Swatching, almost but not quite done
Published On: April 27, 2021

So here are all the ones I tried for this project. And you can see they sort of slowly narrowed in on what I wanted.

I though first maybe something super bulky because that was lots of fun a few weeks ago with Semblance. But then the stitch pattern I’ve got in mind turned out to be a bit too big to make sizing easy at that scale.

Next up I tried a yarn that calls itself heavy worsted, but that I only seem to like if I knit it at the sort of gauge you’d use for sportweight, and that’s not what I want here either.

So next I went for more of a classic worsted weight. But I still wanted a little extra volume and drama, so I held a strand of mohair alongside (because if you hold a strand of mohair alongside, you can work at a slightly looser gauge than you otherwise might and still get a nice substantial fabric, because the mohair fills in the spaces between the stitches a bit). But it was a tiny bit too dark.

So I finally arrived at a similar but slightly lighter color, also with mohair alongside.

Now, since I know the first three weren’t the right choice, I didn’t even bother to block them. I just ripped them out and wound the yarn back up. No yarn is wasted or hurt at all (yes, even the mohair, it rips just fine if you’re careful and use nice mohair).

The fourth one is the right yarn, but is absolutely NOT the right sort of swatch to check gauge with (it’s way too small for that). So I’ll rip it, knit a swatch that’s big enough to check gauge on, and that swatch I will block.

But even then, the yarn isn’t wasted because you can unravel your blocked swatch just as easily (you’ll just need to soak the yarn to get the kinks out before you use it again, you can search for ‘kinked yarn‘ here on the blog if you don’t know how to do that, I’ve talked about it lots of times before).

So yeah, swatching is worth it, there are different kinds of swatches (in this case ‘do I like the stitch in this yarn’ swatches and ‘how big is this thing going to be’ swatches), and swatching absolutely does not waste yarn. And the more swatching you do, the more you will be in charge of your knitting!

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