The second swatch, in the foreground, is the same yarn on a size 4 needle. Even in these pictures, you can see a distinct change in the size of the stitches and drape. The first swatch measured at about 25 stitches and a mammoth 35 rows to 4 inches after washing and drying. The second swatch is in the washing machine as I write this and dash back and forth from den to living room so as not to miss the beginning of Dancing with the Stars. With this swatch, I'm going to work on my patience and let it air dry, which is the preferred method advised by Ann Budd in her Getting Started Knitting Socks.
I'm taking it as a sign that the knitting store was completely out of 24-inch size 3 needles with a metal tip when I stopped in this morning on the way to yoga. Still, I soldiered through the swatch just to assuage my knitter's remorse.
Huh - just was informed that Dancing doesn't start until 8 p.m. I'm calling it now: Adam, who made a rude and not funny comment about Carrie Ann's score, needs to go away now. And Marlee Matlin deserves to win, even before she hits the dance floor.