The first thing I did was the cuff on the sleeve. I wanted the sweater to be long, and I didn't want to worry about saving each color as I went to make sure that I had enough for the sleeves, so I did them first. In the original plan a cable panel like the cuff was supposed to go up the front as well. When I did the sleeve though, I realized that it would be constantly folding in. Also, since I was using a contrasting color on top, it was slowing me down to deal with all the separate balls of yarn. Plan change number two!
Two things here: I had considered using a zipper on the front for my connection, but figured that sewing a zipper on would mess with the yarn. I went with hooks and eyes (main thing I'm not happy about with this sweater, they gap open. Ugh.), and only went down to the waist instead of all the way to the bottom (at the suggestion of other females in the family). The other thing to mention is how noticeable the stripes were. I didn't take the time to more gradually change from one yarn color to the next by doing a few stitches of the new color, and then back to the old, etc. to help it fade in. Not exactly what I wanted, but it works.
You also might notice the pink up on top. I knew I was running out of yarn, and as I mentioned, I had no intention of buying more. I had this lovely color in the same family as the contrasting yarn I used for the edgings, so it was my best compromise.
And the back. You can't really see in the pictures (at least I can't) but to get the waist shaping without decreasing stitches, I changed the stitch pattern from ribbing to cable stitch, as it has a tighter gauge. Twas super convenient! I think I also changed needle size to get a second level of decrease and then increase, but honestly I can't remember. I'll have to look at it eventually and find out.
Overall, I like it well enough, I wear it (which by the time I finished it I thought it might be too bulky for my liking), and it's nice and toasty. Didn't reach the goal in my head. Ugh. Still have to work on that.