Yes, I let them keep the pattern. I felt like a doormat for doing so, but at some point, my principles gave way to preserving dignity. It just seemed so ugly to get into a fight, you know? Still, how frustrating that grown people can successfully use tactics that most six-year-olds can't get away with!
I've sourced another copy, and will be picking one up today, so no real damage done. We'll see if this crazy houndstooth check idea will work, and work in time for Christmas.
In the meantime, I've been putting the sleeves on my dad's sweater (remember that one?):
My main concern with this one is getting it done quickly enough to block before Sunday. I think it'll be okay if I get it done tonight or tomorrow morning.
But oh! Look at what my mom gave me last night:
It's a 100% lambswool maxi-length sweater coat, in a (lucky for me!) x-large. My mom lost a lot of weight recently, and can't wear it any more - I'd guess there are at least 3,000 yards of beautifully deep brown, fingering-weight wool here. Can't be too grouchy with something like this around.