Hokkaido is a blend of 57% bamboo, 30 % tussah silk, 5% mulberry silk, and 8% nylon created by Artfibers in San Francisco.
I have knit a lovely 8" x 8" swatch and my gauge is approx. 20 stitches/24 rows over 4" in stockinette on #7 needles. I love the texture in this yarn -- it is just so pretty.
The first time I swatched this yarn I thought that my knitted gauge was enough information on which to draw up a pattern and cast on. Sadly, it was not.
Because unfortunately this lovely yarn had to be washed at some point, and that's when things changed. If you missed that sad tale, I wrote about it here.
So this time I washed the swatch and I hung it out to dry. I put some clips on the bottom to simulate the weight of gravity that will pull on it when this is a larger garment and I left it for a day. And guess what folks?
This swatch has grown again.
So, next step is to design a pattern I think will work with this yarn and knit it a good inch shorter than I'd like it to end up. And let's hope that the swatch is honest this time-- nothing worse than a swatch that lies!!
Edited to add:
Maggie asked me a good question -- since this is an 8" swatch, shouldn't I be thinking about the growth in percentage and not in inches? Phew, thanks Maggie, I knew that but somehow forgot that this morning. You saved me.
So, here's how it works. I had a guage of 48 rows for 8 " when I knit it up. Then I washed it and hung it and it grew and now I have 48 rows for 9" -- BIG difference, right? So it goes from 6 rows/inch to 5.333 rows an inch. Some folks on Ravelry have suggested I go down a needle size (or 2) to get the tighter gauge. What would you do?