Friday, December 31, 2010

Swatching and ideas...

So last night I couldn't sleep. I spent a crazy amount of time before bed looking at information on blocking and that got me to thinking on swatching.
One of the articles I had stumbled upon after reading through TKGA Forum on Ravelry was this one - called " The Swatcher's Manifesto".
This got me to some thinking. When I knit socks, I get hit or miss results. This is because, I never think to swatch for socks!
Now, swatching has been given a bad name. Not many will admit to liking to swatch, and even less actually take the time to wash and finish the swatch to see how the yarn really reacts.
But I have grown very tired of misfitting socks, sweaters, tops and other items.
Now, to get a true reading from the swatch itself, you need to actually not knit one but two swatches. One is washed and finished as it would be during use, the other is a control swatch.
Some people advocate only swatching in plain stockinette, but I tend to go with the other opinion and do a pattern repeat, as yarn will react differently in different patterns.

This year I intend to do the 12 socks in 12 mos.
My plan is to use 12 different patterns for these.

Which means, I need to do 24 different swatches at least. Also, taking into account that knitting in the round gives a different tension than flat knitting does, how do I make the time involved in this count?

So, I have devised a plan.

I will find my bag of leftover sock yarn, and shall use it to do the cuffs for 2 socks. I will then use each as a place to swatch the pattern and yarn for the 12 pairs. One will be washed, the other will be a control.
Once the normal length for my socks is reached, I shall do the heel and foot for them in another yarn. If I am figuring this correctly, I should have about 1-2 inches for each pattern repeat. So I will have a few extra pairs thrown in and will also have a great way to see how the yarn reacts.

Any suggestions or comments about the plan?

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