Swatches are NOT for babies

Yesterday’s trip wiped me out when combined with three hours at the beach today.  All I got done was a swatch for the project I’ll introduce tomorrow.

And then, I came home to find that my knitting needle was fractured.  Kids!  It was a souvenir needle from a trip to Virginia a few years ago, so I’m sad, but the kids have only broken two needles over the years, so it’s all good in the end.

Swatching….it’s still a tiny bit of a mystery to me.  My problem is that my English degrees betray me when I try formulating the math.  If my stitches are a little bit more than the pattern, do I go up in needle size or down?  I tend to be a tighter knitter, so I typically go up a needle size.  And then there’s the problem that my shoulders are a small size while my waist leans toward the large size, which throws off pattern adjustments both in knitting and sewing.

Yesterday, I briefly perused Little Red in the City by Ysolda Teague, and it looks chock full of tips to help in getting the pattern right.  I think I’ll interlibrary loan it to see if I want it full-time.  Guessing probably.


About lionsdaughter

I like to make things, lots of things, but not all things. I love to sew, knit, embroider, take pictures, scrapbook, dye fibers, work clay in the summer, garden. I want to try weaving, spinning, and stain glass work. I have no interest in auto body, upholstery, or tanning (either working animal skin or purposefully darkening my own).
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6 Responses to Swatches are NOT for babies

  1. Ria says:

    Having wonky bosy proportions is one of the big reasons that I’ve never knit anything like a sweater before. I tend to stick with accessories, like scarves or shawls, rather than things that have to be adjusted like crazy in fifteen different areas just to fit my properly. It’s not worth the hassle! 🙂

  2. I agree with you that swatches are not for babies. I tend to be a tight knitter too and when I have more than what’s stated on the yarn label, I either use a bigger sized needle or drop some stitches on my cast-on.

    • Oh! Good idea to drop some stitches. I was ONE stitch over the recommended stitches per the gauge on this pattern. How do you know how many to drop?

      • Swatches are usually 10cm x 10cm (4″ x 4″) so I’d measure up to the 10cm mark on my cast-on row, count how many extras I have, say for example 2 extras, then on my next cast-on I’ll just do recommended minus 2. It makes me feel like I’m cheating but it does two things for me: 1) enables me to stick to the recommended needle size, and 2) makes me feel good that I can do a 4″ x 4″ swatch. Haha!

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