I love swatching. I used to hate it. However, once I understood its importance, how it guides and is the framework for any new design, I have come to adore it. It's like an artist sketching the first few bits of what will soon become a masterpiece.
Since the chill of winter has entered my little universe and has begun to freeze me to the very core (I tend to get unreasonably cold), I have started working on a colorwork sweater. A colorwork sweater really is a double-layered sweater, there is the top layer, which you see, and the back layer, all those lovely little strands carried behind.
One little tid bit knitters sometimes don't fully understand, all those lovely little strands behind your work will eventually meld and felt together to form that second layer. This is why stranding, rather than tucking the little bits in as you go, is still the preferred way.
I am making my colorwork sweater out of alpaca. Why? I love the feel of alpaca and it is warmer than wool. Yes, it is less durable than wool, but at this stage in my life I am so miserable being cold I have opted for the warmer version. Wool will indeed felt better in the stranding layer but, alas, again, the warmer version has one out.