People use the word endless to refer to school lectures, lines at the DMV, the 2-minute wait for pregnancy test results... but honestly, in the case of Willem's sweater, I really thought it was actually going to be endless. Neverending. Incomplete-able. There were just so many cables, and then after the cables there were more cables. And did I mention the cables? And all in unbroken off-white. In size XXL.
Not so long in the larger scheme of things, I suppose; I started at the end of January and it's not quite 7 months later. Took me longer to make my babies, and they were each more than a month early. But I kept wandering off on side projects, finding (okay, seeking) distractions, indulging in some yarn snobbery that made the return to Lion Brand - albeit "100% pure virgin wool containing natural oils," according to their marketing gurus - a bit of a mental adjustment (though, as was quite wisely pointed out to me, it is good stuff. Worth purchasing again. Someday.)... in general, it was an uphill battle.
Then there were the alterations to the pattern. First it was just a lengthening of torso and sleeves. Then a casual mention from Willem that he thought it made more sense for the back to match the front, instead of being beaded rib throughout. (No, he did not use the phrase "beaded rib" - I have trained him well, but not that well.) Then the realization that the front and back, being large unshaped blocks, were going to be adding extra boxiness to an already broad-shouldered frame, and that my husband probably would prefer not to look like a Lego figurine when wearing his new sweater.
Hence the steeking. Oh, it was scary, but it seemed like the most efficient and customizable way to tailor the shoulders to match the sleeve caps I'd added to the original pattern (it's on the Lion Brand website, the "Aran Pullover," if you're registered and inclined to search - but pay attention to the sleeve length, the pattern lists 'em backwards!).
So, I knit and knit and knit, and measured and counted and knit some more, and was grateful for having learned how to cable-knit without a cable needle, and then steeked and seamed, and viola! A sweater fit for a graduate student. Here's hoping for a cold, cold, cold New Hampshire winter.