I said to try it out and see how the gauge turns out. She's already got that yarn, might as well see how it does over the pattern stitch; may turn out just fine.
Would the yarns you suggest get the gauge on size 9s, or be too stiff? Those are really thick for that size needle. The original yarn is an aran weight, not a bulky one and I think the pound o love just might work great.
sue- knitting heretic