Swatches, am i right? Either you love them, hate them, or form a grudging kind of respect for them. Which ever way you look at them, they are a persistent part of our knitting life. I’ve written before about my increasing levels of admiration for swatches as I’ve become a more experienced knitter. They are useful little tools, they can tell you things about the fabric you’ll get as well as the stitch gauge you can (probably) anticipate, and just straight up help you learn whether you’re going to like how that yarn is going to knit up.
For my money, though, one of the nicest qualities of a knitted swatch is that it’s a way for you to start a new project without actually having to start it. Just a little hit to take the edge of while you’re already in the middle of knitting something else.
I’m still in the thick of it with my Exeter cardigan I blogged about earlier this week, and while I’m really itching to start something new, I’m also trying to get closer to the two-thirds-done mark at least, before adding another Work In Progress to the mix.
This is the beginnings of a stockinette swatch for the Smoky Lake cardigan, which I’ve had one eye on ever since it was published a couple of months ago. (The bag in the background is from ZigZag stitches, for the curious!) The yarn is the same as in the pattern, Briggs and Little Atlantic (I warned you I was in danger of going on a Briggs & Little yarn jag) and since it’s bulky weight I’m presuming that I will basically blink and the swatch will be finished. (A girl can dream).
I’ll also do up a swatch in cable pattern since the pattern does make gauge references to both stockinette and cable stitches, just to check and see where i’m at and if I need to modify needle size or pattern size or both. It’s refreshing to have a heavier weight of yarn on the needles after spending the last month on a worsted weight sweater.
Happy knitting this weekend, knitter friends – may your swatches all tell you exactly the information you want from them.