Needle size really does make a difference. I've knit up and blocked a swatch of knit picks wool of the Andes bulky.
The suggested gauge is 14 stitches/ 4 inches or 3.5 stitches per inch. With size 11 needles I got 11 stitches/ 4 inches or 2.75 stitches per inch. With the size 10.5 needle I got 13 stitches/ 4 inches or 3.25 stitches per inch.
On size 11 the fabric looks interesting and bulky but I think it is just too loose. The fabric looks better with the 10.5. The gauge is still not right but I can compensate by knitting the next smallest size. The difference between my gauge and the suggested gauge is about 3 inches in the finished garment.
If I used the 11 and just knit my usual size I'd end up with a sweater more than 10 inches wider than I want.
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