A little late
So you want to see some swatches? You know you do. C'mon, who doesn't want to see swatches?
OK, seriously, I usually get gauge with the recommended yarn weight and needles. Why has this not happened this time, I have no idea.
Here's an overall look at my swatches using (from left to right) a size 4, 5, 6, and 7 needles:
Hmm, not real helpful that photo...
a close-up of the swatch using the size 4 needle
a close-up of the swatch using the size 7 needle
Sorry for the poor picture quality, it was overcast when I took these pictures. Trust me, there is a difference between them.
The pattern calls for 20 stitches/24 rows per 4'' which translates into 5 stitches/ 6 rows per inch. Now what did I get? Not gauge, that's for sure.
size 7 needle = 4.32 stitches/ 5.5 rows per inch
size 6 needle = 4.4 stitches/ 5.7 rows per inch
size 5 needle = 4.7 stitches/ 6.2 rows per inch
size 4 needle = 4.8 stitches/6.25 rows per inch
I definitely like the tighter fabric that I get with the smaller needle. Since the gauge is not too different I should be able to get by with minimal changes. What worries me? At some point in the pattern, I'm supposed to switch to smaller needles (size 4 in the instructions) and get a gauge of 28 stitches/32 rows per 4" using the same yarn. (The yarn I'm using as a sub does not come with sequins or beads so I'm sticking with the plain silk. I know, I could string the beads or sequins myself, but I'm not ready for that.) Now if I was supposed to get the smaller gauge with a size 4 but am getting close to the larger gauge with the size 4, does this mean that I will need to switch to a size 1 needle to even come close?! Apparently the swatching adventures will continue because I'll need to figure that out next before I can even start.