In my Past Knitting Life, I never ever knit gauge swatches, and I messed up on a lot of patterns because of it.
In my Current Knitting Life, I have learned loyalty to the gauge swatch.
- cue ominous music -
this weekend, I knit several items for which I had diligently produced blocked gauge swatches (measuring both before and after to document shrinkage or stretch ratios) and
they all did something different than the swatch!
And by 'something different', I mean something Very Very Bad. I actually had to put one woolen thing into the dryer to try to shrink it again. And it wasn't superwash, folks. (Amazingly, it shrank to near-perfect sizing without a hint of felting. I attribute this to my having my St. Christopher in my pocket at the time.)
So I'm kinda rethinking the old slave-to-the-swatch thing. And also the block-the-garment thing. I'll still do it because I know it's the right thing, but I will have more than a few grains of salt handy. Which, now that I think of it, might also impact the blocking process. H'mmmmm.