I have swatched and swatched and swatched and then swatched some more.
I tried every kind of yarn that I had enough of and realized that I cannot knit over a thousand yards of:
wool or mohair
size 3 or less needles.
either my skin can't deal or my eyes can't deal.
Gave it up and went to LYS to wander around for new, anti-wool, anti-mohair, anti-tiny weeny needles, inspiration. Finally swatched with a cotton fingering yarn in bright colors meant for making baby stuff with. and it works and I can do it. So there.