All told, I'm very happy with how it turned out - and it always sweetens the deal when you see a non-knitter wearing a handknit on a regular basis. As I mentioned before, revisiting this project has sparked my interest in going back for round 2 on any one of my multiple half-knit sweaters. Unfortunately they're all about 3000 miles away. I'll have to settle for lace and colorwork for another week... nothing to complain about I suppose.
Hope everyone is warm and relaxed with knitting nearby. Don't feel bad about wrapping up an unfinished knit tomorrow morning - it still means a lot! Merry Christmas to all.