I finally finished it. I knitted the Plain and Simple pullover (a free pattern here) by Veera and it took me forever, but I finished it. Furthermore, I love it. I could wear it every day. It's perfect for this season, when I'm still cold but have (brief) moments of warmth.
I made it out of Jamieson and Smith 2ply Shetland wool, one of my all-time favorites (Ravelry link here). I hardly ever knit neutral colors, and it took everything in me to grab this gray off the shelf. I added a bit of color with some red buttons that remind me of Smarties.
Making this sweater was a bit of a trial, as I've said. That 7 inch collar was knit with a size 1 circular needle. Now that it's over, however, I already am planning my next tiny needle knit. This garment is so light, and it's so nice to have something I can wear through many seasons.
I can't say enough about the pattern, either. It provided just enough information to follow, and allow me to freestyle when I thought I could do things my way. It was one of those patterns that has given me confidence to write my own pattern! I've had an idea for ages, and just might give it a try. We'll see if I really am a Smartie!