Knitting a shoulder button placket

Everyday Baby: a new pattern from Polka Dot Cottage

Here’s a little something I had to teach myself when I was writing Everyday Baby: how to join two button bands together to make a placket for the shoulder.

I had a surprisingly difficult time finding a good illustration of this process online. So, even though I tried to explain the process clearly in words, I thought maybe the internet would benefit from having pictures of this somewhere!

I am sharing this specifically in reference to the Everyday Baby knitting pattern views C and D, but I suspect the illustrations could help in understanding any pattern where stitches need to be overlapped.

So, we’re talking about a top-down seamless pullover pattern. This kind of pattern is often knit entirely in the round. However, in this case, I wanted to make it easier to put over a newborn’s head, so I wanted a button placket to add a few more inches to the neck circumference when the button is unfastened.

To make a button placket, you must begin the knitting the yoke flat (back and forth) for several rows before overlapping the first and last stitches of the row and converting it to an in-the-round knit.

It’s less complicated than it sounds. Have a look:

Shoulder button placket on Everyday Baby pullover

Here is our sample Everyday Baby pullover (view C or D) after 10 rows of knitting. We’ll be joining to work in the round on Row 11, which is a right-side row. Notice that we are currently looking at the right side of the work, and the working needle (where the tail is coming out) is on the right.

Shoulder button placket on Everyday Baby pullover

We slide the work to the end of the left needle, and slip the last four stitches onto a double pointed needle. (It’s four stitches for this pattern, but if you have a wider or narrower placket, you would slip as many stitches as there are in your pattern’s button band.)

Shoulder button placket on Everyday Baby pullover

Slide the stitches back over so that the tail is at the end of the working needle on the right.

Shoulder button placket on Everyday Baby pullover

Making sure to keep the right side of the work facing you, take the double point needle and bring it around the back…

Shoulder button placket on Everyday Baby pullover

…and in front of the working needle so that the button band stitches on the double pointed needle are overlapping those on the circular needle. Remember, you are still looking at the right side of the work.

Shoulder button placket on Everyday Baby pullover

Hold the circular needle and the DPN together. We’ll be knitting with them as if they are a single needle.

Shoulder button placket on Everyday Baby pullover

For this pattern, we’re doing a k2 p2 rib. Slide your needle into the first stitch of both the DPN and the circ, and knit them together as if they were one stitch. Do the same with the second stitch of each needle. That’s our k2.

Shoulder button placket on Everyday Baby pullover

Purl the third stitches from the two needles together, and repeat for the fourth stitch. That’s our p2, and it completes one k2 p2 repetition and joins the work together at those four stitches.

Shoulder button placket on Everyday Baby pullover

See? The work is now joined for knitting in the round. Let’s knit a few more stitches so you can see that better:

2015 205/365

There. You can see a v-shape where the two sides overlap.

Shoulder button placket on Everyday Baby pullover

The piece is anchored together at those four stitches.

Shoulder button placket on Everyday Baby pullover

Imagine my knee is a headless toddler. (I know, weird.) This is how the sweater would look on her shoulders. My finger is where the button would go, and that is also the spot where the two button bands overlap and join at their base.

From this point on, the sweater is knit in the round.

I hope this clears it up. If you have any questions, let me know!

BTW, I really thought I was done knitting this pattern after all of the samples I’d done last week, but when I picked up the needles to shoot this photo tutorial, I found I wanted to keep going! It really is such a simple and quick knit – near instant gratifiction – if I do say so myself. And I love the way it feels in this yarn (Knitpicks Swish). I frogged this when I was done with the sample, but I think I am going to cast on again and make another. Maybe for my older niece this time 😊

New Pattern: Everyday Baby!

Four little top-down sweaters to knit for baby!

I’m pleased to announce the birth of my new knitting pattern: Everyday Baby!

Just like her parents (Everyday Cardigan and Everyday Pullover), Everyday Baby is simple enough for a motivated beginner, but with enough little details to keep seasoned knitters entertained.

Four little top-down sweaters to knit for baby!

Four little top-down sweaters to knit for baby!

Probably my favorite thing, though, is how quickly these little ones knit up. I have been known to slog through adult-sized sweaters for nearly a month, but each of the samples I made took me only two days. For an instant-gratification junkie like me, that is beyond awesome.

As you can see, there are four variations in various combinations of long sleeve, cap sleeve, cardigan, and pullover.

