Saturday, March 23, 2013

Is a swatch wasted time - or - Did you swatch that?

Last weekend I attended the Minnesota Knitters' Guild's retreat in northern Minnesota. Lots of knitters, relaxing walks, funny movies, and even enough snow to cross country ski. And one of the funniest conversations was about swatching. One fellow knitter never swatches. For anything. BUT  she only knits washcloths! But then she always asks other knitters if they swatched for their projects. 

And that led me to do a little swatching of my own.

I've been experiencing a lot of cable hunger - my current project, the Breezy Cardigan, is lots and lots of stockinette stitch - and I really want something different.

Right now, I'm basically knitting more than 360 degrees of sweater. Grr.

Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the swingy shape of the Breezy Cardigan despite the stockinette tedium.
 After about two more inches on the body, I'll finish off with k2,p2 ribbing for a few inches. And then onto the deep ribbing that goes all around the neckline and the front of the sweater. And then add some sleeves and, ta dah, a cardigan!

On the swatching front, I pulled out some gray Shetland handspun, some Rowan Felted Tweed, and some  Classic Elite Yarns Inca Alpaca and worked out my swatches. I was good and even washed and blocked them. I had been eyeing the Inca Alpaca for an Acer Cardigan but I kept thinking it was a lot lighter blue. Actually, it's a misty, heathered teal that is much nicer in person. And I got perfect gauge with it!

Do you think I have a gray fixation? Here's some other gray handspun. One thing I've learned from my swatching is that my own "nothing special" handspun is not the worsted weight I've always assumed but bulky. So, I'm on the search for a good cardigan pattern using bulky yarn. Perhaps a Spoked Cardigan by Carol Feller?

1 comment:

Tonyia said...

I rarely swatch. I knitted my first swatch in a very long time, just last week, but the yarn is absolutely the most expensive yarn I've ever purchased. And luckily, it swatched up nicely for the project.

And I'm with you on the handspun. I guess mine is bulky too, but I've always thought of it as worsted wt. It's not til I knit with commercial yarn that I realize my handspun is heavier. I'm trying to spin worsted wt right now. But I'll see for sure when I ply!