My Test Swatch - Mulespun Bulky Cardigan 03-06-23 01

Test Swatch

I don’t do gauge swatches. Sometimes I check my gauge, but it’s more than that with a test swatch.

Difference Between a Test Swatch and a Gauge Swatch

If I’m following someone else’s pattern and the size of the garment is important, I will check my gauge. But usually, I do that with some part of the actual garment.

For me, the start of a sleeve is a swatch.

Usually, I’m not following someone else’s pattern. Or if I am, the gauge isn’t important (as for a scarf or shawl).

For me, I want to make sure of a few things.

  • The drape of the fabric is appropriate to the garment
  • Color pooling/striping is okay with hand-painted/self-striping/variegated yarn
  • I enjoy working with the yarn and needles
  • And yes…gauge is accurate (if it’s important)

For the all the knitting police out there who insist that a gauge swatch be made, I say no. Instead, stress the importance of a test-knit of the fabric. Make it a more all-encompassing use of trying out your yarn.

New Sweater Project

Interestingly, some of you may remember that yarn in the featured photo. It’s a bulky mulespun yarn that I tried using to make a shaker-rib cardigan that ended in disaster.

A project for which I DIDN’T do a gauge swatch.

Did I do one for the new version of the sweater? No, but I do consider the beginning of the sleeve to be a test-swatch. And I will use it to calculate gauge as I design this new cardigan on-the-needles.

I know…I’m living on the edge here.

Current Knitting/Crochet

In addition to just starting a new cardigan project, I also finished the last pair of Rose’s Fingerless Mitts using my handspun.

Roses Fingerless Mitts 03-06-23 01

Five pairs of mitt from that ball of handspun yarn. I’ll now block them, match them up into five pairs where the colors match and package them for sale.

I also decided to start a new Crochet Thermal Stitch Beanie using a cotton/polyester blend yarn (87%/13%) from Lana Grossa called Meilenweit.

I wanted to see how cotton yarn would work with one of these hats. I’m not a fan of this colorway (1002 in case you care). But I am fascinated that this stitch looks very different on each side.

Shockingly, these photos show the front and back of the same fabric. Crochet thermal stitch is almost like double-knitting with it comes to having a very different look on a reversible fabric.

3 comments on “Test Swatch

  1. I’ll be very interested to see/purchase the cardigan pattern when it comes into being. Please stick with it, Joe, because you know how rare we guys get to knit patterns that will look good on us, especially if we want a good bit of positive ease when we’re not at our youthful size.

  2. I made a cute baby hat from your thermal pattern. It had 2 one-row stripes and I was surprised that the stripes don’t show on the other side! I washed and blocked the hat, and it took 2 more days to dry than the regular double-crochet hats. So squishy! I want one for myself now. Thank you.

    1. Be careful! These hats can be addictive!! I didn’t know a single color round didn’t show up in both sides!!! I should have realized it, but I didn’t. Thanks.

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