Designing an Aran Sweater: Finishing the Sweater

Completed Aran Sweater
Completed Aran Sweater

Now that all the pieces of the sweater are complete it is time to start the button band. There are several approaches for this, in my opinion the sewn on button band looks the best.

Before we begin, the fronts and back should be stitched together at the shoulder.
On the front of the sweater mark where the buttonholes will be. For women the buttonholes are on the right, and for men they are on the left. Buttons should be placed no more than three and a half inches apart. For myself I find buttonholes about 3 inches apart works well. Next measure your button. A buttonhole is approximately 3/4 the size of the button. Now use your stitch gauge to calculate how many stitches are eliminated for each buttonhole. Say I wanted a 3/4 inch button. I will take .75 X .75 = .5625. My stitch gauge is 6.5. With .5625 buttonhole needed and 6.5 stitches per inch I have .5625 X 6.5 = 3.65. Eliminating 3 stitches at the button hole might be too tight. I will remove 4 stitches following the one row buttonhole method. See our video on buttonholes.

Sweater front with button holes marked

I will make my button band an inch and a half wide. I would not make a button band less than an inch in width. For me that will mean about 10 stitches. 1.5 X 6.5 = 9.75 stitches. I will use a K1P1 ribbing. The first button hole should be in the first 3/4 to 1 inch from the bottom. I will continue to knit to the height of the neckline adding in buttonholes as required. As we have done a round neckline we will place these stitches on a stitch holder. Then knit an identical strip this time without the button holes. Had we made a V neck we could just knit one piece to go up the front, around the neck and down the front. With a round neck we won’t be able to get a smooth enough turn at the neck.

Once the button bands are complete, stitch them into place. Next pick up the stitches from the stitch holder across the top of the right button band continuing with the K1P1 ribbing. Pick up two out of every three stitches along the neckline then knit across the stitches of the left button band. Continue until the height of the ribbing is the same as the width of the button band. For me at 1.5 inches I will knit 10 rows (1.5 X 7.05 my row gauge = 10.575). Loosely cast off.

Next sew on the sleeves at the shoulder. Pinning the sleeve by first matching the outer edge pieces then the middle of the sleeve. Continue to pin between pins until the sleeve curved tops are smoothly matched to the front and back armholes. The next seam can go down the sleeve and down the side of the sweater.

Pinning on the Sleeves

Work in all ends. A slight steam for blocking should work just fine provided you blocked all the pieces separately.

Be sure to check out the video on Youtube that accompanies this lesson. You may also be interested in the video on how to knit the chart.

File icon

Once you select the download, head to the file icon on your device to find your download

Congratulations! You have completed your own designed Aran sweater.