I double checked and the knitting police are not sitting in their knitting police squad cars at the end of the driveway, or anywhere on my street. (I had one of the Pokemon players check the next street over too while they were out and there is no sign of them anywhere.) Which is a good thing, because today we are going to talk about swatching.
I will be a good little knitter/designer and tell you that you should swatch! We all know that many swatches lie, and many knitters will push and shove stitches around to make the swatch come out "right" so that they can start in on their project. Only to suffer the disappointments of a badly fitting finished item. But, making a swatch at least increases your chances of having a finished item that matches your expectations.
The knitting police (if they were to exist) would tell you to swatch each and every time you start a project. And I will tell you that sometimes YES you need to swatch, or at least keep a very close eye on your gauge when you are knitting. Not only for fit issues, but to make sure you do not run out of yarn half way through the bind off of that shawl.*
But do I swatch every time I knit something?
A shawl is a shawl, be it bigger or smaller than the designer intended.
A scarf is a scarf, or at worst can either be an entry into the Dr Who Hall of Fame or seamed to make a cowl.
But...that said, I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time swatching.
Swatching stitch patterns.
Swatching endings or beginnings.
Swatching increases and decreases.
Sometimes the swatch becomes a project in it's own right, when TDQ grabs a button and says...make this be a necklace thing.
Yep, that was the swatch for an upcoming design.
Of course, sometimes the swatches take on a life of their own and BECOME the finished design because I just don't know when to stop.
Did you check out the Preview Page for Knotions? Can you spot which pattern might be mine? (Or, if you follow Knotions on Instagram or Facebook it was already shared which one.) That was a swatch that got just a little bit out of hand. :) And a good reason to swatch, this is how much yarn I had left at the end.
*Truth here, I very nearly had to rip out the cast off and one more row from a shawl because of that. If you cannot or will not swatch, at least double check you have enough yarn for the bind off, I know people who didn't and had to scrabble for a "close enough" match to do the bind off.