I was reading Alison Kent's entry on Practice, and I don't know if it's something about the terminology, but it seems that we associate practice with children and with sports and music. But other professions and pursuits, while we often allow for beginner issues, we don't properly appreciate practice. If we look at incomplete reports, ill-fitting knits or unfinished stories as practice that seems to appropriately frame the reality that these things will not always turn out as planned. And professional athletes still practice almost every day. There is no assumption that just because one is a virtuoso that one does not need to rehearse pieces. Academy, Emmy and Tony award winning actors rehearse all the time, and that is considered part of their job. My day job involves testing cycles. So, failures, misses or just errors are not signs of failure, they are indicators of practice. Practice is not a bad word.
I don't think it will make me love swatching, but certainly viewing unfinished knits or stories as practice sounds so much nicer than failures.