I finally finished this ambitious project a few months ago. I'm happy to report it's gotten a lot of use and even a few compliments. Surprisingly, it actually didn't take as long to knit as I imagined it would, but the complicated colorwork did require extra attention so it wasn't the best project for social knitting.
The most challenging part of this project was the collar. It calls for short rows, a new tehnique for me, and I found it really difficult to figure out on my own. I had to watch several you tube videos and knit a couple of test swatches before I finally understood how to do it.