So just a quick post to show what I ended up doing with this colourwork sweater, after I decided I really wasn't happy with the first two pattern bands. I chopped it up!
The first round of each pattern band is a plain row of one colour (these are the only rows in the entire patterning that are just one colour). So, with good light and without my glasses, I carefully ran a 2mm circular needle through about 20 stitches of the red row then unravelled/snipped the stitches below, then another 20 or so picked up and unravelled below. Eventually I got back to where I started from and the entire bottom section had been removed.
At which point I reknitted the live red stitches onto my working size needle (3.25) and reknitted the ribbing downwards. In orange. I just about had enough of that gorgeous heathered orange to do a long enough ribbing, then cast off (using a very stretchy cast off) in the brighter plain orange.
As you can see, the colours look much more planned and logical now. There are a three more bands above this now (I meant to do this post a week ago) and it all looks much better.
I didn't get any done over the last weekend as it was Britspin, but it was picked up again last night and off we go. Mind you, I have several other projects that are bumbling along in the background, or about to be picked up, so it may not grow as quickly as I'd like.