I’ll just use the needle size the designer recommends – it’ll be fine. The truth is that the designer only tells you what size he or she, or other knitters used to get the gauge in that pattern with that yarn. You may knit very differently than the designer or the test knitters, so you always have to swatch.
My swatch is too big -- I’ll just fix that when I block it. There are a lot of ways you can manipulate your fabric when you block it, but making it smaller is not one of them. Bigger, yes. Smaller? No.continue
My father, God rest his soul, was not a fan of big words. Although he was a linguist and had an expansive vocabulary, he believed that communication should be clear and direct. My maternal grandmother, however, did not. One fidgety afternoon as the chair seat itched my sweaty little legs, I reached for a fourth golden butterscotch. “No more candy, Ellen,” Daddy said, “Sugar rots your teeth.” Grandma’s face looked like she’d bitten a lemon. “Rot is such a vulgar word,” she announced.
Laughing, he quickly rephrased, “No more candy, Ellen. Sugar has a deleteriousmore
At the shop, I say “You’ll have to swatch it and see,“ at least fifty times a day. That guidance is always met with a groan or at least a heavy sigh. Knitters hate to swatch. I get it. We want get started NOW, because the project is going to take a while, and swatching feels like a waste of precious knitting time.
Casting on a big project without swatching is like marrying someone we met at the bar last night. It might work out great, but maybe not, and it could be a while before we figure out that it was a horrible mistake. By then, we’ve already invested so much time and energy that we’re tempted to just soldier on and hope it gets better and turns out okay. It doesn’t. As painful as it is, just cut your losses and head to the frog pond – Rip it, rip it, rip it.
Love it or hate it, swatching is important, and here are five things more
Before Covid, I used to go to quite a few networking events – you know, graying men in blue suits drinking cheap red wine from plastic tumblers. They’re all in a group laughing about something. All the big important businesses and all the big important people, with all the important titles. Eventually one of them notice the blond woman in the sweater looking at her wine glass and wishing she hadn’t come. It goes like this:
“So, what do you do, young lady?” he asks.
“I own a yarn store, Crazy for Ewe, in downtown Leonardtown,” I tell him.
If this were a cartoon strip, you would see the thought bubble above his head fill with