Tuesday, September 4

Swatch It

I do a lot more swatching these days, than I did before I started designing my own patterns.  I used to think you only swatched to find out your gauge for your current project, or the one you were about to immediately cast on.  You got in...got the necessary numbers...and got out.

Nowadays I know swatches are a knitter's form of sketching in a sketchbook.  It's play, it's practice, it's messing around with different elements to see what you get.  See how it looks.  

Between the elements of yarn choice, needle choice, pattern and personal knitting style there are a lot of different ways one swatch can come out.   Yarn too thick?  Try one with more drape.  Fabric too stiff?  Go up a needle size or two.  Pattern too complicated?  Edit it down to it's main components and try again.  Or...move on to another stitch.

The choices are seemingly endless.  Uh huh...you can spend hours, days, weeks - dare I even say it? - years swatching.

And I used to think they were just for counting a couple of numbers.  Silly me.

Do you swatch?  Do you like to swatch?

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