TA DA! The actual knitting took about 20 minutes. Figuring out what to knit about three weeks. It took me nearly 40 attempts to get this right. There are people who say that dyslexia is an excuse, but I'm sure my head doesn't work like other peoples! This pattern has one star for easy in the Rowan book, and lots of people said it was a 'straightforward knit.' I seem to have spent months struggling and getting stuck in various places. With reversing the shaping for the right side of the front, despite help from Ravelry, I was making several classic errors.
I wasn't considering all the data:
1. If you decrease a single stitch in a double rib, you must end up with an odd stitch - does it matter if that stitch is before or after the decrease? Yes it does. Could it possibly be different depending which side of the fabric you are working? Oh yes, it certainly could. Should you therefore write down whether you work a stitch and then the decrease or the other way round? Absolutely. So that was one learning point.
2. Does that pattern suggest that you start a new set of ribs up the side of the armhole? Oh yes, if you follow the instructions for the sleeve and back, that's exactly what you get.
3. Have you modified your own knitting in any way that might conflict with normal instructions? Taken up Lucy Neatby's alternative purl, for example? Because my knitting was very uneven, I sent off for one of Lucy Neatby's DVDs that promised to examine the 'mysterious 2-row gully'. (That's the effect that makes the back of stocking stitch look like a ploughed field and the front like a half-trained monkey knit it.) She explains why it happens, and shows you how to solve it. I think this may be what some people call combination knitting, but you form the purl stitch differently so that the yarn doesn't travel so far and it doesn't get a chance to pull loose. On the DVD, Lucy shows how you make your decreases differently to allow for the fact that your purl stitch is now seated differently on the needle. I HAD COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN THIS VITAL FACT. I didn't even try to work out what I should do. I simply reseated the stitches that were about to be decreased.
The buttonholes deserve mention - they are Lucy Neatby's buttonhole for k2 p2 rib, and they are much, much nicer than even Maggie Richetti's Neatest Buttonhole Ever which I used in Cloud one and mashed up the rib somewhat.
I sewed the side seams last night, and knew a moment's panic when it looked as if it wasn't going to fit, but adding sleeves changes it a lot, so I think I'll go ahead and set them in. I might pull back the shoulders and short row them - because the rib is uneven - some lines of four or one at the top and there's a different number of stitches, I thought it might be easier to sew the shoulders, but it looks so messy.