Way back in my twenties :-), button bands scared the bee-jeezus out of me. How long should it be? What does "gently stretched" mean? How do I make a button hole?
It would be so easy to knit the button bands at the same time as the cardigan fronts. The additional step is, simply, a bit of a pain.
Knitting the button band separately, then seaming it to the sweater body, makes for a more durable band--it won't stretch with that strong seam holding it to the body. The seam also prevents the band from curling inward. Additionally, the separate button bands give me a chance to place the buttons (and therefore button holes) evenly. With this cardigan, I had it easy. I simply counted the number of stockinette bands along the rib and spaced five buttons evenly. I placed a button hole every fifth band. That lucky break made for some easy train knitting this week.
Look: I'm almost done.
So that no one gets the idea that I'm not wearing my socks: