It's finished and I really like and I've even worn it twice...which is good since I live in Texas and the warm weather is returning soon.
Sorry for the delay on the Owls sweater post, but it's been a crazy week and I didn't slow down to get proper pics until today.
Pattern: Owls by Kate Davies of Needled
Size: XS (I had gauge issues--28 stitches x 18 rows =4 in--so I followed the instructions for the Small to make an Extra Small.)
Yarn: Patons Shetland Chunky Tweed (72% Acrylic/25% Wool/ 3% Viscose/ 109 yds/ 3oz/Charcoal--6 skeins)
Needles: Size 9 for ribbing, Size 10 for body and sleeves, Size 11 for Binding off
Modifications: (See Note about Size and gauge.) Also, I did the Back waist decreases as written, but decided to move the waist increases to the sides because of lots of comments about "puffy back." Before I did this, I moved the beginning of row marker and side marker so that there was an even number of stitches on the front and the back. Instead of doing 6 sets of increases and then decreasing by 2 stitches, I just did 5 sets of increases. I had a total of 98 stitches when I set the stitches aside to work on the sleeves. Because of tight sleeve comments, I cast on 28 stitches instead of 24 for the sleeves. I tried on the first sleeve and felt it was a little snug so I frogged the sleeve and started over. My final sleeve started with 32 stitches, has 4 inches of ribbing, and only has 4 sets of increases to end up with a total of 40 stitches (36 stitches after casting off stitches for the armpits). When I put everything together to do my yoke, I had 170 stitches to make a total of 17 owls.
Other Notes: I had several different dye lots so I was careful about when I changed skeins. I had two matching skeins so I used one for each sleeve. I had one skein that was pretty different so I used that one for the owls since it would be a visual break anyway. I also changed skeins at the beginning of the neck ribbing so I wouldn't have to change mid-ribbing. I think the final sweater looks okay without any too noticeable differences in the colors of the parts of the sweaters.
I think this is a sweater I will wear often as it's very comfortable. Of course, I live in Texas so I won't get to wear it TOO much.