It turns out that when you really focus on one project, it actually does get done! As of the end of last night's knitting session, I have a sleeve and a half complete on my Quill sweater, and if I can get in a bit of extra knitting time tonight, I might just finish up the second sleeve altogether -- or at least get close to finishing.
The second sleeve has certainly gone faster than the first, likely because I knew exactly what to do the second time around with regard to the sleeve cap shaping. Unfortunately, the second sleeve cap has the same weird gapping as the first; I think I will wait and see if it's still visible after blocking (I'm hoping the yarn will bloom enough to fill in the gaps), and if it is, I'll do a little creative crochet on the inside.
There's still a good bit of knitting left to do once the sleeves are complete, namely the garter stitch collar. The collar has a number of short rows to give it a shawl collar shape, but once those are complete the knitting should be relatively mindless. The final step is the pockets, but compared to the rest of the sweater, they'll be a piece of cake.
The amount of time I've been focused on the sweater has, sadly, been to the detriment of my shawl design. I'd really hoped to have it done by now, but the truth is that I haven't touched it in probably more than a week. It will be my primary focus once the sweater is done, and I hope that making it my main project at home will help to get it finished up quickly -- especially because I will need to knit another sample in commercial yarn once the handspun sample is finished!
What has been making noticeable progress is my charity hat, which I just about finished up during my lunch break today (it just needs a pompom to be truly completed).
I used the basic hat pattern from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, though I subbed 2x2 ribbing for the brim (she calls for 1x1, and I knew that would take me forever and a day, so I opted for something faster). The yarn was among the oldest in my stash, bought at Pittsburgh Knit and Bead shortly before they closed more than a decade ago. It felt really good to use it up finally, and while the hat is a bit too busy for me, I have a feeling someone will love it. It's going in the donation pile for SSK, unless Rainbow happens to claim it first.