I also completely messed up the color work part. I've been reading up on color work and charts and wanted to try a project. Nowhere had I read that the last square of the chart is not to be worked because it's actually the first stitch of the next row. The first two rounds, I also thought I was supposed to repeat the entire chart over and over again. I kept thinking my gauge was off.
Why didn't I swatch? For one thing, the swatch would have been about as big as the color work part of the hat. Additionally, I have not learned to swatch in the round, yet. Then, there are times when I consider it more beneficial to jump in and try a small project learning as I go versus doing a swatch. By doing the project first, now I'm ready to play around with swatching in the round because I can compare them and figure out which things will be the same and which will be different. I also have a whole new set of questions about how color work goes together and I've also learned some things.
But, I also have Mastering Color Knitting now. That should help clear up some questions.
One of the things I learned is that color work comes out really, really tight. This definitely came out child size. My assumption was that it would actually be very loose. Another thing I learned is that knitting with two colors is deceivingly easy at least as far as manipulating two yarns back and forth. Now, if I can just conquer charts, I'll be set.