This is why you swatch

Sometimes your yarn-picking instincts fail you.

My official Christmas Jumper ™ is nearing completion. It is currently my only knitting project. That hasn’t happened in a while and it’s making my fingers twitchy. I hold myself to a strict limit of no more than 3 projects on the go at once, because if I didn’t, I would be leaving a trail of unfinished garments in my wake like some knitting catastrophe fairy. The result of this is that I am always thinking at least 5 jumpers ahead. I can tell you what I’ll be knitting in 2013. That isn’t a joke. I have a year planner. I also have slow workdays sometimes.

Anyway the point of all this is, I have started swatching for next year’s projects. Way back in June I went to Knit Nation and bought many, many yarns (there are some that might say I bought too much, to which I say: “HOW DARE YOU QUESTION ME”). I dutifully put those yarns aside whilst knitting through my older purchases and now it’s their time to hit the needles. The swatching has had mixed results!

Here are some good swatches:

Excelana 4-ply swatchExcelana 4-ply; sproingy; soft; perfect for ribbing

Krafty Koala Waitomo DK

Krafty Koala Waitomo DK; drapey; gorgeous; perfect for a tee

Here is a disappointing swatch:

Old Maiden Aunt swatch

Old Maiden Aunt alpaca/silk/cashmere laceweight.

“But why is that disappointing?” you might ask. “It’s all ethereal and soft and made of cloudstuff! It was probably spun by cherubs or something!”.

Because gosh dang it, it’s not fit for purpose. I was intending to make the Blouse with Gathered Neckline from A Stitch in Time Vol. 2.

A Stitch In Time Vol.2

It calls for a laceweight that has 1200yds/100g. The OMA yarn has 1300yds/100g and that makes all the difference. I was so looking forward to knitting this up, but when I’d finished all I could see were problems!

The fabric is:

A) too fluffy

B) too sheer

C) too small a gauge even at that sheerness

D) barely showing that stitch pattern

Booooo hiss argh etc.

That, in conclusion, is another reason to swatch. Better to be disappointed by a 4″x4″ square than several inches of incredibly fine gauge blouse don’t you think?

I shall leave on a happy note:

Garnstudio has a 25% discount on all their DROPS alpaca yarns until the end of December! You have room for more Christmas presents don’t you? I have already scored me some discount aran yarn, go get some!

DROPS Alpaca Party


Filed under Ramblings

2 responses to “This is why you swatch

  1. Aww, it;s a shame about the Maiden..that’s such an amazing pattern. I’ve been meaning to knit something from that book, but the really fiddly fine gauge ones are both tempting and evilly time -consuming, XD.

    *peers with interest at DROPS sale….*

    • I guess it just means I’ll have to buy even more awesome lace yarn. What a terrible shame!

      P.s I got my Drops Nepal order in the post yesterday and it is lush! It is indeed a very interesting sale…

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