The sweater is finally done! It's painful making a sweater for Todd, as it takes four times as long as making one for Kate. Todd claims this is his favourite of all the sweaters that I've made him and that he will wear it frequently. It doesn't matter if he said this truthfully or not -- it was the right thing to say to someone who had just spent 80 hours knitting it!
This was known as the "orchestra sweater", as I'd spent every Tuesday evening for the last few months working on it during Kate's orchestra rehearsals. The other parents, some of whom are knitters themselves, took great interest in the progress. The conductor even came by a few times to ask how "her sweater" was coming along. I finished on the day of the final rehearsal and Todd wore it to the year-end concert.
For anyone interested in making one of these for himself or herself, this sweater was made from the "Light and Easy" kit in the natural colourway, available from Philosopher's Wool. Though the design looks complex (according to the people looking over my shoulder as I knitted it), it is not difficult to execute. The sweater does use the method of steeking, which is easy to do but very, very scary. The body of the sweater is made as a tube. Then the armhole and neckline edges are reinforced with machine-sewn stitches. Finally, you take a sharp pair of scissors, take a big deep breath and snip away to cut the openings. This really works. I swear it. I've made five sweaters this way and none of them have fallen apart yet.