I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with inconsistent knits and pearls. I'm using the yarn the pattern calls for, Tahki Donegal Tweed. You mentioned the single ply yarns can give you a bit more trouble, which is exactly what I think is happening. The gaps are small enough that it should close up after blocking like you said. Which leads me to my next questions....blocking! I have never blocked anything before, and I've never even owned anything made of 100% wool before. I know it needs to be hand washed, but what do you use for soap? The detergents at home seem too harsh. And I always see blocking boards on knitter's websites. Do I need one of those to block my sweater? What's involved in blocking? Any tips for a beginner? I understand that's quite the complex question, and I really appreciate all your help and patience with this project.