It's been a while since I've working something from someone else's pattern... It's been all about my own designs (or lace) for months. I'm pretty cavalier about gauge for lace, as long as I like how the fabric looks -- since fit doesn't matter for a rectangle. And when it's my own design, I just measure the gauge I'm working at, and let everyone else match that.
And I've got an actual pattern-based project in mind. (Well, two. One for a knit-along class, and the other just for plain old me.)
And damn it, I had to swatch.
I've been eyeing the Must-Have Cardi for ages, since the Harlot finished hers. I do love a good traditional design, and I like the modern (i.e. tailored) fit of this particular version very much. And it comes in a decent small size (34" bust finished) to fit my little frame.
I've had some SWTC Karaoke sitting in my stash for ages and ages -- got it in a swap. Although I've read mixed reviews on Ravelry, I'm going to give it a go. I rather like the slightly slubby nature of the yarn, I think it will add texture to the cables.
The good news is that I'm getting gauge before washing. And while the swatch dries, I will finish up a sock I'm working on.
Of course, there is the matter of the other project for the knit-along (to be named later), and a gansey sock design I'm cooking, and a Fair Isle sock design, and a wacky cabled sock.... and another design commission for the spring... So I'm not honestly sure how quickly I'll make progress with this, but it's a design I definitely do want to work.