So here's my test knitting, which is chart 1:
It's not blocked, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up overdying it. I think the variegation of the yarn obscures the stitch patterns, although it worked fine for the Fir Cone shawl (which isn't done quite yet--had a deadline on this one to do first!).
So now I have to get a bamboo size 4 circular needle since my size US4 9" straights aren't big enough to continue without packing the stitches onto the needle really tightly. Woo hoo, yarn shop here I come! ;-)