I finished gauge swatching for the Ribby Cardy by Bon Marie Burns (Ravelry link).
And surprisingly, I've gotten gauge on the first set of needles I've tried (US 6). O also tried a swatch at US 5s and US6s but the blocking/washing still puts me at correct gauge at US6s.
But, better safe than sorry, yes? For big things like sweaters, where it might take me a month to complete, I'll definitely swatch religiously. On smaller projects, like hats & socks -- not so much.
Luckily, the swatch went without a hitch. HOWEVER, the actual knitting has been problematic at best.
I cast on the sweater, and am 5 inches into it since the July 4th weekend, and it's been slow going due to various errors (on my part, not the pattern). Why? Because I rewrote the pattern to do it in-the-round (about 2 weeks ago), and I was second-guessing myself, AND I'm not reading my own damn pattern notes OR I put in not-so-detailed notes to my modifications. Consequently, thus far, I've had to:
1) begin 2x over, because I couldn't count correctly, which lead to the incorrect number of stitches.
2) frog a few rounds, because, apparently, I can't keep read a pattern. (Several times over.
3) I had to drop down more than a few stitches, because I'd switch a purl to a knit or a knit to a purl....multiple times over...and not notice until a few rounds later.
I'm only FIVE INCHES and it's been nearly a WEEK since I started.