The pink cardigan is done (hooray!) and awaiting buttons. I will put off doing a final project evaluation until they have been found and fastened. I am intrigued by the technique Catherine Lowe uses to attach buttons: she doesn't. In the Spring/Summer Vogue Knitting this year there is a brief article on different closures, and Lowe describes making what are essentially cufflinks, with a fashion button for the outside and a smaller button that stays hidden. Definitely an interesting concept, although I'm not sure how well it will work for this particular garment.
I was definitely surprised by how pink this was once I put it on. Somehow the individual pieces didn't strike me with quite the same intensity while I was knitting. The first time I tried on the cardigan I wore a black shirt beneath it with a neutral skirt, but the difference was so stark that it seemed to highlight the color saturation. Instead of trying to "tone down" the pink with dark colors, I'm going to try wearing other colors that can compete. I don't know if that makes any sense from a color theory perspective, but it works for me.
On the tamer side of the color spectrum, my swatch is nearly done for Alouette. Using the stitch markers has been incredibly helpful, although I've still had to rip back quite a few times. I think I've reached a good stopping point, and now I have to decide exactly how to deal with the washing and pinning. I'm fairly certain that I will run out of this color when I'm actually knitting the sweater. I'm concerned that the process of knitting (and ripping and knitting again), washing, and pinning, only to rip out completely, might be too much stress for the yarn. I've noticed many places where the ply has begun to untwist, so I'm just not sure how well it will hold up. I considered buying a stray ball of Irish Cream from another dyelot. I've been trying to justify this by convincing myself that the stripes will be able to hide any color fluctuation, especially if I rotate the stray ball in randomly instead of saving it for one specific area. It would also be nice to have the swatch for keeps; I'm very close to starting a swatch binder.
The most genius plan, of course, would have been waiting to begin the swatch until arriving back at school, since Webs has just started carrying 4 ply soft. Not in any of the colors I need, but since when does the swatch have to be the right color? I hope that this will be enough of a hassle that I start buying an extra ball for swatching, because that really seems like the most sensible thing to do.