I have always had mixed feelings on swatches, especially when need one just to figure out my gauge. They take time to work up, when what I really want to do is jump straight into the sweater-knitting. And, they use up precious, precious, yarn that could be used in the aforementioned sweater. And, of course, I hate waste, and there is nothing as wasteful as a dumb swatch sitting at the bottom of a bin in my craft room. Nothing. (Don’t try to tell me about rainforest deforestation, or the overuse of paper towels, or the oil industry. Swatches are more wasteful.)
Well, friends, that all changed a few weeks ago, when I was doing my bi-monthly rummage through my knitting supplies, and I realized I had acquired a sizable stash of some pretty cool swatches.
And I found some twine and clothespins.
I had no choice, really. I had to make a swatch display on the back of a closet door.
Cool, right? I plan on adding more and more swatches as I collect them. It’s really fun to see all of my ideas from the last six months laid out like that. Some of the swatches are projects I designed (see Grandma’s Sweater and the Sailor Jane Scarf in there?). Some are ideas that I ended up not using. And some are simple gauge swatches that I used for projects I made from other peoples’ patterns (there’s one for my Persistence is Key Sweater).
I might come up with a more permanent way to display my knitting ideas (frames maybe, or embroidery hoops?), but for now, I love the flexibility that my little “clothes line” gives me. I can add to it easily, move things around, and if I need to take a swatch down to look at some detail, I can do it, no problem. I love having my knitted “idea book” up on my wall.
What do you do with swatches? Do you keep them, or do you unravel them?