Today I knit a couple of gauge swatches for my green shawl/blanket. I'm usually a big fan of tight gauge so I assumed I'd be knitting on 4.5 mm needles. I found, though, that the mill spun yarn has no drape and I needed to go up to a 5 mm needle to get a fabric I like. I'm still finding it stiff but I'm hoping that a good soak in some Euclan or hair conditioner will make this yarn more relaxed.
Part of the problem , I think, is that I have gotten used to knitting with handspun which has a lot of drape. Another part of the problem is that this yarn still has some excess dye in it, as I discovered when I washed my swatches. I'm hoping that washing this dye out and adding some conditioner in will give the yarn and the fabric a nicer hand.
Now that I know my gauge (5.5 stitches/inch) I'm facing casting on some 360 stitches. This will be the sort of project that makes you go to bed before finishing one more row. My orange shawl is the same since it is now some 320 stitches wide and growing. I may have to cast on for some mittens or some socks or another hat just to have something that shows progress when I work on it.