The Long and Short of it

If you're knitting along with me on the Permission Denied project, you might be wondering some things at this point in the process, namely, When will I be done with the body tube?

That's what I'm starting to think about, anyway. Here's where I am in the knitting today. The body measures about 17 1/2" long. I'd like to get in three repeats of the knots band, which I think is a nice proportion. It visually divides the body into about 2/3 knots and 1/3 birds-n-vines. What I have here is about half and half, which is less pleasing to my eye.

If I work another set of repeats from here (one more knot band and 2 more flower bands flanking it), I'll have a body tube of roughly 23 1/4" long, not counting a lower edge treatment. 

Using the extremely precise method of holding the end of a measuring tape up to my shoulder seam at the 24" mark and seeing where the end lands on my body, I have determined that this will be a little longer than I'd like. I usually prefer my sweaters to land at the top of my hipbone, which is only about 21". However, with so much dramatic pattern, it's going to be extremely obvious/ugly if I end this in the wrong place at the shoulder. So much so that I'm willing to sacrifice the sweater's ideal overall length in order to get it right. 

If I were really hyper about the length, I could forego the upper flower band, shortening the sweater by 1 1/2". But I think the symmetry created by "bracketing" the knots bands with flower bands is more important to me than how long it turns out.

The original version of this calls for shaping that creates a slope at the shoulder. I think that's kind of odd for a Kimono, but then, this whole design is odd, so there you have it. I haven't decided whether or not to slope my shoulders, but here are my thoughts on it so far:

There are two ways to create a shoulder slope: 1. Work back and forth, binding off a few stitches with each pass, creating a stair-step edge. 2. Work back and forth using short rows to create a smooth slope. Both options are decidedly fiddly (miserable?) in stranded colorwork. The pattern is going to get interrupted in all sorts of yucky ways, which will require talent and skill in the planning and execution. And you know how I feel about skill and talent (okay for some knitters, but I prefer Sexy Party Tricks).

Now, if I had created armholes for set-in sleeves, there would be no question that I'd need to shape the shoulders. Those things just go together. But since I haven't, I could easily get away with straight shoulder seams. And if I were making shaped sleeve caps for set-in armholes, then I'd definitely need to slope the shoulders. Again, I'm not doing that, so why make it harder for myself? But while I ponder these what-ifs, I know some of you may want sloped shoulders, so here are the questions I'd ask you:

What pattern will you use in the area of the shaping? Will it land right in the middle of a knot border? Can you get away with a solid patch of MC and no pattern at the shoulder? Would you like to chart a new (easier to work flat) motif to put up there? How will that 6th motif look/work with the previous 5? Is this so complicated you'll skip it altogether?

No need to panic: we all still have lots of time left to decide, while knitting to the desired body length. What would you do/are you doing for your own Permission Denied length and shoulders?