I love swatching. I know...I'm a freak... but hear me out. Of course i swatch for guage, but that makes it sound so dull. I swatch to experiment with stitches, new yarns, and color combinations. I swatch when i can't think of what i want to do next. I swatch when I just want to have non-committal knitting in my hands.
Here is a recent example: I was asked by a friend to shorten a store brought sweater. When I started to unravel the bottom, I discovered that the ribbing was very strange. I had to unravel two rows at a time!?! I did a little searching around and learned that the stitch is called Brioche or Prime Rib (tastey sounding isn't it!) Excited, I swatched it in the same yarn I had just unravelled, verifying that it was indeed the correct stitch. I also found several variations in The Big Book of Knitting, which calles it Shaker Knitting. I tried it with different yarns, of varying weights and color.
I save these because they can sometimes provide inspiration or reminders about what works where.
When I'm ready to start a project, thats when i swatch for guage. These I usually unravel, as the project itself will be a big enought swatch for future reference. Also I tend to write down the guage of projects I start, as I often have to recalculate for my measurements or check if I have enough yarn. (I learned that lesson the hard way, having run out of yarn and never finding the right dye lot again)
So swatch for fun, play around with new stitches, colors and textures. Cheers!
3 days ago