Swatching isn’t just about getting gauge

(Photo from Ravelry pattern page for Wedding Throw by Regina Fulton)

A few weeks ago, I pulled out my stash of Wool of the Andes worsted in Indigo Heather. I thought I would try either the Wedding Throw or the Pull Me Over top as a short-sleeved layering piece.

(Photo from Ravelry pattern page of Pull Me Over by Andrea Black)

Obviously, I was in a “purple” mood. I started swatching for the Pull Me Over top but it didn’t seem to be working for me. 

I decided that what I really wanted was to knit something to replace my rather scruffy airplane blanket. That idea got me inspired to knit up an entire Airplane Survival Kit. I swatched for a couple of the patterns I recommended in my blog entry but still no strong happy vibes.

(photo from Ravelry pattern page for Shaimani’s Blanket by Rosi Garmendia)

I went back to Ravelry and I couldn’t tell you how I stumbled across IDP designer Rosi Garmendia’s Shaimani’s Blanket but I fell in love the moment I saw it! There is absolutely no explanation for what appeals to each knitter.

I’ve been knitting like a crazy woman while listening to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

What is the point of this bit of rambling? Well, you know how I feel about swatching. It is absolutely essential to your finished item working out to the size you want when you are finished with your project. But, swatching isn’t just about getting gauge.

Swatching is also a way to learn about your yarn. You can imagine that I’m very familiar with Wool of the Andes since it is one of the original yarn lines we developed for Knit Picks. But, look at what happened once I pulled out my large pile of purple yarn. I moved from a vest, through designs I thought would be perfect for my airplane blanket and finally to a pattern I love but can’t remember how I found. Can you say, “rambling”?