I don’t know if you know that I’m a pretty big proponent of swatching, but I am. I understand the need to get to know a yarn before you use it, enjoy the time playing with a stitch pattern or colorwork design before the finality of the full project, and I know as a designer that I just need to know what my gauge is rather than setting out with a guess of how many stitches I need.
(I will say, however, that I don’t just swatch for swatching’s sake. I’m willing to take a gamble on something like a scarf, just guessing at what needle size and number of stitches will give me the gauge and the width I want. I did this last night, in fact.)
Clara Parkes is a swatcher. I mean, it’s a big part of her job at Knitter’s Review to test yarns, and that means swatching and then trying to mess up the swatch through wear.
But she appreciates swatching for its own sake as well, as a form of meditation and a time to listen to the yarn, see what it can do and figure out what it wants to be.
She set out her feelings on swatching in what she calls the Swatcher’s Manifesto, and if you’re not a swatcher you should read it and see what the fuss is all about. If you are a swatcher you should read it, too. It’s OK to feel a little superior.
Are you a swatcher? Why or why not? I’d love to know!
By Sarah White