I can be a very impatient person, especially when I have mounds of gorgeous yarn waiting to be made into something. That said, the class I just took really helped me realize the usefullness of swatching both to check my gauge and to see how a certain yarn or pattern looks. Especially because a lot of my Christmas gifts this years are creations of my own imagination; I picked a yarn and a stitch pattern or an idea but I don't really know how it'll look. And there's nothing worse than wasting a $12 skein of misti alpaca (insert obligatory *drool* here) on an idea that doesn't work. So the last two days all I've been doing is working on my sweater and making an endless supply of swatches to try out new ideas, and ripping them out and starting over. In my heart of hearts, I know this will save me a lot of grief later, but it's very disheartening to spend a whole night knitting and have nothing to show for it.
And as for the sweater...now I've been reminded again why it's important to really THINK about changes before you make them. Guesstimating has no place in garment design, and I need to remember that. Now I'm at the neck portion, and I have 35 more stitches than I should, so I need to frog and do more decreases. I tried it on last night and was sorely tempted to just make it a boat neck and forget the cowl, because I love the way it looks so much.
And I won't even mention my Razor's Edge poncho right now. We had a spat a few weeks ago and we haven't made up yet. I can't pick it up again until I know I hold no anger in my heart. Or until I figure out what I screwed up. :)