Just a quick update on my issues with it. I changed the suggested yarn in the pattern from Cotton Fleece to Cotton Plus (as I wanted something machine washable).
My gauge is fine, but my body is too wide and my sleeves are too tight.
The 8.5" neck opening is from the "middle" of the pattern on my swatch (if you look at the picture, you'll see the top actually measures over 9"), so even after I put the ribbing on and account for "cable spread", it's still going to be pretty wide... plus my experience with cotton (even cotton blends) is that the ribbing stretches and doesn't hold it's shape. So I don't think that adding the ribbing is going to bring it in 2" and keep it in.
My cross chest measurement should be 17" (according to the schematic) and mine's about 18.5", so that's going to make my entire sweater about 3" larger than what I wanted.
The armhole depth for the pattern is 8.5", so that's what I knit it to (and this was when I took those measurements as law... didn't think to check my own depth) and that's not deep enough for me. I need at least 9"... probably closer to 9.5". My sleeves are too tight (and they're too tight all the way down, including over my forearms.)
So sadly, I can not use what I've done so far. It officially is in my "two problems, must fix it" rule. I had hoped that blocking open the sleeves would make them big enough, but they're still too tight for me to wear with a long sleeve shirt.
So I appreciate everyone's suggestions and support, but I'm going to start it over, change the numbers to match my knitting, as I think this pattern is too gorgeous not to have a flattering fit. What a waste to have a sloppy looking cardigan with such pretty cables!
Do those cables make a stable (sufficiently firm) saddle? Ever since seeing your first photo of this sweater I've been pondering them, and I think they might become part of my FLAK
I think they're stable enough. Having the twisted stitch on either side probably helps, but they seem to be keeping stable (and again, I'm using a cotton blend yarn, so I would expect some stretching).
So that's where I am. I've decided this year I'm not going to finish a project unless I love it. I love this, but I'm not loving the fit. Best solution is to learn to knit for my figure and be willing to adjust when something is not fitting me properly. So what if I've already basically knitted the sweater twice in the last 2 years... what's one more? It truely is worth it, as it really is one of the most beautiful patterns I've seen. Oh, yeah, and I still plan on making it in wool one of these days!