The really large swatches were necessary to see how the worsted and bulky weight yarns handled the stitch pattern. I went through my stitch pattern book several times and found patterns that were close to what I wanted but I ended up writing one that was similar to others, but did exactly what I needed it to.
I've also completed the yoke portion. I don't know how happy I am about it. I'm not sure that portion is going to work, but I'm willing to sit on it until I get the skirt done. I just don't know how it is going to look when it gets sewn to the side. Also I need to frog a bit of the back and make it shorter as it somehow got too long.
I've made 30 lower portions of the leaf motif as a cast on for the skirt. I realized at some point yesterday that I was really going to need to buy a 60" circular. OMG. The poor thing is stuffed on it. Good thing it has to decrease pretty quickly. One round takes about an hour at this point so I think this thing will take longer than I was thinking. Also I'll probably need more yarn. Oi. I should have known this would get out of hand. :)