The Importance of Swatching

In between the hiking and painting, I have managed to get a little knitting done. Just a little. I started a new project, which usually happens when I don’t feel well. This time, I was just inspired to knit a scarf with some of my favorite yarn, I think to prove to myself that I can knit the precious skeins that I bought with no projects in mind. I worried that I might be a yarn hoarder or that I might have some sort of yarn shopping disorder, but no, I just know good stuff when I see it.

I also began work for the beach themed skirt I dreamed about. I needed to determine if the yarn choices I made would indeed look good together, and I needed to determine if the stitch pattern I chose would look good in all of the colors. I swatched, but I did not bother to measure the swatch until I washed it. The reason? See for yourself.

See how much the swatch changed after washing? It got shorter and wider, meaning that I’m going to have to rely on the gauge swatch to determine how many rows I knit on the skirt and not the actual measurement while knitting. This is worth knowing before I start actually making the skirt. I now need to make a drawing of the skirt and calculate how many stitches I want in each tier of the skirt. The catch is, I don’t draw well. I may try to coax a friend to make illustrations for my patterns.

I called my sister-in-law a few weeks ago to get my niece’s measurements. My plan is to make something a little big for Alexis so she can grow into it. If I like her skirt, I’ll make one for myself and market the pattern with mommy and me versions.

Armed with all the pre-knitting research, I cast on.

Let’s see if I have what it takes to make this come out right.


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