The swirl jacket has been in progress for two weeks now. As I write this, the original 609 stitches have now been reduced to 432. That might seem like it's still a lot, but after working 11 rounds of 608 stitches, it feels like things are moving at light speed.
The swirl is the knitting equivalent of a black hole. At first you use up yarn quickly (a 100g skein in 12 rounds), but it seems like things are moving very slowly. Where I am now, just past halfway to the centre, the rounds are getting completed quickly but yarn consumption has slowed. Because so much yarn got used so quickly at the start, though, the work's already quite heavy — 400g.
The weight's an interesting factor. I'm counting on it to stretch the swirl out. Even though my gauge measured bang-on correct when I started (honest!), it's a little tight right now. Enough to make me worried, but not panicky. Each side of its octagon shape is supposed to be 43cm, but they're more like 40. I'm putting it down to being squished on the circular needle. Fingers crossed the fabric will relax to the right size (or slightly bigger) during blocking.
I don't usually block non-lace items, but the construction method of the swirl seems to warrant it. For a pattern that's just knit/purl, increase/decrease, it does raise a lot of issues about knitting and geometry.