Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Monday, December 10, 2007

More on Swatching

The swatch for Hourglass Cables in Knitpicks Cadena, a bulky weight 70% wool, 30% alpaca, is done, washed, and drying.

It looks like gauge is right on with #7 needles. The fabric is dense, maybe too dense. Final judgement when it's dry.

I counted five comments asking what I do with my swatches. The answer: It depends.

If I'm going to knit the project, the swatch is valuable for calculating stitch counts and measurements so the project will fit and the stitch pattern will end on an attractive row at the neck and/or shoulder seam and/or wrist. A little math, a little planning, makes a big difference in the finished garment.

Before and after measurements are both important. When knitting all I have are the before washing measurements. They need to be converted to after washing measurements if the sweater is going to fit.

Also, the swatch is a comfort to have in case the yarn runs out before the knitting is finished.

If there is a reason, however small, to keep a non-project swatch, I stick it in a yarn bin for future reference. Colors in the skein often look different when they're knit up. If I love the color and/or the stitch pattern I keep the swatch to inspire future projects.

If the swatch is wool and I don't want to keep it, it's frogged and added to my CIC stash bin.

With a non-wool swatch, I usually keep it a while and eventually throw it out. Knitting a swatch is educational and a cheap evening's entertainment. The price of a swatching skein is small to avoid knitting a project where the yarn is not right and/or the project doesn't fit.

This is the Swish superwash wool swatch where I determined I never wanted to use Swish for a heavily cabled project. (Details here.)

I'll save this swatch for reference - to remind myself why I really don't want to use superwash wool. At least not Swish.

Instead of being organized enough to keep and file swatch notes, I tie knots in the yarn end to indicate the number of the needle used for the swatch. Then I store it with the yarn label.

Autumn Song is done. Later today I'll wash and block it in preparation for its final photo session.

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