Friday, September 17, 2010

The Joy of Swatching

I think I can now say this. I have finally discovered the joy of swatching. Seriously.

It started back in April at Sock Camp. My class from Anne Hanson on sock designing was filled with fabulous information and inspiration, but what I appreciated most was this.


From the tiny cute project bag emerged some of her swatches.


And more of her swatches. I think it was at this point, when she had so many out, each filled with different information about gauge, pattern, texture, fabric, that I thought, "Shit. I have no idea what I'm doing with this designing thing. I might need to step it up a bit." I feared she would forever remember me as the person who never swatched (I've swatched, just you know, never like this). Hearing her discuss her design process and the role of swatching inspired me to start doing it A LOT more.

So when I received my two gorgeous skeins of Creamy last week from Kollage, well, I got to work.


Here's just 3 of my blocked swatches. There were 5 total! Of course, the fact that the Creamy yarn has a shine and drape that I just love, made it a bit easier to start each new swatch until I got it just about right. And not only did I figure out my design, but about three other design ideas worked themselves out in the process. The first three didn't work out, but the last two did.

Now I'm working on this.



After dinner tonight here, I'm hoping to knit a lot more on this!

Happy Friday!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

P.S. Ravelry has a new promotions features and I'm trying it out with offering 20% off my Dotty, Courage, Sweet Home, and Uncle Frank patterns here! Sale will run through Sunday night!


dianne said...

That is pure loveliness! Your swatches are neat to look at too. I like the bottom left one best :-)

Rani said...

That color is just divine.

regarding swatches. Here is my problem. To swatch for socks, I have to swatch in the round because my gauge from knitting back and forth (you know, knit a row, purl back) versus knitting in the round (all knit) is different! Gah! So I can't really get an accurate gauge unless I just start the damn sock. Totally sucks. I can't tell you how many times I rip out a sock after several inches.

But I can't deny: One must swatch.

Zonda said...

ooh that Creamy looks lucious! Swatching, no fun for anyone I don't think ;) So, is the new knit your pattern?

Scrabblequeen said...

I'm mostly still in the denial stage re swatching. I DID swatch for my current sweater, and I'm glad I did, but for socks and scarves? I'm still not there yet. YOU go girl!

Mya said...

Love that pattern! Can't wait to see what it will be!

laura said...

i can't wait to see what that pattern would be either!

i have one of those huge ziploc bags full of swatch patterns. i really out know...LABEL them with its proper information. teehee

Discoknits said...

Love the top swatch. Reminds me of a peacock feather (the eye part).

I agree with Rani, may aswell start the sock as swatch.

Hope NOLA is being good to you :0)

Jen said...

I just knit and blacked a swatch yesterday. I never blocked a swatch before. Now I am all in love with the swatch. I totally am starting to see the fun in it too!

Deborah said...

I too have discovered the awesomeness of a swatch!

Erica said...

Your Creamy is swatching up nicely! What's it going to be? What's it going to be? Can't wait!

Bobbie in AK said...

Just commenting now, Carrie. I love the swatch you have come up with. I have to admit that I don't like to swatch and I still hate to swatch to get gauge. It was only after I decided to try lace that a friend suggested doing pattern swatches. I totally understood knitting a small sample of repeats to make sure my yarn would work and that I could follow the pattern. I save the pretty ones and tear-out the others. I probably should be a good knitter and save them all.

tapmouse said...

Absolutely beautiful swatches!