Well, not exactly useless, but not really useful, either. This is a very large, tubular gauge swatch and represents the most advanced planning that I have ever put into a sweater. I said when I first posted about this, that I was getting about 7.5 stitches to the inch, which would make a 44" sweater. After finishing the swatch and washing it (yes, I am even taking sweater care into account), it seems that I am getting more like 8 stitches per inch and would be getting more like a 42" sweater. Also my original intention was to knit more of the colorwork using the brown as a background color. I ditched that idea -- the brown in the above picture is quite a lot lighter than it really is.
So. I have ripped out the brown section and the next two sections and am trying again with a larger needle. This might get me closer to the correct gauge. If not, my plan is to add two 33 stitch repeats and hope for the best. One of the big problems I'm having is that I don't really understand what is going on with the numbers. The pattern calls for 320 stitches in the body, including 7 steek* stitches and one stitch for "balance" (I don't quite know what Swanson means by this). Shouldn't the rest of the stitches (312) be divisible by 33? They aren't and I don't understand why. I'm really feeling like I'm not going to get it until I do it. What could happen? I might have to rip it out. I've never had to that before!
*For those of you who don't know: a steek is extra stitches that you eventually cut open, for sleeve holes, and/or cardigan openings.