Monday, September 3, 2007

Button Advice

Due to a couple sessions of uncharacteristic focus, I am now officially one buttonhole band away from a completed sweater. However, before I can make the buttonhole band, I need to know how many buttons to use. This is where you come in. I need some button advice.

Most people say that you should use an uneven number of buttons on a garment. I took pictures of the sweater with five, six, and seven buttons. I am already leaning toward one of the three options, but I'm looking for some input before I make the final decision.

Keep in mind that the buttons will actually be sewn onto the knit ridges just below where they are in the pictures. I couldn't get them to sit properly on the knit ridges, so I rested them in the purl "valleys" of the rib just above where I'd actually sew them for the pictures. Which one do you think looks best?

Five Buttons. In this layout, there is a distance of 5.125 inches (13 cm) between the buttons.

Six Buttons. In this layout, there is a distance of 4.25 inches (10.8 cm) between the buttons.

Seven Buttons. In this layout, there is a distance of 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) between the buttons.














So which one do you like? I also have another question. How should I attach the buttons? I was thinking about using the Donegal tweed yarn because the holes in the buttons are definitely big enough. However, this yarn is a single ply and it's not very strong on its own. Plus it could be kind of bulky if used to sew on the buttons. I could use thread... maybe black or invisible? Any thoughts on that?

16 comments:

~Tonia~ said...

I like the 6 buttons. I would say to use sewing/button thread. Maybe take the sweater to Joann's or Hobby Lobby and see if you can match the button to a thread. Also You might want to put a little snipet of fabric on the inside of the sweater where the needle will come out and sew through it so it will help take the stress instead of the knitting. Or I have seen people use a clear plastic generic 4 or 5 hole button in the place of the fabric.

JenBut said...

7 buttons is too many. I like the way 5 looks, but 6 isn't bad either. And if you make enough loops when you're sewing on the button, the strength of the thread/yarn shouldn't matter too much... Although that can get bulky...

Bullwinkle said...

I'd vote for 6. A Question on fit of sweater: will it need 7 buttons to close without gaping? Will 5 be o.k.? Or do you plan to never actually button it closed?

The problem with (polyester) thread is that it is actually stronger than the wool and will abrade it. I'd look for some sock yarn or laceweight that is hanging around for sewing on buttons. (And I'm a fan of reinforcing the buttons somehow.)

Sigh, not that you should listen to anything I say: I haven't finished a sweater in ages.

Karen said...

I vote for 5 buttons, 6 and 7 buttons looks too crowded. But, I agree, you do need take fit into consideration. I'd like to thank you for enabling my daughter. I was looking at all of the pictures of KnickKnack, when she requested I make her one...and one each for her twin brothers, and her older brother, and her cousin...Then she decided that she wants to knit her own! Maybe you could pick up some extra cash by hanging around playgrounds.."psst, hey kid, wanna buy some yarn?"!

kathie said...

i vote for 6

KelInCal said...

I vote for 6 buttons. I have no experience with buttons on knitting yet, but I would think you could find thread to match the yarn.

Good luck - that sweater is going to be fab when it's done!

elocin said...

I like 5 buttins,but as already mentioned, the fit is important unless you don't want to wear it closed. For the thread I recommend cotton floss in a matching color.

Joy said...

I have the same questions bullwinkle does. You might need 6 or 7 buttons to close the sweater without gaping... but it's a non-issue if they are purely aesthetic. I know this is a long sweater (but it's tough to get an idea of scale in the photo), so I think the 6 or 7 are still the better choices.

WOW!! That's a lot of knitting FO HO!!

Barbara said...

My word! I'M your mother!!! Why didn't you ask me? I would go STRICTLY with the RULE of an uneven number of buttons. I can't believe you would even consider doing otherwise! What is this world coming to?!?!?!?!?

MollyBeees said...

Knock it off! You are setting the bar way too hight for us UFOers! :-) PS. I vote for 5!

Brenda said...

I vote for 5. So does Katherine. And Sally. Yes, a one-year old and a dog can have an opinion in this matter.

Leone said...

Well, I don't want to disagree with your mother so I secretly say I think 6 looks the best. I mean, whatever you choose will look good because that jacket is rocking!

bean said...

i like 5. but i agree - put it on and pin it to see if it fits right like that. i hate when things gap. annoying. :)

Kimmie said...

I have no earthly idea. That is the kind of little detail that makes my head hurt. Every baby sweater I have sewed that was supposed to be a button-down cardigan ended up being a tie-at-the-top cardigan because I didn't want to deal with button holes!

Either way - I think your sweater is AWESOME. Please make me one...

Screaming Wendy said...

Your BFF says to use 5 and sew them on with embroidery floss (DMC). Your BFF can supply the right DMC color as well. Love ya!

Annabelle said...

I like 5 buttons, I agree with the uneven number rule, it's what I was always taught. But if it gapes/gaps you may have to re-consider the rule.

Use the same yarn to sew them on as the rest of the sweater, you can re-enforce it with some extra embroydery floss of the same color.