Notes: No modesty here, this thing rocks. It's my first real cabling project and it's hard not to be impressed with learning this skeel. It's the perfect size for a first project, I think.
Of course, there are two big mistakes. First, my tension was way too tight in the beginning (bottom) of the project, and loosened along the way, especially in the neck where the combo of larger needles and looser gauge makes the aran pattern much larger. Second, I left the pattern at home while I was on the subway knitting the neck, and decided, what the hell, I've been working on this for a month - why not wing it? Well, the cable is way messed up up there - where in the body each cable overlays the other, in the neck they cross in all sorts of places.
Two 12-minute stints in the washing machine was enough to felt it down to the right size. I couldn't believe how long the neck was (8"!) before felting, but it is roughly the right size now.
On water bottles: I bought one on drugstore.com which was the wrong shape and size for this pattern. It would certainly work for some pattern, but not for this one. However, after scouring the internets, a craft company called Barrett House saved el dia. Their medium rectangle bottle measures 6" x 12", exactly the size called for. The bottles were so affordable ($4 each compared to like $15 on drugstore.com) that I bought a few in different sizes for future projects.
A note on the note: The photo above stinks, PU. The color and clarity are not right, but I'm telling you the sun has not really been out here for days and days*. I've had it up to here with trying to take these photos under the clouds. This is supposedly why I don't live in Portland, or England, or somewhere with weather JUST LIKE THIS. Anyway, new pictures and more views as soon as the sun deigns to shine on New York City.
* C. helpfully points out that it was beautiful here the week I was gone in Chicago, so my bit about rainy and cold is not quite accurate. Thanks. Thanks a lot. I'm off to continue wallowing.
The back of the bottle is ribbed -