After knitting the swatch it is important (but frustrating when you want to get started) to soak and block (stretch) the swatch in the same way that the finished piece will be soaked blocked. Wetting the yarn allows it to stretch without breaking (hopefully) and as it dries the shape and stretch is blocked in to the finished piece. There are differing methods of wetting the sample but I usually just chuck it in a bowl/sink and leave it for at least 20 minutes. If it were pure silk I might only pin it out and spritz it with a water sprayer to dampen the fabric but this yarn should block nicely by my usual soak it method :) The waiting is the hard bit.
Actually I had already decided from the unblocked swatches that i preferred the 3.25mm test but blocking would just confirm this choice and also makes for better photos LOL
The Knit Picks needles are nice and pointy - I would actually prefer my Addi Lace needles but they're holding another project that is waiting for me to get around to finishing it. (sigh.)
After much indecision I finally chose Antarctic as my pattern, thanks to Steve for this suggestion :) I downloaded the pattern (available in English thankfully) and printed off my charts and instructions. So now I am all ready to go and looking through the pattern this is an ideal project for a lace novice as the cast on couldn't be more straight forward.
So next time ... getting going and how to read charts :)