i went for chestnut brown to make the aran accent vest from patons book 846 _cables_. the smallest size calls for 4 balls, though i think some have knitted it with less. i bought 5 balls because i am the always skeptical knitter. and, i'm sure i could use another hat with the leftovers.
the knitting has been slow with all the patterning. but it's worth it. it's such fun to see the cables grow. i am very close now to binding off for the armholes (the pattern is worked flat, and begins with the vest front).
i suggest if you want to knit this vest, do yourself a favor and investigate all the versions of this vest on (ravelry). a lot of knitters have knitted at least a size smaller. a funny note about the pattern ... the gauge is given in stockinette. there's not one stitch of stockinette in the vest! it's all cables and basketweave, with small spaces of rev. stockinette to pop the cables.
there are three different stitch patterns for the vest, all changing in multiples of 4. there's a bit of increasing, and decreasing, to keep up with as well. my solution was to make an amateur spreadsheet to keep track of everything.
i better get off the computer now and back to my vest.