I've come to accept that I make mistakes, especially when I knit. If I'm making something for someone else, then I go back and fix them, even if it means a lot of ripping and reknitting, but then I'm obsessive-compulsive about things like that. But if it's for myself, and it's not a horribly glaring error, one that only another knitter would recognize (especially in socks), then I've learned to relax and just pretend it's part of the pattern.
But this test-knitting thing has been sheer hell. I'm so afraid that I'm going to make some huge mistake that will destroy the look of the finished product that I'm constantly second-guessing myself and checking and rechecking. And for the first two weeks, I couldn't knit two rows without discovering that glaring error six rows back and having to undo it all, fix it, and reknit. I swear, I've pulled out far more yards than I've actually knit.
Now, though (knocking on head here) (and wooden desk), the PURL, DAMMIT, PURL! note on the bottom of my stitch-keeping sheet seems to have worked and I'm up to 200 stitches of 320. For a shawl, it's very tiny (and certainly doesn't look like I've been working on it for 2.5 weeks or more), but it'll be blocked (Claudia's actual words were, "block the hell out of it") and end up much, much bigger, more shawl-like.
I hope that I haven't just jinxed myself. It's happened before.