"The Mitten that ate New York." You have quite the sense of humor.
Your work is just gorgeous.The patterning is wonderful, and you got the knack of thrums.
Every project I start reminds me of the saying "Sometimes we catch the bear, but sometimes it catches us." On the bright side, at least with knitting we get a redo when we get caught. Be nice if it worked that way with a bear.
Please do let us know how the shortening process goes for you, if you decide to tackle it.
I'm still too much of a ninny to cut my work.
ETA: the Kitchener idea was brilliant! I'm so glad it worked for you.