Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Shall We Swatch?

I have fallen in love with knitting lace swatches.

And I am just beginning my collection. 
Here are two:

The photo above is a swatch knitted with
Rowan Kidsilk Haze yarn
(of course),
US 7 Chiaogoo needles
(of course),
using a purchased pattern named “Orchid”.

And this is the beginning of a traditional lace pattern 
called “Horseshoe”.  

And here it is finished:

Book author and writer of the online Knitter’s Review,
 Clara Parkes, says that she has been knitting swatches
daily for years. Just because.

You see, most knitters knit a swatch
 (a small sample of their pattern),
 as a test of how their yarn knits up with their chosen needles.

This is so they can measure its “gauge”,
how many stitches per inch they get,
to ensure the knitted item fits.

It is usually viewed as a necessary evil, a drag,
and is a very often skipped step.

But I don’t knit things that have to fit. 
(Isn’t that an unexpected blessing?)  J !! 

I knit lace scarves and shawls. 
And I love trying out new lace stitches. 

So I don’t knit swatches to get gauge. 
I like to knit up samples of different lace patterns
to see how they look before I commit to a whole scarf or shawl. 

I like to knit swatches when I just want to try out a pattern a little
and see if I like or enjoy knitting it.

...Take it out for a little test drive.  (!!)

It’s also just plain fun!!  J

And I have decided to knit them
using my beloved Rowan Kidsilk Haze yarn.

That way my knitted swatch will show me exactly
how a pattern will look when using this yarn and those needles.

Plus, there’s no long-term commitment or expense
 like you would have with a blanket, shawl, or even a scarf. 

To me, these little handkerchief-sized swatches are probably
the closest one can get to instant gratification
in the lace-knitting world.

I think I would love to knit several
in all sorts of different hues of pink and grey and violet.

To quote an artist friend of mine: 
“Never say purple to a color theorist.  It’s violet.” 

And there are so many gorgeous colors to choose from,
how could you go wrong??

Lucky Dog


  1. How lovely your knitted lace swatches are! So delicate looking and beautiful! xo

    1. Thank you! I hope you are still creating your lovelies! XOXO