Make A Wish

My Desert Island exercise is progressing.  Here's the back, about 2" shy of the beginning of the armhole shaping.  

As I've worked, I've been making a wish list of design elements I want to include.  Some of them conflict, some cancel each other out, and some, I have discovered are impossible, due to holes in my knowledge base.  Here's the list (as of this moment, and in no particular order):

Cables and lace together
Easily memorized pattern=fun to knit
Wide ribbing bands
Cables that flow all the way into the ribbing (ala Kathy Zimmerman, Crown Princess of Cohesive Cables)
Tubular or other sexy cast on, with matching bind off
Cabled button placket, with buttons centered on each cable
Symmetrically opposed cable twists throughout
Square neckline
Gathered sleeve caps
Cables that match at shoulders
Shoulder straps
Heavily textured sleeves
Plain stockinette sleeves

As you can see, there are enough checks and balances here to establish a government.  Some things I'm going to have to let go of, and others I'm going to have to stand on my head to achieve.

The first compromise was the cast on.  I've been telling myself for years that I have a pretty good knowledge of different cast ons.  But it turns out that I really just have a couple of fun party tricks that I rely on heavily.  Case in point: I always use a tubular cast on and matching bind off for 1x1 rib.  It's so pretty, and so stretchy and perfect.  But in order to make my cables flow from the rib into the design, I had to place them precisely within the rib, ruining the tubular cast on.  There are 7 sts between each cable, and a 1x1 cast on relies on even numbers.  So I reluctantly settled on a boring old cable cast on, which I just know is not the best I could have done. I looked through all my reference books to see if there was a better option, only to find that I really don't have a cast on/bind off book in my collection.  Yet.  I ordered THIS ONE in hopes of expanding my repertoire.  I've promised myself that if I learn a better way before beginning the fronts, I'll do them differently, and not let it bother me that it won't match.  Because I can totally handle that.  Probably.

Now you tell me:  What dreamy design elements are in YOUR Desert Island sweater?  Do you know how to execute them?