Provental? Never heard that before. It might just be me, being slow.
Do you have a specific pattern in mind? There should be something there that says what the gauge should be for that pattern. You should just knit swatches to begin with and then once you get the ideal gauge, you should knit with those needles.
And don't worry TOO much about it. It took me almost a year to get the gauge. Now you can understand how slow I am.