Anna: This is the photo I meant to post yesterday, but I was so eager to actually finish the sweater, I never got around to it. These are the finished panels, pinned, dampened and left overnight for blocking. I specifically want to block the decorative panel stretched lengthwise, so that the details would be more visible.
Alas, once it was done, things weren't quite what I expected.
The first surprise problem was that the sleeves were too tight. At the elbow. Which is kind of weird. It was tight enough, however, that I would not be able to comfortably wear it.
The other problem was the side slits. I was very careful to follow the instructions on where to place these. I even read the instructions out to the family and they understood them the same way. The end result, however, left me with side slits up to my waist. There's no way the sweater modeled with the instructions has this, as no slit was even visible in the photos. Going over the instructions several times, the only way I can see it working is if the distance was counted from the arm pit, not the bottom.
And finally, there was the finishing edge of the slits. Following the instructions left me with a sort of overlap, which made the top of the slits stick out funny.
The good news is, I did have enough yarn to finish it, and even had a bit left over.
So this afternoon, I've undone the edging on the side slits and am sewing the side seams down to start the slit much lower. Then I'm going to do the edging again, with a slight modification that I hope will reduce the sticky-outy effect from before.
As for the sizing... I think I'm going to have to kill the sweater. Or at least maim it. I'd borrowed a book from the library that described the process. I just don't know how I'm going to do it without blocking wires. If it works, I'll be able to wear the sweater after all. If not...
Well then, my daughters have a new sweater. :-/