I spent Sunday alternately rereading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and knitting on a Norwegian Stocking from Folk Socks. Perhaps because my attention was so divided, I had knitted several inches on the recommended size 3s before I noticed that my product was both huge and sloppy. When I showed my husband what I had done so far and he said, "That's not a sock! ... Is it?" I knew I needed to begin again.
I had read something about yarn dominance somewhere, but the lesson I took away from it was to be consistent, because it's apparent if you switch which hand holds which color. In my enthusiasm, I wasn't bothered to look it up again before starting this project. So when I started over on size 2s I made the pattern color dominant by carrying it in my left hand, which, by the way, is a right pain in the you-know-what, since I'm most comfortably a Continental knitter and most of these stitches are in the background color. The result, however, is worth a few hours of my exaggerated and awkward throwing. If I could only figure a comfortable way to wrap the yarn around my fingers, I might become a decent 'flicker.' Until then, it should be easy for me to remember that the more difficult way is the better way.
For now, though, let's just call that first one a swatch.