Why we swatch

After the long break between posts, I have finally updated to talk about our day in Kona. I think there are 26 pictures in that post, so prepare for the post to take some of your time. As usual, you can click here to get to it or find it on June 23 on my calendar.

Sometimes, I really hate swatching. I feel like it can be a waste of time, of precious yarn (because apparently there will be a yarn shortage in the near future), and totally pointless. Nevertheless, I dutifully make swatches for everything except socks for myself and scarves.

It was a good thing I did this time. I’m using this really lovely yarn with pretty gold sparkles in it.

deep space swatch I don’t think photos will ever do it justice. You can only kind of see the sparkles in the big version of this one.

I am heavily modifying a pattern, using an entirely different weight yarn, but still including the beads and the edging the original designer chose. It was critical, therefore, that I make a swatch to figure out how many pattern repeats I would need to make a functional wrap.

Even worse than making the swatch is washing it. The reason you should wash a swatch is to see if the swatch will shrink or grow after the finished product has been cleaned. Believe me, it’s happened so many times that a project appeared to be a very different size while I was knitting it than when I cleaned it for the first time. This time, something else happened:

loose dye blue heron There was a ton of loose dye.

I rinsed the swatch a good 8 times, and still, blue dye ran from the fibers. I now know not to throw this one in with my dark delicates to wash it – this one goes in alone. It may get washed 100 times before it gets to the recipient. Then again, she knows how to handle delicate hand knits. Dry cleaning anyone?

So, um yeah – there’s a lesson for you: always swatch.

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One thought on “Why we swatch

  1. Its Sara your “daughter” (haha) from string! Yes now we ALL know to do a swatch maybe even two! p.s. i have found your blog XD

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