Behold! A swatch!
You see, it had to be done. I was wrong to imagine the yarn you see holding the swatch up would ever look right in this pattern. I was also wrong to think I was going to double strand this cotton. I changed my mind accordingly and here lie the labors of my mind. Keeping it simple has many advantages.
My original failed project had 199 stitches. It was going to be fairly large for a baby blanket. The swatch is 25 stitches (quite photogenic for a swatch, don't ya think?) and 4 inches across exactly. 200÷25=8 8×4=32 32 inches is a decent size for a baby blanket. I think I'll stick with the 199.
Now I have to decide to keep the swatch (because it's so pretty) or save yarn and roll it back up. Most likely I'll decide in favor of the latter, but I may be wrong. Again.