Because I have picked up the correct amount of stitches to occupy 4" of length, once complete, my button band will lie perfectly flat.
Here are a few other potential examples, and their ratios:
A: 20 stitches and 25 rows / 4"
20/25 can be reduced down to 4/5.
• Pick up 4 stitches for every 5 rows along entire length
B. 18 stitches and 21 rows / 4"
18/21 can be reduced down to 6/7.
• Pick up 6 stitches for every 7 rows along entire length
What if you don't end up with a nice a fraction?
C: 17 stitches and 20 rows / 4"
17/20 cannot be reduced further, so you will need to break it down into smaller fractions as I did in my sample. First divide the numerator into 3 parts: 5, 6, 6. Then, break down the denominator into 3 parts: 6, 7, 7. This makes 3 nice fractions of 5/6, 6/7, and 6/7.
• *Pick up 5 stitches for every 6 rows once, then 6 stitches for every 7 rows once; repeat from * along the full length of band.
And that's it! Just a little bit of basic arithmetic, and you're well on your way to a perfectly picked up button band that lays flat and looks great every time.
*9 times out of 10, it is fine if you get stitch but not row gauge, but do pay attention to the pattern notes or construction of the item. Row gauge is especially vital in garments with raglan shaping with increases or decreases written in rows (rather than shaping given within certain lengths).
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