And here's the most recent photo of the jacket:
Just to explain what's going on with the jacket: the slot in the middle is the lower edge of the neck/lapels. The part that's still on the needles is the upper back and the beginning of the sleeves.
I had the jacket with me while J-A and I went to Word on the Street last Sunday, and she remarked that the jacket looked small. I think it looks small too, and have been nervously pulling at the fabric every time I'm sitting with it but not actually knitting. I'm heartened by how the fabric's own weight makes the welts stretch out, and by how I can stretch each section to well past what its official measurements are supposed to be. Still, it's a bit of a nail-biter. I've decided to press on, because even if I wind up ripping it all out again (still not beyond the realm of possibility), I'll have a better idea of how the engineering works. I've made a circle-shaped jacket before (by Annie Modesitt), but that one was worked from the inside out and had raglan sleeves knitted out from the body. This is a different sort of construction altogether.
I checked out other projects of the same pattern on Ravelry. It was good to see how the jacket looks on women who are not professional models, and there was a lot of constructive commentary about the pattern itself. So far I have two issues with this and all the rest of the patterns in the book: although many measurements are given for various parts of the swirls, the two crucial ones that are missing are a) the diameter when worn and b) the armhole height. I'm making one of the swirls in the "centred circle" section, just because they seemed to be the most basic shape and the best place to start. I would like to make an "off-centre oval" swirl, because I want wider fronts and narrower lapels. The problem is, all of the off-centre oval swirls have "slim, tapered sleeves", which sounds an awful lot like "won't fit anyone who isn't a living stick insect." How slim is slim? How tapered is tapered? How do I stop it from being tapered if I don't want that? Can I just follow the sleeve part for a non-slim, non-tapered sleeved swirl instead?
I'll have to knit on and find out.