I finished swatch 3 last night, steamed it tonight after work. Then poked around the house for a while, organizing more class material from classes I have taken over the years, putting the handouts in a page protector and inserting them into a three-ring binder.
Finally when I could delay no longer, I picked a cone of yarn from my recently acquired stash. It was MaryLue's Solo. I think this is acrylic but I am having trouble finding it online through google search, believe it or not. The "committee" recommends using wool but I don't know if they would welcome my 100 cones of mill-spun (Zeilinger's), Craiglist-sourced "free" no-name wool under the label of "Bright Meadow Farms" or not. So I am going with Tamm, Mary Lue, Plymouth, and well-recognized brand names for yarn sources for these submissions. Something the judges are familiar with.
Once I selected the yarn, I printed the instructions for swatch 4. Put them in a page protector and researched garter bar decreasing online. Found Diana Sullivan's excellent YouTube videos on the subject and watched them.
Finally, went upstairs and started the swatch. I got half-way through it and decided to throw it away as the number of spit stitches was piling up. Started over.
I have not used my garter bar much. (Like, never)
So this was a "newbie" exercise for me. I was able to finally accomplish it. I had to latch up a few times due to dropped stitches, but think this is probably acceptable to the "committee" as this is a skill that successful knitters must master.
I noticed that half of my garter bar is missing, although I have both sides of the "needle keeper" or whatever that thing is called that blocks the needles from moving when you are working with the garter bar. Where could it be? Hope I find it with the missing sponge bars.
My tools are in a plastic photo keeper. I had a standard-issue Brother bottle of oil in the same container. It leaked. I have oily tools. Some of the oils show up on the decrease rows of the swatch. These would disappear with laundering, but I am not going to launder my submission to TKGA. I have already steamed it. Meanwhile, I put the tools on a microfiber cloth, and hope the cloth will absorb the oil. I righted the bottle of oil I guess from now on, it has to go into a Ziplock bag before being stored with the rest of the tools.
I used my KH-970 for this exercise which reminds me that the lighting of the LCD display is terrible. I am going to order one of those little stick-on 7-LED battery-powered lights on it to see if it helps. Perhaps there is a way to fix this inside the Brother control box but I think the LED lights will probably be a lot more cost-effective.