When I first started knitting, every stitch was so slow and ponderous, and making a swatch seemed like wasted time I could be using starting the project (which was going to take me forever anyway). I’d make tiny swatches to guess and check and hope for the best, or no swatch at all and check my gauge as I went.
Designing shawls had made me love swatching. It doesn’t hurt that after several years of knitting, I’m a lot faster. Now I can whip out a good sized swatch in 20-40 minutes in fingering yarn. Swatching is like doodling. I’ve read other people say that but I never understood it until I started swatching in the context of design. Swatching to match an existing pattern seems like work, swatching to answer a “what if….?” question is just fun.
I’ve started keeping the swatches with my notes or charts in a binder. These are some of the swatches from my Spring Chill Shawl. The ones on the right are me trying to figure out how close I should space the floral motif at the bottom of the shawl. On the left are patterns I tested out for the project.
Here’s one from the Vefr Shawl that didn’t get used in the final design, but I really like it and want to use it eventually.
So now I’m wondering, are all those people who love swatching designers?