I'm happy with the fit. The right sleeve looks shorter in the picture above, but they are actually the same length. Knitting in the round does have some disadvantages, but for this project I really liked being able to try it on to check the length both in the body and the sleeves.
Blocking really helped with the shaping in the back. The increases and decreases created some strange lumps and bumps that flattened out nicely. Blocking also helped smooth out the owls a lot. I have been frustrated before by yarn that relaxes a lot during blocking - enough to even change the gauge. This yarn (Cascade Ecological Wool) didn't do that at all. I kind of held my breath during blocking really hoping it would come out the same size. I was really relieved to find that the blocking did exactly what it should do and nothing else.
It felt like it took a looooong time to sew on all those buttons (34!). When I'm sewing I usually attach buttons by machine. That wasn't an option here.
This sweater might make the rest of the winter endurable for me. I need to make a long-sleeved shirt to wear under it as it is rather itchy. But, once I've got that done I'll probably wear it a lot. And if someone tells me they like my sweater, I'll probably say, "Thank you. I made it myself." And then I might hoot.