I have been coveting the Dashing Diamond Pullover ever since the fall issue of Cast On came out. However, I was trying to prioritize sweaters which could be knit from stash, so I hadn't ordered the Softwist Bulky for it. But then I was digging in the Yarn Room one morning and I ran across the bags of Classic Elite Follies I had acquired some time ago from elann.com, and I got to thinking. The suggested gauge for Follies is 18 stitches/4", whereas Softwist Bulky is labeled at 16 stitches/4". However, Follies is a rayon/alpaca blend, and Softwist Bulky is a rayon/wool blend, hence they ought to have somewhat similar draping qualities; and they're both around 65-70 yards per 50 gram ball. So I looked at the Dashing Diamond instructions again, and lo and behold, it calls for knitting at 17 stitches/4". I gave it a go, and I got gauge. Now I have a front and a back and half a sleeve.
Because this design is by Norah Gaughan, who I worship and adore, I have not felt a need to make many changes. I used short rows to give it a slightly shirt-tailed hem, and I'm tremendously pleased with how that turned out. I changed the decrease technique at the V-neck to emphasize the knit stitches which are an extension of the cables, and because I have no fear of Wrong-Side Decreases, I decreased every three rows instead of alternating two and four as specified. Oh, and one last thing: I used a few short rows to make the neckband extensions turn a little more gracefully. I think maybe I should have lowered the center back neck with short rows also, but I don't think I'm going to reknit it.