i'm afraid i succumbed.
rather easily, actually. i first saw something about mystery stole 3 in the flickr discussions for sos2007. and then didn't think too much of it - i didn't know anything about it beyond a name. but then, about a few days before the kal started, i saw something on a blog (whose identity i cannot recall; therefore i can't assign blame) about ms3 - and the sign-ups were still open. in a moment of weakness i gave in. i'm completely blaming it on the fact that i didn't have a lace project on the needles and was going through withdrawal. i didn't have any laceweight, i didn't have any beads, i had a whole summer of knitting projects planned...and then i found myself surreptitiously sneaking off to the lys. i bought 1 skein of suri elegance in the raku colorway. (although, i have to say the pic on the website looks much more brown than what i have which is decidedly blue/deep purple.)
my initial plan was to forget the beads. i wasn't sure i liked the idea and that would just mean another purchase. so i cast on, several days after the kal began and made it to row 40, no problems. i was a +1 charts behind when clue 2 came out, no big deal, still plenty of time to catch up. except on saturday, i found myself waaaay too close to the local jo-ann etc. and the beads waaay to tempting. i ended up frogging the whole thing--a slight challenge in laceweight alpaca, but not insurmountable--and starting over with beads. the beads are a blue/purple/blue-green blend that goes well with the subtle variegations of the yarn. they might be a tad too big, but i think they'll be ok.
as penance for my impulsiveness (and further explanation as to why i've only subsequently made it to row 44) i've returned to my cardigan.
the back is still a bit wider than it should be (for reasons completely beyond me - the fronts were both perfectly sized.) but i've given up and decided that this is perfectly fine. finishing is now more important than width precision. width can disappear when the sweater is made up. it's coming along fairly nicely - maybe i'll get it done this summer after all!