It was a little late getting finished, but Bonnie won't be able to wear her birthday sweater until it gets cold out anyway. I am very happy with how it turned out.
Here is Elle, modeling the sweater in my vegetable garden.
This is the Tea Leaves Cardigan, designed by Melissa LaBarre for Madelinetosh. I used Black Water Abbey Yarns, color Forest. This beautiful Irish wool was everything I was hoping it would be. I love a good hearty wool, and it got much softer after washing it. I suspect it will continue to soften with future washes. I made a few modifications to the pattern- placing four buttons in the yoke rather than two, and I added afterthought pockets because I thought the sweater would look nice with them and Bonnie told me she likes pockets when I asked.
I placed them over a larger button to keep them secured in the buttonholes. The black buttons also serve to frame these special buttons with out attracting too much attention away from the sweater. I always find it a challenge to find buttons that compliment handknits. I want the buttons to be worthy of their place in the sweater, but not be the first thing you notice about it either. This could explain why I buy good buttons when I see them. (Plus, I just like buttons!)
p.s. Bonnie tried on the sweater and it fits perfectly.