And here you can see, after the light bulb went on, the current progress on my fourth (and hopefully successful) attempt. Already there is a stark difference.
What was I doing wrong?
The short version is that when Barbara Walker wrote, "Measure around the upper arm," I used my brilliance to determine that she actually meant "measure around the sleeve opening." So instead of a measurement of, say thirteen inches, I was determining my sleeve pickup rate from a measurement that came out to about twenty-one inches.
The upside of things is that I not only know the right way to work this, but I also know what happens when you do it wrong. Three times over. And that may not be an efficient way to learn, but man, it is definitely learning. Back in music school, the accomplished folks would always comfort the less efficient students by saying that it would make them great teachers. So is anybody lining up to take a sweater class with me yet? Because at this rate, I'm gonna be one heck of a teacher.