Why yes, yes I am continuing my ongoing attempts to reacquaint myself with some sock friends from days of yore. Anyone remember these? They have a special place in my heart for a whole bunch of reasons, and I think they may need to come back out to play some time soon, don't you? Photo of the swatch both blocked and unblocked, because folks always ask 'do you haaaaaave to block your swatches?' And I always say 'nope!' But the kind of information you get from a blocked swatch and an unblocked swatch are different, and you should know that [...]

March 24, 2024|

It depends

Do I block my swatches? Eh, depends on what I'm using them for! In this case, I was checking to see if I liked this stitch pattern with this yarn for a pair of socks I'm getting reknit. And since that was all I was doing, I totally could have just taken the wee crumpled bit of business (photo two) and stretched it out between my fingers and said 'yup, that works' and carried on. But that only works because it's a yarn I'm familiar with, getting turned into a thing I'm familiar with, where the sizing isn't super important. [...]

March 11, 2024|

A very spiffy swatch

I may just possibly have indulged in a Very Spiffy Swatch. I mean mostly because it's just pretty, but at least partially so I can take some sort of official instructive photos for 'this is what it looks like with one color, this is what it looks like with two, oh and here's how it looks on the back.' Because that was going to be easier to do with a nice tidy little bit of magic I can flip around and point at.

September 2, 2023|

Your swatch has the answer

So as always, swatching is informative. That's the short version. The long version goes something like this.⁠⠀ I started with the grey with neon speckles and the blue. It's promising, but I see I'd need a smaller needle (that's a two, and the fabric is too open for what I want). Next I tried the purple and purple. And it's lovely, but the contrast is too subtle for this project.⁠ While I was working the purple swatch, I got distracted and tried out a solid gray yarn and gray floof, but again, way too subtle (and alas it was dark, [...]

January 24, 2020|

Dive in

Perhaps you remember the other day? When I was very very very mean and told you that there was a decent chance that some of the reason you 'could never do that' was because you kept telling yourself you can't? let's talk about that some more. Earlier this year, when our house was invaded by absolutely lovely, skilled, kind people doing extremely noisy, dusty, disruptive things to deal with the aftermath of the burst pipe, I decided I'd deal with the chaos by teaching myself two color brioche.  Because that's a reasonable way to cope. So I did!  I [...]

May 13, 2019|

I didn’t forget

Remember the other day when we talked about the...ah...let's go with 'generous' amount of swatching that comes before a project?  And I showed you all the swatches that happened before the blue hat leapt into being?  And remember that gray swatch at the top that a bunch of you liked? Well turns out I liked it too.  But the yarn it was in was just a tiny bit darker than what I wanted (there's sort of this thing where a bunch of those hats may all end up hanging out together in a bigger project, which all of a sudden [...]

March 15, 2018|

Swatches…So. Many. Swatches

So I know I've talked about how swatching is a thing...but I'm not sure if you really believe me.  I'm not kidding when I say that I sometimes spend as long swatching for a project as knitting it (especially for little things like hats).  I mentioned last time that I stared with some swatches to see how I liked the needles and the yarn together.  But that was just the beginning. I doodled around with the blue yarn for a while, but didn't like how things were shaping up, so I set it aside (and I did that at night [...]

February 9, 2018|

More Swatches

No really...swatches are all I'm knitting these days. I've probably explained this before, but for me a book usually goes 1) have an idea, 2) source yarn, 3) swatch and write patterns, 4) send yarn and patterns off to magical stunt knitters to turn into projects, 5) get the patterns into proper book format and have them edited, 6) get projects back and take photos, 7) more editing, 8) printing.  Now there's more to it than that (I left out the traditional 'all my ideas are crap' crisis that invariably happens somewhere in the middle), and there's some overlap (for [...]

June 23, 2017|


So you know how sometimes I say something like 'this project has big stretches of reverse stockinette so you may want to consider a more subdued yarn than you might otherwise use'?  Like with the top of the foot on Cataphyll or the background on Enchase or the heel and background on Greenhorn? Yeah well let's look at why. Take a look at this and notice the difference between the stockinette side (that's the bit that's all knits...the bottom in this picture) and the reverse stockinette side (that's the bit that's all purls...the top in this picture). Trace one of [...]

June 10, 2017|
Mailing List

Want to hear when a new pattern comes out or something fun is going on? Sign up below!


Want to support the content I create, get nifty bonus material for some of my favorite patterns, or get every new release delivered right to your inbox? Head over to patreon and sign up!



Go to Top