Before you knit something with your new yarn, you’ve got to knit a swatch.
What’s Stopping You From Swatching? Perfectionism.
A lot of knitters don’t swatch because they feel like swatches have to take a long time to knit, or that the swatches have to be perfect – that the little squares have to look good, maybe be useful for a blanket or something some day…
Don’t let this be you! The faster you get to making a swatch and checking your gauge, the faster you can get to the good part: knitting something beautiful.
Lose The Perfectionism And Make A Swatch Already
Here are a few tricks to help you lose your perfectionism and get swatching FAST:
1) Make the swatch only as big as you feel like making it. Two inches across, if you want.
2) Make a one-row garter-stitch edging. Knit the first AND second rows of the swatch in garter stitch before continuing in stockinette stitch. When it’s time to bind off, bind off knitwise on a purl row.
3) Tie knots in the tail of your yarn to correspond with the needle size you used on the swatch. This will help you remember if you decide to try a few different needle-sizes.
4) Quickly block your swatch: stick it in a glass of water with a little soap for 10 minutes, then squeeze it out and lay it flat to dry. That way you can see how the yarn will really look in a finished garment.
Check Your Gauge And Write It On The Yarn Tag
Now, measure your gauge and jot it down on the yarn tag. This way, when you see a pattern you like, you can say to yourself, Yes, I have a yarn that would be perfect for this. And you’ll have the swatch to back it up.
Here’s my imperfect, tiny, quick, and totally adequate swatch of the above yarn. Easy!
- Care For Leftover Yarn: How To Hand-Wind A Center-Pull Ball or Bobbin
- Mattress Stitch: How To Invisibly Seam Knitting
If you liked this tutorial on how to knit a swatch, post in the comments!