Rip it, rip it
The lovely Licorice Whip is going to have to take a trip to the frog pond. Although I actually knit a gauge swatch, I am doing something different and the sweater is too big by about 6 inches in the bust. OK, so I knit the swatch flat and knit the sweater in the round, so this was probably my first mistake. However, when I hold a tape measure across the back of the sweater (all stockinette) to measure my actual gauge, I get the same thing: 19st/4 inches. The lace might be affecting my gauge but enough to wind up with 6 inches more in the bust? I don't think so. Most likely user error.
I hate to think of ripping all this work out but it really is too big.
See the bunching at the shoulder?
Yeah, those couple of inches of positive ease on the sides can only lead to unhappiness later.
Better to face the reality now than to make it and hate it later. On the bright side, it means that I may actually have enough yarn to finish the whole sweater.
Since I thought I was getting 19st/4 inches, I followed the directions for the XXL. The reality is that I'm getting more like 16st/4 inches, so I should be following the directions for the S. However, for the life of me, I can't figure out how I'm getting the wrong counts for the actual gauge. Oh well, either way it has to be re-done. bummer.