Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Is a Swatch Really Needed?

Yes! Absolutely! I didn't use to believe in the whole concept of having to knit up a swatch before you start a project, but learned the hard way after many mistakes. I am starting another Greenwood Cable Vest with some super soft alpaca yarn that I picked up on Black Friday this year. And of course, I did a little swatch and realized that my gauge was off by just 1/2"; I got 5 stitches per inch vs. 4.5 stitches per inch. My entire vest would have been off by 4.5"! Given this vest is for my mom so I called her and said "Mom, is it okay for your vest to be smaller than usual?" (Note: I have made her one before). My mom said "No, absolutely not. Please use your brain, do some math, and make sure it will fit me!" So I reluctantly did some math and decided to add 10 stitches to the pattern... See! Doing a swatch does make a BIG difference!

This project really looks amazing. I have not taken good pictures of them, but will so you can admire them with me :)


Marisa said...

I always make one but I'm not sure if helps me make garments fit. I still end up with strange sized results. Maybe I should stick to quilting?? ;)

Maryse said...

I'd say measure it often. That's what I never do! Comparing it to a garnment you know fits well is a good trick I think. I now do my swatches to decide on needle size. It works, but it's also important to try it on and measure it often because no one is the same size!

Your biggest fan ;-)

Susan said...

Yes! I completely agree with "measure it often"! So I kept knitting and knitting... then realized I was 4.5" over!!! Ah.. the pain of ripping it out (or frog it) was so devastating! I guess it's: measure it often, try it, and don't forget to read the pattern stupid me!