Thank you all for the compliments!
My colors were Midnight Shadow for the MC and Hush Shimmer for the CC.
I did not omit the short row shaping, but I did the minimum in the pattern. I am very short waisted and forgot to factor this in and just knit to pattern even though my numbers were a bit off due to the previously mentioned marker placement mistake. The neck is a little higher than I might have chosen, but I kind of like it.
Oh, good, another person as far behind as I am. Unless you are talking about your second sweater. My friend tells me that I am not in a knit a long but a knit behind. I just finished washing my swatch and will measure gauge and cast on tonight. I'm not totally happy with my colors but have tried two and will just go with one.