The problem with it being a total surprise is that I knew the fit wasn't going to be perfect. My Mom helped by taking about a dozen measurements from one of his best fitting sweaters, but since the Cobblestone has a round yoke and none of his sweaters did... it wasn't exact. The yoke itself is a little too long, the neck is too wide, and the sleeves are a little too long. (I lengthened them from the pattern since he is tall but apparently I didn't stop knitting until they were gorilla length.)
Here is a photo of the finished (1st time around) sweater, and a less then flattering but cute pic of my Dad opening it Christmas morning.
After months of what felt like non-stop knitting, I just couldn't touch it for a while - let alone rip it apart. So it sat in a sad heap in my knitting bag, mocking me to just finish it already. So in February I got up the nerve to rip the yoke out, and ended up the three separate pieces again. (Body and two sleeves.) The idea of working on it again after finishing once makes my tired, but the thought of knitting something new makes me feel guilty, so I don't knit anything. I pick it up every night and look at it, but can't find the energy to pickup all those stitches and calculate for the smaller yoke I want to make.
(It's making me tired just typing this.)
BUT. I really want my Dad to have this sweater. It's probably going to be too warm for him to wear this season still, but at least it will be ready and waiting for next fall.
I am setting a goal for myself. It will be finished (2nd time) by April 11, two weekends from now. Or else it might never happen.
As a little motivation for that "Never Give Up" spirit, here is Reggie attempting to sleep on his favorite chair even after I've piled it up with junk.