Despite knitting for about 7 years I have yet to knit a single swatch. Thus far I've mostly done scarfs and blankets with the occasional hat thrown in recently and who does swatches for glorified rectangles?
This year I am bound and determined to stretch myself as a knitter and work my way toward mastering two things I've never dared try before: socks and sweaters. These are both four letter words to those of us who prefer to just go with the flow and don't worry about gauge and occasionally treat needle sizes as suggestions. You can play it by ear with a scarf and I've had many a scarf turn out to be what I've deemed "coat scarves" (they're short so they don't add bulk under your coat, not because that's where I ran out of yarn!) despite using the recommended yarns and needles.
This year I will overcome my swatch phobia! I will find a friendly sock/sweater pattern and knit a swatch so I end up with something I can wear rather than something that gets shoved into the back of the drawer. Then one day I'll be able to not only knit all those beautiful cardigans, pull overs and unbelievably detailed socks, but maybe even dare to dream of starting my own designs?
All in good time I suppose. Look out for posts containing sock and sweater adventure updates and possibly even some talk of Christmas projects. Christmas in January? Why not? I didn't do much Christmas knitting this year as I did quite a bit of birthday knitting so my internal knitting clock must be all messed up.
Also, I feel that there should be a clinical name for the fear of knitting swatches. I'm quite sure there are enough out there who share this fear.