I hardly, if ever, just take out yarn and knit "just to knit". Most people, like myself, are very end result driven. We don't want to take the time to see how the yarn plays out on the needles before we cast on, we just want to make that hat, sweater, cowl, (insert knit here), rightthisveryinstant. Or if we do swatch we end up making the teeniest little square and once we feel like we get gauge we're off and running with the sweater. Sadly, many of us who do this later find that the body of our sweater stretched way beyond the point of our liking and all because that 2x2 inch swatch wasn't really good enough.
Swatching is so easy too. It takes only a moment to cast on a few stitches and work a 5 x 5 square. I am laughing as I write this because I preach to my middle school students that the only way to see if a school is the right fit for them is to try it out by spending the day. Now, hmm, wouldn't that just be good advice to follow on a knit level.
I know, like me, maybe you don't have the patience to swatch and to be honest, I only truly get it now because I am swatching for things that don't have a pattern yet. I get why having a nice full blueprint will help any project. It's truly been such a "duh" moment that I'm just having a full blown confessional here.
I've gone full swatch.
So there, go swatch, I promise you won't be let down.
Yarn above: Purple Tweed - Tara Tweed by Tahki Stacy Charles, Grey Yarn - Lornas Laces Shepard Worsted, Brownish Yarn, Green Mountain Spinnery