Why Swatch?

Downton Abbey KAL swatch

Downton Abbey KAL swatch

I never used to swatch. But after a few knitting disasters, I’ve decided that it’s the new “must happen” in knitting.

My last post was about the trouble I was having with the Turkish Bed Socks pattern. The first time I knit them up, with the suggested yarn and needles, they turned out too large and slip off my heel. (I have to admit to making the foot longer because my feet are not – NOT – eight inches long.) The second time I used a lighter-weight fingering yarn and smaller needles. They looked adorable but they were way (WAY!) too small. I frogged them.

Did I ever tell you about my “boyfriend” sweater? I bought this beautiful bulky tweedy black yarn and knit the sweater. I actually did swatch this one and everything was working up just right – according to the directions. Perfect. Except that I was knitting the wrong size! So, even when you do swatch, you’re not guaranteed perfect fit but it sure will get you close. Next time, measure the boyfriend before knitting an entire sweater! (I’ll be frogging the sweater this summer in Maine. The lake-side frogging will help with my dismay!)

So, back to Turkish Bed socks – version three is on the needles. I’m using the Cooked Lobster colorway handspun that I bought this summer in Maine. I had to go up a needle size to get gauge so I’m knitting on a US #4 using magic loop (I really don’t like knitting with DPNs any more!)

I knitted three swatches for these socks. One on a smaller needle, one on the pattern sized needles and then finally settling on one size up. The only way I’m going to skip the swatch step from this day forward, is if I’m knitting a felted bag! Or something where the size is irrelevant – like …

I just joined to knit in the round … wish me luck!

Gone knitting!

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