I am coming up on my 2nd knitting anniversary in December and I am now just starting to learn about gauge. Last night I was going to start a shawl with my Knit Picks Wool of the Andes yarn I have been agonizing over how to use it. Yesterday in church during bible class I was freezing. I looked at my outfit and realized it has black in it and a shawl would match. Last night I found a pattern and decided to try and do a guage swatch. I probaby did it wrong. I did 6-8 rows and then measured. I was looking for lenght. Was it 4 inches long? I did 4-5 swatches on different size needles and realized after I tried a size 8 that larger needles gives more lenght. Smaller needles gives less. I had it mixed up, I figured if you went smaller you could get more stitches per inch which would make it longer. So the size 8 seems to work. I will try a longer swatch later to make sure. I may go up to a 9 to give a bit more lenght.