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Show Me The Swatches!

17 July 2008
tags: ,

This is a cross-post from Knit-A-Gogo.

CPH SwatchDearest DC-CPHers,

It is I, your guest blogger. I can generally be found here, but be aware we just migrated to wordpress so are in some ways still under construction. Danielle and I got to know each other when I was looking for A Very Particular Yarn and she had it. We met up and she sold me the yarn out of her car. Ah, the illicit feeling of paying cash for yarn in a parking lot. What’s not to love? Some of you met me at the Mother’s Day retreat, where I was one of the teachers.

I’ve been knitting, off and on, since I was 15. Some years I’m better at it than others. My first project was a scarf that I brought with me on a two-week car tour of the lake country in Scotland. Because my mother was driving and knitting was a good distraction, said scarf wound up looking an awful lot like that worn by the Fourth Doctor (ravelry link). You can tell I bring enthusiasm to knitting, but not always common sense.

For example, when I knit a sweater, I dive in feet first and then discover I’ve made some grievous error. Then I

  • 1. try to figure out a solution, while
  • 2. deciding that the pattern is stupid anyway, and
  • 3. suddenly remember all of the other patterns I would rather knit.
  • If I’m not careful I might find myself swatching for another sweater while glaring at the ribbing of the first, still pitifully small on the needles.

    One of these swatches is missing.All of which is to say that I found myself with a small problem on the CPH. Due to unusual circumstances, I knit three swatches for this sweater, on US8/US7/US6 needles, telling myself they would be an excellent illustration of what to look for in swatching (but really just amusing myself). When I blocked them, I didn’t label them, because they were very obviously small (6), medium (7), and large (8).

    Then I lost one of the swatches and couldn’t tell whether I was left with small and medium, medium and large, or small and large. [This is textbook, I have to tell you. Even after almost 20 years of knitting I seem to be an idiot.] It was like one of those awful GRE logic problems. Sadder still, one of the remaining swatches was the correct gauge—but there was no way of knowing which needles I’d used.

    It was around this time I found myself wondering whether I could use some stash yarn for Rogue (rav lnk), Eastlake (rav lnk), or even just a nice log cabin blanket (rav lnk). I was halfway to my LYS when I remembered that I had to write this guest blog.

    So I will persist. I have knit up two more swatches, in US7 and US8, and am blocking them right now. Meanwhile, you all need to show me your swatches! Post some photos on your blog or in Flickr and send me the links in the comments section. Any problems, pop those into the comments as well. We’ll chat about measuring a gauge swatch tomorrow.


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