Please, PLEASE help: how do I do buttons and sub yarns?

I’m eventually going to knit a sweater for myself, loosely based on Knitty’s Candy, except in one solid color and without the extraneous panels.

Three questions:

  1. a. What kind of fiber would you substitute for the mohair/arcrylic blend? I went to a yarn store today and I was recommended Blue Sky brushed alpaca and something else, though I remember it was mostly arcrylic.

  2. b. Is there anywhere online to pick up these fibers for cheap? Or did I choose the exact wrong fiber to go cheap on?

  3. How much overlap does one knit to allow for buttons/buttonholes? The pattern has crocheted, external buttonholes but I’m at a size where that will strech wierdly. I bought a couple buttons that are about 3/4 of a inch wide, if that helps.

  4. How do you determine how much yarn you’re going to need? I’ve only done smaller projects so this is very, very new to me.

And that’s almost four questions, but I hope you forgive me.

Hi Swarthygirl,

With regard to how much you’ll need…

If you decide to substitute yarns, you’ll have to check the yarn called for to see how many yards are on a ball/hank (233 yds is what’s listed in the pattern…229 yds is what’s given at other sites…, so it’s likely a fingering or DK weight yarn…just checked…it’s an “Aran” weight). Then add together the number of balls/hanks for your size in the pattern for all the colors and multiply by the number of yards. When you decide which yarn you’ll be using, just do it in reverse…i.e. look at how many yards are in your yarn, divide the total yardage you need by that number & you’ll have the number of skeins you’ll need.