The hard part of the sweater is over! I joined the front pieces to the back, and then I picked up stitches and knit the neckband a few days ago, but not before watching three YouTube videos and email consulting my friend Lynn. Thank you for the pep talk, Lynn!
It wasn't a super smooth process. I did somehow end up with an extra stitch (or two), and at one point I dropped a stitch, which caused no end of panic because it was at a place in the sweater where frogging was out of the question. Luckily the seed stitch pattern in the neckband hides some of my mistakes. I also accidentally made several buttonhole-like holes along the edge of the neckband where my picking-up-stitches technique was less than fabulous, but I weaved those together with a tail of yarn. I still need to sew the sleeves on and finish up the side seams, but the knitting part is over.
I am working on some other handmade gifts right now, of the embroidery, crochet, and cross stitch variety, but I would like to start another knitting project very soon to keep myself progressing with that skill.
Tomorrow is the first day of December. Only 25 days to get everything done! Bring on the mint chocolate!