Well, I spoiled the surprise.
I was gonna wait until after I gave Sally "the surprise" before writing a post about it. But since Owen was sick the day I would've seen & given it to her...and then I read her comment about teary eyes while seeing the sweater in pieces...I just had to tell her.
I saved one repeat of the cable pattern from the front & back sides of the sweater & made them into a stole as a keepsake for her (cuz the sweater was a gift from her grandparents).
Unraveled to the last pattern repeat.
Binding off the live stitches.
Separating the waist ribbing...boy was that easier said than done!
Bind off lower loops & repeat for back panel.
Seam together, weave in & trim ends.
Since the wool used was chosen for its durability, it is not as soft as I would like. I tried REALLY hard to soften this stole for Sally to use comfortably. I did an overnight conditioning soak with LOTS of "smoothing" hair conditioner. I did a light lanolizing soak ("light" so it wouldn't be sticky) with lavender scented baby wash & eucalyptus oil for a nice fragrance. Afterwards, I "test-wore" it around my neck for an hour or two & it wasn't horribly uncomfortable...so I think I succeeded as much as I can. Hopefully she'll like it.