Thanks to all of you who commented and gave suggestions yesterday. It was really helpful! As you can see from these rather dim photos (imagine: I adjusted the brightness on these, so they were really dark at first! must get better flash on new camera) I am now wearing the Damned Orange Sweater.
What I did was put it in the washing machine and wash on warm with warm rinse, and on gentle setting. Since we now have a front-loader, that means not much agitation at all. Just a wee bit. When it came out, it smelled good, but didn't look much smaller, so I bravely threw it in the dryer and let it go for a while. The dryer decided it was dry and stopped long before it was actually dry, but that's fine. It did look a bit smaller, so I took it upstairs and just laid it flat on my drying rack.
This morning, I put it on (with lacy cute thing under it so I'd itch less), and yay, my fingers DID emerge from the ends of the sleeves, and the shoulder seams were where the seams were on the lady in the very dim picture on the pattern. I think it will do. It is just right in the arms--hugs them gently. The width is still a bit much for my taste, so it accentuates my...girth, yeah, that's the word. But it will do.
I think it looks just fine from the back. It's even attractive, perhaps! I can tell that the yarn fulled just a tad, but I didn't lose much stitch definition. The cables show up just fine, as you can see. I probably could have put it on "regular" wash and it would have gotten a little smaller, but I was afraid of over-doing it, because it's no fun trying to un-full a sweater.
You may ask yourself, "Hey, how come Suna didn't measure to be sure the sweater wasn't going to be too big?" Well, she DID. The gauge was right, and I thought I had blocked it to the right size, but my only guess is that I should have made it the smaller size. I keep thinking I am larger than I actually am. The thing was supposed to have a 40" chest, and I think I am more of a person who would wear a 36-38" chest in finished dimensions. I simply made it a size too big. But I fixed it sufficiently that I will wear it, though maybe as was suggested in yesterday's comments, as a slouching around the house sweater. Um, I mean lounging. I honestly don't slouch around THAT much.
For sure, it's cold enough today (and will be tomorrow) to wear a very warm alpaca sweater! So, hooray, I finished it in time to get some use out of it!
Moving on, I did quite a bit more on Wrenna last night, and it's possible it will be finished tonight--for sure tomorrow. I DID try it on, and I think it will be fine. I am making a mix of more than one size, due to using such different yarn from the one called for in the pattern, but it seems to be coming out coordinated enough. There were many knitting challenges last night--I had a bad headache, the phone kept ringing and that darned family kept asking for help. The nerve. But I still did quite a bit!