But other times the beginning of a project is fun. You get to combine a stitch pattern, choose just the right yarn, and figure out how they can go together for the item you want to make. Then the swatch is a visual aid that show you just how stitches need to placed, what gauge shows off the yarn and stitch best, and so much more.
Some people don't like knitting swatches, but usually I enjoy them. Sure I want to get to the actual project, but it helps if you view the swatch as a mini project on its own. It is your introduction to working with a new yarn, letting your fingers memorize the stitch pattern. When you finally get to cast on the full number and work the stitches, you will have fewer mistakes, and hopefully less tinking. Make sure you knit at least on repeat of each stitch pattern used in your pattern. This will help you learn the pattern, but also learn how each on will change when blocked.
Beginning a project can be frustrating when the combination of yarn, needles, and knitter aren't producing the required outcome. Relax! It will come, and your project will be better for it. Having to knit a new swatch is much better then reknitting some or all of the sweater.
Don't forget to wash your swatch, lay it flat, and measure after it is dry. You want the item to fit after it gets wet, and blocking can really make the item looked finished and professional.
After all the figuring that the beginning of a project takes, then comes the middle. Read about it here next week!