Four little top-down sweaters to knit for baby! Four little top-down sweaters to knit for baby!

I gave my samples to my niece. They’re still a little big on her, but she seemed comfortable anyway (which is impressive because it was 90 degrees the day she tried this on for me… she’s a trooper!)

I’ve sized the pattern from Newborn to 4T, so you can whip one up for your own favorite baby or toddler!

Everyday Baby - Just the Pattern!
Everyday Baby - Just the Pattern!

No tutorial, just the 6-page pattern PDF.

Price: $5.99

You can also get it at Ravelry, add it to your knitting queue, and/or see some of the other versions that have already been knit:

Thank you to my test knitters! I appreciated the extra eyes on the pattern before unleashing it into the world.

By the way, if you’re into matchy-matchy, you could always make one for yourself, too…

Everyday Cardigan - Just the Pattern!
Everyday Cardigan - Just the Pattern!

No tutorial, just the 3-page pattern PDF.

Price: $2.99

Everyday Pullover - Just the Pattern!
Everyday Pullover - Just the Pattern!

No tutorial, just the 3-page pattern PDF.

Price: $2.99

Happy Knitting!

P.S. I always appreciate word-of-mouth. If you like it, please tweet it! Thanks :-)

TWiP: talking about the weather

This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

What a great week to be outside! Hot, like summer is supposed to be, but not at all humid like summer often is around here. I’m not generally superstitious, but I just knocked on some wood because the last think I want is for this beautiful breezy weather to end.

I’ve had every window in the house flung open all week, and it’s been so, so lovely.

We started the week with my nephew’s birthday, and ended it with some knitting. That sounds like a perfect week for me: time with extended family, breezy open-window days, and a healthy dose of creative work. (Contented sigh.)

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot with my DSLR for Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2015), plus some phone snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…


365: 2015 199/365 – Apparently 17-year-olds have very strong opinions on whether birthday candles belong in watermelon slices or not. [at my parents’ house]


365: 2015 200/365 – I made that hedgehog dress today. I think it’s safe to put my sewing machine away and reclaim my dining room now. [oh, the out-of-focusness! it pains me, but I can’t exactly leave a day out of my daily project, no matter how it comes out.]


365: 2015 201/365 – The wineberry supply is dwindling…


Instagram: When the niece falls asleep, it’s time to play dress up 😎 😍 [at my sister-in-law’s house]

365: 2015 202/365 – Cousins [at my sister-in-law’s house]


365: 2015 203/365 – Such a beautiful day for swimming! [at my parents’ house]


365: 2015 2014/365 – I suspect that tiger lilies are the party animals of the lily world.


365: 2015 205/365 – It may not be obvious to everyone what a shoulder button placket should look like, so I knit up a quick mock-up for a photo tutorial I will post when my baby sweater pattern is published (SOON!)

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickr.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

Fancypants: What do you want to know?

Your body is unique. Sew pants made to fit it! Beginners Welcome and Encouraged.This blog post is part of the Fancypants Sew-Along. You can catch up on all of the sew-along posts here. You can learn more about Fancypants or get your copy of the tutorial here.

To be notified when there are new posts in this series, sign up for the Fancypants Sew-Along mailing list:


At this point, we’ve talked about choosing your fabric, taking your measurements, and drawing your pattern.

And now I am sitting here, fingers hovering over the keyboard, not really sure what else to say. For one thing, the tutorial takes you through the whole rest of the process from cutting your fabric to sewing your pants. I don’t want to repeat any of that stuff here.

For another thing, there hasn’t been much activity on my previous sew-along posts. Without any comments or feedback, I don’t know if this series has been of any value. For a feedback junkie like me, it’s really really hard to keep going when there’s nothing but silence in return.

So. I’m opening this up to you.

If you are reading along, and if you are enjoying this series, and if you can think of something else you’d like me to explain in more detail, please speak up! I’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

And if there are no questions? That’s ok too! It tells me that the pattern is clear enough and detailed enough without any extra hand-holding necessary.

Just in case this is the last post of the sew-along, let me just thank you for reading this far, thank you for buying my tutorial, and wish you many pairs of happy pajama bottoms in your future 😀

If you’d like to share images of your progress in social media, use the #fancypantssewalong hashtag or tag me @lclarke522 (on Twitter and Instagram)!