I'm glad I finally hunkered down and got back to the FLS. Once I fixed my mistake and moved forward, I felt like a new woman. I also practiced button holes over and over, and I'm just not getting it. They all look the same, so it must be a fundamental flaw I'm making from misreading the directions. I guess I will have to pursue bh perfection in the future because I've moved on for now. So now the sweater is breezing along slowly but steadily in the gull lace stitch pattern.
My only concern (and I'm trying hard not to worry about it) is the sleeves. I had the hardest time gauging if they were big enough and I worried they would be too tight. So when I reached the place in the pattern where I cast on 7 new stitches for the armhole I was relieved because I figured that would fix any tightness issue I had. That was until I tried it on and with the additional stitches, the sleeves now seem loose... My plan of action is to just go with it. I know from experience that arm (or leg) openings can look rather large and gaping when unfinished, but then close in dramatically when the actually sleeve (or leg) in completed.
My purple Malabrigo arrived today, so I wound it into a ball by hand and swatched for the Amanda hat. The pattern says that if done carefully, I may be able to get two hats from one skein. I would love to have matching hats for my mom and I. My gauge is off however because I don't have size 9 needles. How do I not have any size 9s? Before I run out and spend more money on this obsession, I will try a size 10 just to see.