Since I'm such a cable expert these days (ahem) thanks to the excellent teaching skills of Five Ferns, I was dying to give this a go.
The recommended yarn, "Dune" is described on the webpage as "heavy worsted", with a recommended gauge of 15 sts on 5mm needles. I was stoked, because those things suggested "12 ply" to me. And frankly, any pattern that's not "worsted" is a winner in my (Australian) book.
The pattern itself had a gauge of 15 sts on 6mm needles over stocking stitch. I figured that 12ply has a recommended gauge of 16.5 sts on 6mm needles, and since I usually have to go down a size to get the right tension, I should be able to hit the required 15 sts.
Hallelujah, I thought. Order 12ply classic in Tuscan from Bendy I did. Yoda I channelled.
The yarn finally arrived just before PJ's birthday weekend, so I didn't have much chance to start swatching until the start of the week. And here began my troubles.
I started with the recommended sticks, just to see: I got 16.5 sts on 6mms. Great, I thought, I'm right on the suggested gauge for a yarn - for once! Just not the right gauge for this pattern.
Up to 6.5 mm - but sadly, I only got to 16 sts over 10 cm. And the fabric was way too loose and open. Not suitable for a cool weather jacket all. And nowhere near 15 sts.
I was shattered. Clearly to get to 15 sts I was going have to use 7 or even 7.5 mm needles, and it would be more 80's style net top than winter jacket. Crushed. Damn you, foreign weird gauge yarns!! What am I doing wrong?
But that was then, and this is now. I enlisted the help of Bells (one of the Chosen Ones) to trawl Ravelry for me, too no avail. (I'd link to Ravelry, but those who are in, well, you know all about it, and if you're not, too bad. 8580 ahead of me. I wonder if you can queue jump on the basis of need?)
In the meantime, I mooched around my patterns and books, and came across this in Adorable Knits by Zoe Mellor*. I went "meh, why not", swatched, and was SPOT ON.
Maybe one day I'll just have a bash at the Coloquinte with 12 ply, and see what happens. In the meantime, wish me luck. I think the only thing more boring that garter stitch is moss stitch. I'd rather even do 1x1 rib. But I'm not going to argue with the Gauge Godess. And then there's the zip.
To keep it even more interesting I've only got 400g of yarn - more than enough for the Coloquinte, but only just enough for the Moss Stitch Jacket. Hence my swatch isn't cast off - I frogged it and re-knit it.
It needs to be in the post to Germany by mid-October. It's going to be close!
*That's where the star sweater comes from, MadMad. I'm sorely tempted on the pirate jumper, but not sure I can face all that intarsia in more than 2 colours.