Swatches. So many new people tell me they don't see why we need to do swatches - whether you're a hand knitter or a machine knitter. I'm a firm believer in swatching and yes, it uses up yarn, but there are numerous things you can do with that swatch after you've done your pattern testing.
What are some of the things you do with swatches?
Doubled-Up & lined for Pot Holders or hotpads
Doll Cloths / Doll Blankets
Cut 'n' Sew Quilt Pieces
Doll Hair (kill & ravel out for great krinkle doll hair!)
Pet Blankets / Bedding / Sweater Pieces
Casserole Carriers (great with knitweave swatches)
Ravel out the knitting, wind it firmly into a ball, then use it for creating I-Cord.
Those are only a very few of the wonderful things you can do with your swatches. You'll notice that many of the items require certain sizing. Well, if your gauge is not going to be compromised by making that swatch wider or narrower or longer, then pre-plan to use that swatch in something else from our list above.
~ Marge ~