Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Action Swatch

Some knitters complain about swatching, that it's time consuming, or that they don't need to because they already know what their own gauge is because it's so consistent. Be that as it may, swatching is a valuable exercise to ensuring the sweater or sock you are knitting doesn't become that nightmare object that you knit for size 32 but it turned out to be size 50.

And do you notice that when you do screw up gauge, it's often on the side of too big? Why don't we ever accidentally knit it too small? Well, I'm sure there are knitters who do that, too.

So have fun with your swatch! After you've knitted and counted stitches and rows and determine that yes, you were right all along, put that swatch to good use. If you are really on top of your game, you'll intentially swatch to about the same size every time and after several years will have enough swatches for a small quilt. Or a large quilt depending on how prolific you are. HA!

Action Swatch #1 is relaxing with a cup of coffee on my desk.

I spun this yarn from a 50-50 merino-silk top sample that I purchased at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. For non-knitters, that's fiber consisting of 50% merino wool and 50% silk.

This was my very first spin, by the way.

Action Swatch #2, in Lion Brand Cottentots, is holding down a small table. It doesn't say on the label that it's that strong, but clearly it's doing very well. Not only that, it's holding up a small box of found objects, a measuring tape, and the leg of freshly knitted socks. So fresh they haven't been blocked.

Action Swatch #3 is in residence as a cover for the Blue Faced Leicester I have parked on my drop spindle. This was a sock swatch for the very first socks I knit, of Regia something or other, a cotton/wool/nylon blend. Very sturdy stuff which in the hand doesn't feel like it would be that comfy but on the foot is very nice.


  1. I totally love the concept of action swatches. I might just have to finally break down and start doing some of that. Hmmmmm the mind boggles at the possibilities. :0 So glad you got to come to YfS-2. You will be in my thoughts and good wishes for the best for all concerned.

  2. Thanks, sweetie, I hope you are feeling better soon!!

  3. Another cute post--sorry if "cute" is not a word you might like to describe a post--maybe I should say humorous. Anyway, thanks for responding on my blog--most people don't have what my class has--the longevity of friendships from gradeschool all the way through highschool. Most of us knew each other from a very young age--even though some of us started out in Tracyton, some in Silverdale, some in Chico. We all met up in the 7th grade. YOu can't beat that for history of place. Are we going to have enough time to meet all those friends of yours? Are you going to have a party? Can't wait. But I need to know when to come.....