Maybe all this distraction (combined with house guests and a home improvement project that is pending with my Beloved (Much of my productive knitting time over the weekend was standing in lumber stores, knitting out of the bag over my shoulder) is why I made a ridiculously stupid error in reading the pattern and had to knit the plain stockinette section of the first sleeve twice!
The second sleeve will get its start tonight at this evening's sports activity for Number One Son. I'm eager to put all the pieces on the single needle and start on the yoke.
At the outset of planning for this project I considered making the sweater without the yoke detail and just knitting in in plain grey. Now that I see the fabric of the stockinette sections I understand it must be critical to the structure of the piece to include the stranded section just as with the side seams. The stranded section will no doubt give important strength across the shoulders to prevent stretching under the weight of the the lower two thirds of the sweater.
(Besides all of those practical reasons though, I'm loving the colours!)