The crazy cable sleeve is finished, and it has 13,006 stitches (including cast-on and cast-off). It looks amazing and feels wonderful.
And I'm going to frog it.
I used 86 grams of the merino for the sleeve so I do have enough for the whole sweater, but I've changed my mind about a few minor details. Only little things... like the gauge... the design... the size... :-)
I clipped the sleeve together and tried it on - a very illuminating thing to do.
Whilst it fitted, it was too snug for what I had envisaged. I like a good fit, but I don't want it to feel like a second skin. I had stretched the swatch slightly to measure the gauge, but obviously I couldn't tell what that would feel like in the finished garment - until now.
And that twisted rib; it looked great but when stretched taught it reminded me too much of the plastic-feel-acrylic throttlingly tight poloneck handknit sweaters I was encased in when I was a child. It had to go.
So I've changed both the pattern gauge and the design. I've taken away the twisted ribbing and replaced it with a minimal garter stitch edging. I've replaced the funnel neck with a v-neck. I've added more ease to the whole garment.
I've also swatched another stitch pattern. Whilst those all-over cables were gorgeous, the final look was rather too intense over a large piece of knitting.
DH questioned my sanity when I modelled the sleeve and announced that it was headed for the frog pond. He asked how long it had taken me to knit it (I don't get much knitting time atm) - and I suggested that it would be silly continuing to knit a garment that I knew wasn't what I wanted...
So here's version 2. There are some plain columns between the cables, no rib, and the fit is looser.
It's quite different to what I had initially imagined, and it may still change again. But that's the joy of designing your own garment isn't it?!