Sahara begins! I returned to the LYS, my size 6 needles and their not-Karabella yarn in hand, and they let me use a ball of the RYC Silk Wool DK for a trial swatch. It was love at first knit. So the exchange was made and I returned home a happy knitter.
Now I will admit that the yarn doesn't quite meet gauge... I know because I knit a swatch (a swatch, ya hear that - actually 2 swatches on 2 needle sizes!)... but I was pleased enough with the yarn to ignore that *not-quite* part. While the old me would have considered 5.5 st/inch plenty close enough to the 5st/inch the pattern calls for, the new overcome-with-failure-and-frogging-me wisely realized that this would just not do.
This left me forced to do something that I am quite capable of but try to avoid at all costs - study the pattern, pull out a calculator and see what I'm getting myself into. Now, I love math. I mean I really LOVE math! It's logical, analytical, and objective (well, except for matrices/matrixes, whatever, -never made any sense at all). I like these qualities... with math, you're either right or wrong... no guessing, no maybe's, no could-be's, it's just black and white. This is good. Actually, gray is a color that I only started to see over the last 15 years as God has filled my house with such a variety of personalities and qualities that I was finally forced to realize that sometimes, just sometimes, there isn't always a right or wrong way... sometimes, there's just a different way. Totally blew my mind.
Anyway, back to knitting, you would think that it would be my natural inclination to knit with a calculator in my hand but, truth be told, I rarely (read never) take math into consideration when I knit. Knitting and math must take place in totally opposite zones of my brain because it makes me cringe to "sit down and do the math" when it comes to knitting. The two should never meet! I love a good pattern... I can sit down with my yarn, see how many to cast on, then go. No thinking, no straining, just doing.
So, where was I anyway? Oh yeah, gauge. I didn't get gauge... But, I sat down and did the math taking all of the pattern notes into consideration and went a size up. I think it will work... pretty sure of it in fact... well, we'll see anyway. And if it doesn't... I sure know how to frog. (Rip-it, rip-it)