band is generally laying nicely with the exception of an arch at the bottom (or top), I’ve developed a quick trick to help create a more even edge. Sure, it’s cheating – but why start over if a quick trick will give you the results you need?
A crochet hook (I typically use something in the range of size E/3.5mm, but you’ll need to adjust to your garment).
Note: This works especially well if you haven’t woven-in your ends yet, but if you have – you’ll need a little extra yarn in the same color as the button band.
Using your crochet hook and the same yarn as for the button band, insert your hook into the last stitch on the bottom edge of the sweater before the button band begins (usually when there’s an arch on the band, itself, this stitch is pretty easy to access). With the working yarn underneath, draw the yarn up through the stitch. Insert the hook down through the first stitch on the bottom of the band and draw the yarn up through the stitch. You’ll now have two loops on your hook (bottom right photo). Draw the second loop/stitch through the first loop/stitch. Insert the hook into the next stitch on the bottom of the band and draw the working yarn up through, then pull that new stitch through the existing stitch on the hook. This is called a crocheted slip stitch. (It is not a single crochet stitch.) Repeat this process across the bottom of the band until you reach the edge. Draw the thread all the way through the last stitch. Inspect your work. (On this example, I used a contrasting color so you can see the stitches, and there isn’t an arch on the bottom of the button band so it doesn’t show you how magical it is. However, if you try this with the same yarn on a button band that doesn’t lay flat along the top or bottom, you’ll be impressed with how well it works!)
If done correctly, you’ll have a smoother edge along the bottom, and the previous arch will be “filled-in” with crocheted edge. If you’ve worked the edge too tightly or too loosely, pull it back and try again. I’ve learned to adapt this edge to my needs regardless of the size hook I use, but if you find that you’re struggling, trying using a different size hook.
Repeat this process on any edge of the button band where you need to “fill-in” an arch or simply create a cleaner edge.