That's not some weird experiment from a mad scientist right there. It's how I swatch. I've been swatching like mad these days. Swatches are foreplay for knitters.
This is how I swatch: I look at the yarn label's suggested needle size. I start swatching with needles two sizes bigger than those suggested. (I am apparently a very tight knitter and always require larger needles to get the recommended gauge.) Then I cast on. I knit with those needles for awhile and take preliminary measurements. If the gauge is WAY off, I frog the swatch and try new needles. If it's close, I switch to the next size up or down. If it's spot on, I go up in needle size. Continue the swatch in those needles and repeat the process. Bind off but put a stitch holder through the last stitch to keep from unraveling, but still attached to the ball of yarn.
Then the strange bath you see up there. A little Soak in a cup, some cold water. Then the usual steps of blotting and waiting for it to dry. Then measure the gauge again.
I love this method. Sure, it looks weird in my room, all the balls of yarn hanging around the drinking glasses. It looks like I've gone mad. But overall, it's quicker for checking gauge and allows me to see how the yarn looks at different gauges, all in one swatch.
My roommate is pretty freaked out by it though.