Here is the progress I've made so far. Yes, that is ribbing, and yes, the progress is slow.
Right from the start I really wanted to use my favorite Berroco Ultra Alpaca for the project. Unfortunately, none of the local yarn stores carry it (the horror!), so I had to make do with a similar yarn. I thought that buying Cascade Alpaca Lana D'Oro would be equally good (50% wool, 50% alpaca), was I ever wrong! Immediately after I wound it up I realized, it is not even remotely the same.
So, I'm seriously disappointed in what I consider Cascade's knock-off of Berroco's Ultra Alpaca. The biggest problem I have with it is that it does not have that alpaca softness, it feels more like regular wool . I'll have to wait to get back to college to double check, but I would also say that the strands feel less puffy and substantial as well, giving the yarn a cheap feel.
So, if you are ever in my position in the future, I would recommend that you not settle for the Cascade version, wait until you can buy the real deal (especially since there is generally only a dollars difference in price). However, I still think that this sweater is going to look beautiful and be pretty warm too!