On so many Ravelry project pages will you find variations of the following two sentences:
I couldn’t be bothered to do a gauge swatch so the size is off.
That’s right, it seems the two most odious activities that unavoidably accompany knitting are the very beginning and the very ending: checking gauge and weaving in ends. I experience them as much as the next person. Just today I finally decided to weave in the ends on Veyla mitts – the tiny little things had six ends to weave in each! I had finished them about ten days ago and just couldn’t force myself to get on with it. And guess what? It was done extremely quickly. After all the postponing, I am always shocked at how little time and effort it really requires, even if there are six ends to weave in on a single mitt. It’s kind of like going to the dentist: I always get somewhat scared and uncomfortable just before I’m supposed to go, and start looking for excuses not to do it. But on several occasions I have written down in my diary after going: Don’t be scared next time! It was a piece of cake!
Consider how much time it really takes you to make a gauge swatch (which is usually not more than 20 rows of 20 stitches). Weigh that against the anxiety of working through an entire project (even if it is just a hat, it takes much longer) and the frustration at realizing in the end that it is too small. Consider how difficult it really is to weave in ends (my 12 ends on a tiny project took no longer than 10-15 mins). Weigh that against that nagging voice you have in your head when you know that the project is almost done and the satisfaction of clicking finished on Ravelry. You’ll probably realize these activities require just tiny bits of time and effort. I’ll certainly try to next time.