I'm so sorry to have to show you this, but I seem to have created a Sweater of Misfortune.
I didn't swatch for gauge because it was given over a portion of the rib/lace pattern, and it would have to have been rather large. Instead I decided to just knit a couple of inches, hold it up to myself, and guess if it would fit. This worked well enough, but it was coming out rather fitted - which I like - and this means that there would be horizontal stretching. Horizontal stretching means vertical shrinking, so when all was said and done I ended up running out of pattern a little too early and decided to just have extra ribbing at the top. I wish I could find a good non-Ravelry link to what this sweater should look like, but for those who are Ravelry members, looky here.
For those of you who can't access the link , suffice it to say that it looks much better than my sorry excuse for a sweater. Had I swatched, perhaps I would have gone with needles a size larger and would not be in this mess. Why did I think that 8 inches of ribbing at the top would look perfectly fine? Probably because all the chocolate I have been eating has affected my brain in ways I didn't think possible.
There are a number of directions I could go at this point:
a) finish and hope it looks better when done
b) spend hours ripping back and adding extra pattern repeats until it comes out looking correct
c) stuff it in a closet and never speak of it again
Though I am leaning towards c, that would be a cop-out and a waste of perfectly good, albeit cheap acrylic, yarn. So I think I will attempt option b and hopefully end up with a sweater I would be willing to wear in front of someone other than my cat. The winter is looking bleak indeed.