I've finished the first piece of my $1.50 cardigan!
You can't tell from this photo, but this piece (the back) is actually quite wide, and I'm a little bit concerned. I realize I've voiced this worry before, so instead of belaboring the point I'm going to carry on and hope it works out. I ended up starting the armhole shaping at 15" instead of the 18.5" the pattern recommended, although I made the armhole the same depth (well, maybe 1/4" smaller). I think this length will work out much better for me than that in the original pattern. I was a bit torn about which piece to start next, and I've decided, on Jennifer's advice, to do the striped front next (instead of the cabled one), since it matches the back. I think this is a good plan. I intended to cast on the first front tonight but instead worked on the Purdy Plum socks, the second of which is just in need of about 1/2" of ribbing. They will be a Christmas gift, done very early!