Here’s that little shoulder patch after it’s gone through the washer (and dryer…pajama sweaters do not generally get air dried folks). Take a look at the difference between freshly mended and after several washes.
I actually like it much more now that the yarn has plumped up and fuzzed out a bit, so I am super happy with this. But it is a beautiful example of…wait for it…why swatching and blocking are so damn important. Bear with me here.
Swatching is to let you know how your fabric is going to behave before you go to the trouble of knitting a whole project. It’s a test run.
In order for that test run to be accurate, you have to block your swatch. And blocking is mostly just washing. Sure, there are exceptions. But ‘wash it, let it dry in the desired shape’ is 90% of most blocking.
So, a swatch is meant to answer the question ‘how will this fabric behave.’ And if that fabric is going to get washed, ‘how will this fabric look after it’s washed’ is absolutely part of the information you need to know about how that fabric will behave. So you gotta block (which again, mostly just means wash) your swatches people (even if there’s no stretching or shaping involved).
Because look how different this fabric looks after a few washes.
In this case, it’s lovely and great and just what I wanted. But if I’d made something where I *didn’t* want that much of a transformation, I’d much rather know it from my swatch than after I’d spent ages knitting something.
So…in what is perhaps the most on brand moment ever, that’s my lecture on ‘why swatching and blocking matter, as demonstrated by a random, non-knitted patch on a sweater.’