Swatching is not an entirely new concept for me, but I'll admit I'm not as good at remembering to do it as I should be. I'm in the final stages of designing my collection for this year at the moment, and I want at least a few pieces to be designed and planned properly, swatches included!
I'm experimenting with a new stitch pattern at the moment, and a new yarn, Patons Shadow Tweed. I searched what feels like all of London for a reddy brown chunky yarn to no avail, until a trip to John Lewis brought this to me. Normally I'd avoid something 44% synthetic, not least because I'll still probably overdye this, but it fits the bill for what I was after very well.
The top left swatch was knitted on 6mm needles, the top right one on 5.5mm needles, and the bottom one on 5mm needles. The ball band recommends 6.5mm needles, but I knew I wanted a stiffer fabric. In the end I decided that I liked the 5.5mm swatch the most, the stitch definition was still clear, but the fabric had gained some of the rigitity that I wanted.
I then proceeded to do the maths.
Considering "doing the maths" makes up the majority of what I do for a living, you think I'd be pretty good at it. Turns out I'm not so good, although I did get there in the end! How anyone manages to do knitwear design without a good grasp of geometry and algebra is suddenly beyond me. Now that the maths is done, and the pattern is written in advance, the knitting has begun, and on 5.5mm needles, is coming along very nicely!
In other news, something is blocking.....