Success!! The scary scabbard sweater has been completed, and with minimal errors towards the end. Once I got past the armholes for the last time it went much more quickly. I adjusted the quantity of pattern repeats to have the hem hit me at my hipbones, a much more flattering length on my post-babies body. So, for the body of the sweater I worked about 3 fewer repeats then were called for before increasing for the morphing of the side cable from a braided cable into a horseshoe cable. Then I was only able to do 3 repeats of the pattern for the horseshoe cabling rather than 5, but it still looks pretty good to me.
For the hem I followed the pattern and did a tubular cast off on the bottom hem which I have used successfully before. Not this time though! I seem to be forever casting off as though I am attempting to restrain a would be assailant. I COULD NOT get the thing over my hips, it was a struggle just to get it back off over my shoulders. Need I say just how frustrated I was at this point? Yeah, just a bit. So with Mister Vonkysmeed's urging I decided to work on the sleeves before fighting with the hem again.
I made the unusually wise decision that as I had only 1 skein left, dividing it in half might be the best plan for ending up with sleeves of identical length. But do I have a kitchen scale with which to scientifically make 2 out of 1? Nope, so I had the great joy of unwinding that last ball of yarn all over my family room. And guess who wanted to join in the fun? If you guessed Destructo-Boy, than by George, you are a winner! So I had Mister Vonkysmeed hold onto him in the back half of the house until I managed to tame the yarn beast into submission. Trying to madly wind balls of yarn with an 18 month old screaming at the other end of the house is not exactly relaxing let me tell you!
For the actual sleeves I was hoping for a 3/4 length, just below the elbows but unhappily I was about 1 skein of yarn shy of attaining that length. So I ended up knitting 32 rows of the upper sleeve portion of the pattern decreasing on every fourth repeat of 4 rows and finished it off with 5 rows of knit 1 purl 1 ribbing. Then I had to bind off again, oh the horror! I tried that dang tubular cast off but it was still coming out too tight so off to the ravelry forums searching for help. I finally discovered a new technique called jenny's surprisingly stretchy cast off. The images accompanying the method didn't look so great so I was kind of skeptical, but getting desperate at this point. I came across a youtube video by Cat Bordhi that was a huge help in figuring it out. She also shows just how stretchy the cast off is and it actually made a rather clean looking edge much to my surprise.
Since the sleeves were all done it was time to deal with the hem, I got to pull out the entire cast off on the bottom hem, oh joy! It actually came out much quicker than I expected but now I had a new problem (of course!), my length of yarn was too short. So after finishing almost the entire sweater I finally discovered that I could spit splice the yarn, grrr. For you non-knitters, yes, I spit on my yarn and rubbed the ends together until they felted making a single piece of yarn, gross, but it means I don't have to weave in yet more ends.