i actually wound up making the swatch enormous.... i started on 10s, did that for 4 inches, switched to 10-1/2, did that for like 3 and then did 11s for another 3. i think it may have been i was trying too hard with the swatch like knitasha said, but still SO IRRITATING! I love this:
Remember: you're the boss of your knitting and you can make it do anything you want.
but it's my first garment and 2-1/2 inches on each piece would have me drowning in it. otherwise, i'm totally with you on that.