I began knitting swatches on Sunday and have completed two so far. I don't normally knit swatches before casting-on a project. I like to think that I will automatically obtain the gauge on the yarn label and refuse to check that assertion.
The first three swatches test your ability to increase evenly and unobtrusively, maintain tension and accurately measure the gauge. My K1P1/stockinette stitch swatch is not turning out all that great but I totally kicked the K2P2/garter stitch swatch in the ass. The K1P1 stitches are extremely large and look misshapen compared to the stockinette stitch. I can't tell if that's accurate to what they look like or not. I don't normally knit ribbing on size 9 needles, the size recommended for Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool. I'm going to leave the swatch alone. I've already ripped the swatch once, after knitting a few rows of ribbing. I imagine if the judges don't like it, they'll let me know n their review and offer recommendations on how to change it or at least offer a critique on what is wrong.
I haven't "finished" the swatches because I hate weaving in ends. My plan is to wait until I've finished knitting all of the 16 swatches to start on this task.
I also stopped by the library picked up some books listed on the TKGA Bibliography for the Master Hand Knitting Program so I can start answering the questions and work on the essay.