It’s finally happened- I’ve used up all my buffer posts. Sure, I’ve been writing posts this summer from time to time, when I have a minute (or when the baby happens to have a really good nap), but this is the first one I’ve written that’s truly going out in the present! Which is good, really. It means that I can just write about what’s on my mind without worrying about the order that my posts are coming out in.
And I’d love to tell you all about what I’ve been doing…
But I can’t.
It’s the eternal knitwear designer/blogger problem. I’m all excited about my current projects, but I have to keep them under lock and key (or at least off the internet) until they’re published, well into next year.
I gotta say, though, it’s great to be getting back in the designing game. I took a decent-sized break around when the boy was born, but I’ve slowly been ramping up my freelance work in the last couple months. It’s great to be able to stretch my brain again in non-nursery-rhyme-related ways.
And while I can’t show you what’s currently on my needles, I can show you what was on my needles. My swatches.
Swatching gets a bad rap, and I get it. Sometimes I just want to get on to the project and get knitting. After all, that’s the whole point of knitting, right? Making sweaters and socks!
But when I’m designing, I kind of love making swatches. They’re fun little samples- I think of them like little sketchbook pages, but made with yarn.
I used to rip out my swatches once I had determined my gauge, so I wouldn’t
“waste” that yarn on the swatch. (I’m nothing if not frugal.) But over the last few years, I’ve been keeping them. The ones I’m particularly fond of are pinned up on cork boards in my studio, and the rest live, stacked up in my closet. Sometimes I like to go back through them, to see if there are any ideas in there that I should bring out again.
And recently, I’ve added something to my swatches that I think will come in handy down the line. On the backs, I’ve been stapling a little tag with the yarn, needle size, and gauge. So, in theory, the next time I want to make something with Cascade 220 Superwash, I might already have the swatch all finished and ready to go.
Do you keep your swatches? What do you do with them?