Monday, September 6, 2010

Swatch Series - Introduction

Feelings about swatching tends to be a rather polar topic... if you know what it is at all. The goal for this series is to define and explain what a "swatch" is and all the ways it can make your yarn crafting better... and more fun. Yes. I said, FUN. Most think of swatching as a chore to be avoided at all costs. It "wastes" time and yarn," the naysayers proclaim. Even though few things are less true, some make adamant declarations that it is better left undone and you'll be just fine if you give this advice a pass. It is my intention to encourage you to consider an opposing opinion. Some have learned just how valuable swatches are... even when they aren't actually working on a project. (huh?) It is my goal to place you firmly into this category by the end of this series. Set your misgivings, (or disdain), about swatching aside and give me an open-minded hearing? At least consider the varied uses for swatching and try some of them, sooner rather than later? After the Swatching Series is complete, we'll explore other ways to play with yarn and needles and test out new stitch patterns. Whether you prefer to knit or crochet, swatching is an important part of the creative process. Done properly and completely, it can save time and material... not to mention frustration and grief. This is just a teaser of things to come. I'm not entirely certain just yet how many segments this series will have, as my goal is to keep each segment to a reasonable length, but it appears right now that there will be at least four in the core series. To assist in making this series as useful as possible, I'd love feedback regarding the following questions: What are your feelings about knitting or crocheting swatches? Do you usually make gauge swatches before beginning a project? What issues have you had because you did or did not swatch before starting a project? Are there other uses for swatches that you've discovered? What case would you make against swatching before beginning a new project? Do you have any other thoughts or misgivings about swatching? Can you make a good case for swatching? Do you have any "I should have swatched first" stories you'd like to share? Joy in the journey! Elianastar
Additional comments viewable @ "To swatch or not to swatch..." at the Knit Picks Community, or @ "To swatch or not to swatch..." at the Knit Picks Lovers Group on Ravelry if you are a member of Ravelry. (Both are free Communities)

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