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 Honest, I believe in swatching

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Consuelo Posted - 09/28/2010 : 09:23:17 AM
Swatching has saved my hide many times and I do it religiously.

BUT... once the swatch is made and all is well, I feel UN-frugal keeping it as a swatch. I want to - and usually do - frog it and re-use the yarn. Am I the only one that feels this way? Are there downfalls to this?

The only downfall I can come up with is that I don't get to see what it does when washed. Finding this out doesn't seem worth it.

What do you think?

"Travel is fatal to prejudice" Mark Twain
6   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Shalee Posted - 10/07/2010 : 08:07:14 AM
I currently have two balls of yarn, from Knit Picks, that I will swatch for a project. That way I will know if I like the finished color, pattern, feel, etc... Also, to see if I get the gauge I need. Then I will buy the necessary # of balls for my project. I used to feel swatching was a waste of time, but not anymore. The nicer yarns are too expensive, when you need several balls, to risk screwing up!

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!
Kelly B Posted - 10/07/2010 : 04:53:16 AM
I like to wash them, because I've had several of them grow significantly. That was very useful to know. Like Ceil, I save it until the end, and use it to finish the collar or something if I'm running short of yarn.

My pictures
prixby Posted - 10/04/2010 : 6:26:43 PM
It depends on how much yarn I have whether I frog and reuse my swatch. Sometimes I play it close enough to not having enough yarn that I have to. But it's really handy to know how easily your beautiful wool will felt if you lay your freshly washed swatch too close to the heat register to dry! Thank God I kept that swatch to test washability! I know because of its sacrifice that my wet sweater will never come within 20 feet of a heat source.

Life is what happens while we're listening to music.
Ceil Posted - 10/02/2010 : 1:08:09 PM
What I did with my Knitting Olympics swatch was leave it attached to the ball, and used other balls of yarn for the sweater. If I needed the ball the swatch was on, I could always frog it. By that time, there would be enough of the sweater worked to be able to check gauge and other details off of that. HTH,


Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
Consuelo Posted - 09/28/2010 : 10:39:00 AM
Good ideas, MK. We're about to get a puppy and a kitten so maybe I'll save my swatches for them. Thanks.

"Travel is fatal to prejudice" Mark Twain
mkfromKansas Posted - 09/28/2010 : 10:09:37 AM
Consuelo - I admire your careful diligence with swatching. I should be as careful because I have given up on making garments because they never fit. Most of the patterns have suggestion of brands of yarn I would never use because (a) they are too expensive, or (b) their non-machine washability makes them too impractical. I'm not one for handwashing nor is my g-daughter-in-law with her 5 little boys.
As for the to frog or not to frog dilemma, I suggest you make yourself a notebook of careful recording of yarn to needle size ratios and then as you finish a swatch, record it. Then either make it a "doily" or washcloth. Also you could take your scraps as they accumulate and make a crazy-quilt throw for the couch which can turn out to be surprisingly pretty. Also too, if you have a pet, howabout putting all those swatches into a bed for it. Then in time, you can feel free to toss it without guilt.
I'll think of you the next time I make myself swatch.

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