This report is shamefully out-of-date, but Maxine is progressing nicely.
Knitting the alternating on-grain and bias panels simultaneously creates some interesting design challenges. The bias panels both slant upward from the center portion, so the sweater front has "wings" at the top. I'll be starting the shaping for the armholes, therefore, while the center portion is still below my bust, and in order to create a straight bound-off line, I'll have to decrease one stitch at the outside edge every row, since the stitches move at a 45-degree angle to the side of the piece. If I want to do the equivalent of the normal "decrease one stitch at each side every alternate row," I'll actually be working those decreases every fourth row. I think all this will work out fine in the end: the neck shaping will be contained in the on-grain center panel, and the shoulder shaping can't be too difficult to figure out (famous last words)!
The angling also pulls the sides of the piece up, creating a kind of peplum effect that you can begin to see in the photo above. I wasn't expecting it, but I like it! In fact, despite the challenges, I'm really loving how this whole garment is coming out. The yarn, held double, is heathering beautifully, and the beads are just the right amount of sparkle. Now that I'm approaching the armholes, it's looking more strikingly period than it does in these photos, but I think it will still be wearable by modern ladies. The knitting itself, once I figure out all the details, is probably the easiest of any pattern I've designed: aside from the beading (which is not hard), one only needs to increase, decrease, knit and purl. No steeks, no colorwork, no cables, no lace. Yet it's still interesting, I think.
Yes, so far I'm pleased.