Fine, fine advice. While we’re on the subject of swatches, by the way, here’s a tip from my Understanding Yarn class that gets a surprisingly big reaction: buy swatching yarn. You know when you’re in a yarn shop and you find something you really love but you don’t know what to do with it or how much to buy? Get just one ball, and play with it. This spares you the pressure of having to guesstimate how much you’ll need for… something… you’re not sure what; and it gives you the chance to make friends with the yarn. Find out what it wants to be: cables? Lace? Garter stitch? Armed with that information you can take your time pattern hunting on Ravelry, and go back for just the right amount.