So. I was working on the blue aran sweater that was supposed to be available for the knitting cruise. Unfortunately, it won't be. It needs a lot more time, because it needs a re-design right from the start, and then the time to knit it over from the beginning. The sleeves are too wide, but that I could have worked around and still had time to knit the sweater for the cruise. The larger problem is that the seed stitch "fill" on the sides has way more rows per inch than the center cable panel does, so the center panel buckles and ripples and dips down on the front ribbing, but the seed stitch lies flat. To make it work, one would need to incorporate short rows only in the seed stitch sections, about every 20 rows or so, to make the difference in rows per inch correlate. Which is not only a pain to write as a pattern, but is a pain to knit (I've done it in one other project I knit from an Interweave Knits pattern; very pretty, but abandoned.) Plus, doing that brings the level of knitting experience needed to knit the sweater up to an advanced knitting level, and the whole point was to design a simple, easy to knit garment. The other solution, which I will ultimately do, is to redesign the pattern entirely so that the patterns chosen work well with each other. I want to keep the center panel, so I will need to swatch a few times to find the right "filler" texture that will work harmoniously in both look and behavior with the center cable panel.
Oh, well, back to the drawing board. I am going to set this whole project aside for a while and work on other things, in some small attempt to rediscover the fun in knitting. After a setback like this, all creative pursuits lose their luster, if you know what I mean. The first step will be to organize what I've got piled up here, and put everything in some sort of order. Then, I can choose what I really want to work on, and who knows what that will be.