First of all, thank you for all of the comments! It is the only way I know you are out there (if you don't e-mail me).
Just so that I can tell you all my answer to this insightful question, here it is:
Is it ok to use a gauge swatch as "insurance" to finish a project if it has been washed?
I have used a washed gauge swatch as knitting insurance. It made the neck of the sweater I posted pictures of with episode 3. I think if you were doing lace or something that you had severely blocked, you might want to wind the unraveled yarn into hanks, wash it and let it dry before using it to finish your project.
(I also saw the commenters website and deeply admire her lovely lace and cute children)