Has anyone seen the August issue of Threads Magazine? In it, there is a very interesting button treatment for decorating a sweater. I can't post a picture of it, of course, since it's copywrited. I will try to describe it.
There's about a 3 inch band of decorated area around the cuff of each long sleeve, as well as around the neckline. Within these three inches are tons of shankless buttons sewn all next to each other using the same color thread. But the buttons aren't sewn on in the traditional manner, rather a stitch may go from one button's center hole to another button's hole or to the backing fabric near it. The effect is like a bunch of spider webs going in and out of all these buttons' holes. I know I'm not doing it justice at all, but check it out if you get a chance.