As knitters, sometimes we forget those powerful lessons we learn early in our careers. As a designer, I will not proceed to a project without knitting, washing and blocking a good-sized swatch. But, it's always fortunate to have a little reinforcement of those basic concepts, especially when they are not biting you in the backside because you forgot or ignored them.
For this project, I am using a different yarn for the sleeves and bands of the sweater (Cascade Heritage Silk) than for the body (Miss Babs Windsor sock yarn). Since it was purported to be the same gauge, I decided to play fast and loose and cast on a sleeve, work the ribbing and a few inches of stockinette, and then slip the piece to scrap yarn (without cutting working yarn!), wash and block. After drying and a quick gauge check, I put it back on the needles and continued on my way.
(In case you are wondering, this project is slated to be my first self-published sweater design. Shhh. . . . )