I started the Nathan vest for my cousin in Korea. I need this to come out right (all I have to go on are measurement's Misu took of a vest her husband already has), so I'm doing everything the way that I should... including swatching and washing it.
The picture above is post-washing. I just soaked in Eucalan for a little bit then layed flat to dry overnight. A big difference! This is the first time that I have ever washed a swatch and I do think that I'll be washing each and every one from now on. It's so worth it and I should stop being lazy about it!
The bottom portion is on size US 8 and the top is size 7. I ended up going with the 8s, which gave me gauge after washing (I got 17 sts/4 inches in the textured stitch which is what I was aiming for; it was 17.5/4 inches in stockinette stitch).
By the way, the washed swatch photo shows the true color of the yarn. It is a rich dark cranberry red wine color. Very pretty.
I got the bottom ribbing done today and am starting the body part now. I'm working the textured stitch on the front and plain stockinette on the back. I bought 8 balls of the WotA yarn and I hope it's enough. The swatch (which is generously sized) and the ribbing have taken most of one ball already.