Would You Photocopy Your Swatches?

photocopied swatchA funny thing has been happening in the knitting world of Facebook today.

It all started with WEBS, the fabulous yarn store, publishing a tip on its blog about photocopying swatches onto graph paper. The idea is that you can knit a swatch, copy it onto graph paper (so you can see at a glance how many rows and stitches per inch you’re getting), then you have that as a reference should you want to knit with that particular yarn again, or if you’re swatching before you have a pattern in mind, you’ll know what gauge you got when you find a pattern that might suit the yarn.

This seems like a great idea if you want to be able to unravel your yarn after you’ve finished swatching, or if, like me, you can never seem to find a swatch again after the initial making and measuring.

But apparently some people didn’t get what was so great about this idea, so much so that the Knitting Fever blog posted a response to the WEBS blog to offer more detail to its Facebook followers who didn’t understand the tip. This post expands on the value of swatching in general and offers more ideas on how photocopying swatches might be helpful, including having a more portable record of your knitting experience than a journal with swatches provides and being able to swatch a yarn you love, take notes and take them to the yarn store with you when you’re seeking out a pattern so you don’t have to take the whole skein with you.

In that case, though, I’d try to either make a color copy or attach a length of the yarn to the printout so you’d have a clear idea of what colors you’re thinking of working with.

In addition to these ideas, I think having a swatch printed on graph paper would be a cool way to chart out your colorwork because instead of working on a plain grid you could color in actual stitches so you’d know pretty much exactly how your finished project will look even before you knit it.

What do you think? Could photocopying swatches be helpful? Do you keep your swatches, and if so, what do you do with them? Spill it!

[Photo by WEBS.]


  1. Jessie says

    I like the idea. I rip my swatches once I’m done because I usually need the yarn for the project, but a few times, I really needed to refer to the swatch and didn’t have it. I love the idea that you could use it to refer back for future projects.

  2. says

    Thanks! It just seems like color would be important on something like this, particularly if you decided you wanted to do something with a stripe or Fair Isle and needed to buy another color…

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