Knitting

Swatching

Wednesday, March 06, 2013Virginia Bilinski

I know that you've already been told by multiple people and cited multiple sources that swatching is necessary, if not mandatory. You already know that it's important so you can see how the yarn will react when blocked and worn, and to get a proper fit. You probably also know, because you've done it's happened to you because you're smart people, that swatching is the only way to avoid a situation of pure knitting doom. Doom I tell you!

For all the reasons mentioned above, including avoiding the doom, I'm sitting here on a snowy day (I will not say lovely because I hate the cold, but it is quite pretty) swatching for my Orchids & Fairy Lights hat when I should be packing. That's right, I haven't even started packing yet. All of this god awful snow has given me a migraine for the last three stinking days!

But I digress... I hate swatching almost as much as I hate the snow. I know it is necessary, and in some cases mandatory, but that doesn't keep me from hating it. Swatching feels like a giant waste of yarn to me. I know that some people make blankets out of their swatches and others give them to the birds. There are a variety of things you can do with your swatch but it still takes up yarn!

 I think my hatred for swatching might also have to do something with my fear of running out of yarn on a project. I've been really really close before. I've come so close that I've only had about two or three inches left. That's barely enough to weave in the teeny tiny little end. If I'd have done a proper swatch first then I wouldn't have had enough yarn! And I know, you can undo your swatch and use that yarn to finish your project, but that's a huge pain in the rear.

So how exactly do I do my swatch so I'll know if I'm able to avoid a doomy situation and still save the yarn? I shall tell you my cheaterly ways. I knit up my swatch like any good knitter trying to avoid a knit-splosion. But I don't cast off. I then take my swatch off the needles and measure it. Sometimes, I'll even block it if I feel that the odds just aren't in my favour. Then, this is the magical part, I just unravel it and start my project with the swatch yarn! This is my little way of beating the system and feeling like I'm not wasting those precious bits of yarn that could save me in a knit-pocalypse.

Thanks for reading through the huge block of text. Here's a picture of the last Orchids & Fairy Lights hat that I made for my mom last year.

































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