While knitting a swatch to compare a few different needle sizes, I realized (after about 20 rows) that I was using the wrong left-slanting decrease. I was doing ssk instead of the sl1, k1, psso that Melanie wrote for the single left-slanting decrease, and WOW does it make a huge difference. (You'll see the difference later when I post a picture of my test swatch.) So, I thought I'd just put this out there as a friendly reminder to never assume you already know what the chart symbols mean-- until you're into the project, that is! :-)
Anyway, I confess that this is the main reason I always swatch. I like learning the stitch pattern on swatches; my frogging/unknitting frequency has decreased dramatically since I instituted this practice-- really!