Stages 1 and 2:
I did get started on my sweater on the 7th. I was flying home from a family reunion over the holiday weekend. the reunion was held in Alabama and we flew home from Atlanta. I cast on the 269 stitches, joined them (being careful not to twist) and started knitting the ribbing. After 3 rows I checked for the 3rd or 4th time to be sure it wasn't twisted. It was!!! I tried and tried to get it to come out right, but no, I had twisted it. So I started over. There is no way to fix that other than to start over. I was using a needle that was too short, but it was the one I had. It is hard to be sure you haven't twisted the work when it is scrunched up on a shorter needle.
Attempt 2: I did the ribbing (the pattern called for 21 rows.) this will be turned under as a facing and I really wondered why I needed 21 rows, but I kept going. I think I quit at 20 though. Then I started the border pattern. This is when I discovered the border rows require 3 and even 4 colors carried in one row. Not somethng I have experience with. This is truly a challenge for me. I tried carrying two colors in my right hand and 2 in the left and got 6 rows done, but it was unacceptable, so I ripped it out, untangled the 5 colors and started the pattern again this time carying only 1 color in the left hand and all the others in the right, dropping one and picking up the next. I even figured out how to do this without twisting the 3 colors in the right hand, so I learned a new technique. I also found out it didn't work to try to do anything else while I did these rows, so I took my knitting up to the deck to work on it in silence. I have done 4 rows of the pattern and they look okay, I think. I still need to check the size, though. If it's too small that will mean ripping it all out again.
The picture above doesn't show much except the colors. The knitting rolled back, so what you do see is the back side, but I'll make it show better in the next one.
I have to go out today, so will come back to this later.