Buttons Instead of Zipper?


I’m just starting my first “real” project — a hooded baby sweater. I’ve only made some slippers and simple hats. The sweater pattern calls for a zipper, but I’d rather use buttons. I’ll do some practice button holes before trying them in the sweater, but how would I adjust the pattern. It calls for cables close to the front edges where the zipper is supposed to go.

The pattern is from the book “The All New Teach Yourself to Knit” by Evie Rosen. When making the front panels, would I just cast on a few extra stitches on the zipper side of the cables to allow room for buttons and button holes? How far apart should the button holes be?


I would pick up stitches along the front edges and do some ribbing (or another flat stitch of your choice) for the button hole/button bands. I try to pick up 3 stitches along the edge and then skip one, repeating that along the whole front edge. I would do the button band first. Then make the button hole band match that.

What I do is rather primitive (simple:-)). After I have done the button band and have the number of stitches I picked up for that, I make that number of marks on a sheet of paper, and using the marks figure out how I would have to place the buttonholes to make them even. Each mark represents a stitch and I mark on the paper where to begin the button holes and then try an even spacing that might work and if after marking it out I find it doesn’t fit well, I adjust and keep trying until I find what will fit nicely.

I would put the holes about every 1 1/2" or so. You don’t want them to be too far apart or they will gape. Closer than 1 1/2" could work if you needed it a little closer. The space between buttons depends a little on button size too I think. If you use tiny buttons you could put more of them. I read one place that an odd number of buttons looks more balanced. I like to do an odd number, but have used 4 or 6 if it is what worked.

This will help with the placing of the button holes
and this for button band

Thank you both VERY much for the suggestions and the links. I will practice on a swatch before I try the real thing.