I like basket weave patterns, they're pretty. I think the size 8 needles might be a bit large for the DK yarn. Try a swatch and see what you think. You'll need to swatch to get your gauge and determine how wide 78 stitches will be.
Cheating is an option. . . . Cheaters never win and winners never cheat, but smart knitters who want to retain an iota of sanity do, cheerfully. ~~Kory Stamper