I think that knitting a swatch for a new project is the worst part of the project for me. I recently purchased some Cotton Fleece Pink-a-Boo by Brown Sheep Company to make a vest from the Spring 2011 issue of Vogue Knitting. Since this is actually something that I hope to wear someday I figured that I better make a swatch so that I have at least somewhat of a chance that the vest will fit me when it’s finished.
The swatch is a 4″ x 4″ swatch knit in the pattern stitch. I measured the swatch when I was half way through it and the length was just right at 2″. However, when I measured the width is was just a little better than 3″. Now what? If I use smaller needles then the width will be fine but the length will be too short. The pattern stitch is only used on the front of the vest and the back of the vest is stockinette stitch. My mother suggested that I knit a swatch in stockinette stitch to see if I get the same gauge as what is on the yarn label. If I do, I will probably stick to the suggested needle size. If it’s not on gauge I will try the smaller needles.
It is so frustrating to have all of this new yarn just sitting in my bag waiting to turn into something on my needles and then my swatch does not come out right. I know that the swatch usually takes at least a couple of attemps and in the end it is so worth it when the garment then fits you. However, I just get too excited about my new yarn and I just want to start on the project.
So, now I am off to work on another swatch. Hopefully this one will work out better and I can start my project tomorrow night. If not, I will swatch again until I make one that works!
How about you? How do you feel about making a swatch before you start your project? Do you make a swatch or do you just take a chance? I would love to hear from you!