And then, fate intervened.
The buttons were hand-carved by a friend's boyfriend, and I won them as a prize after I finished my Holden Shawlette for a KAL. Needless to say, they are special to me. They are a set of four, and- though this sweater really needed five- I thought they were perfect for this cardigan.
I knitted the button-tabs, first, but after trying them on decided that I would rather have regular buttonholes. So, I put the buttons in place, trying them out on each stripe and trying to determine the perfect spacing between them. Then I turned away to get my needle ready and- Vyvyan.
Vyvyan, Vyvyan, Vyvyan. Terrible twos, terrible terrible two-year old. He stole two of my buttons, one in each little fist and ran around the porch with them. Needle at the ready, I saw his theft and looked up at him expecting him to return the two buttons to me but instead he came to me with tears in his eyes and said, "Mama's thing! Mama's thing!"
In his hand, one single button.
"What happened." (Note that there is no question mark there: this statement was said with level fury.)
"Mama's thing, in a hole."
Remember how I said we were on the porch?
I might have flipped out a bit, then, screaming, "WHY DO YOU PUT EVERYTHING IN HOLES!???" (Why no, this is not the first hole incident, why do you ask?)
And then I crawled around the porch, one eye in the crack, peeking desperately through to find my brown button among all the brown foliage.
And then, I went inside, handed Vyvyan off to my mom lest he try to follow me, put on a long sleeve sweater, some long jeans, boots and a hat, and pried off the wire keeping the dog out from under the porch and kneeled there, taking a good, hard look.
I was looking for the button. I was also looking for spiders. None seen, I took a deep breath, and I crawled in there. It was wholly unpleasant, and the button was not found. I did find lots of little spider egg sacs, which was disconcerting. When I came out it took a long while to shake off that itchy, twitchy, things-might-be-crawling-on-me feeling.
I am still struggling to come to terms with the fact that I now have a beautiful set of 3 hand-carved buttons, and that my sweater is to remain button-less for now.
I'm quite upset, though. My family really doesn't understand. "Oh, you lost a button?"
No. I lost a unique, special, and hand-crafted button. A button that matches my sweater's personality. Not just any button, a button I won and which arrived in the mail with a beautiful card and note. A button that has 3 brothers wondering where it went.
I seriously almost cried.
Especially because the buttons were already ON the garment! Why did I ever take them off? Why? I should have just done the tabs and seen that I didn't like them. I should have just cut afterthought button-holes and left it at that. I am a lazy finisher, but this one time I decided to NOT be lazy, to go ahead and try to sew them on a bit more straight, a bit more perfect....
Next time, I will not strive for perfection.
Next time, I'm just going to put the kid in a box while I do my sweater-finishing. Not really... though I suspect they did invent television for this express purpose.