Why Rethink the Gauge Swatch
A standard gauge swatch, let's say a 4" x 4" swatch doesn't really tell you much which is why I think most knitters don't, or reluctantly work them. This size also can make it hard to see and count the stitches, so why bother.
Why Make a Larger Gauge Swatch
Aaaaah . . . now that's a different story. Try making a larger swatch. I usually make mine about 6" x 6". Now I can really see and count my stitches per inch, see how much drape I'm going to have and best of all see how my pattern stitches are going to look. If they're a little bit tough I'll also get to practice working them.
So knit that swatch a little wider and a little bigger. Believe me when I say you won't be sorry!
- Donna, Your Friendly Knitting Doctor