Thursday, September 8, 2011

Swatch Abuse

I really thought that the first item I knit from Little Red in the City would be a Cria cardigan, but I weighed the yarn I was intending to use and now I don't think there's enough there for a Cria. So instead, I decided that the perfect back-to-school project would be a sweater vest. Because nothing says "authority in the classroom" like a knitted vest on top of a crisp white button-down shirt. I dug up some old Cascade 220 in a beautiful heathered teal-blue that reminds me of mallard ducks, and got to swatching for Angostura.


Now, I don't really enjoy swatching. Ysolda waxes poetic about swatching, and how much she loves the experimental and quick nature of swatching as a designer. Reading this paragraph has kind of convinced me that I'll never design a sweater. But I took to heart her suggestion that for a garment like a vest, sweater, or cardigan, it's worth the few hours of swatching to make sure you get the right size at the end. In my mind, it's now very simple: swatching is necessary if I want a realistic idea of my gauge. I cannot will a sweater to fit properly, nor do I have a mystical psychic understanding of how every single yarn will knit up on every single needle size. Also, just because I like the feel of US size 6's does not mean I can knit with that size for every garment.


I was even a very good knitter, and blocked my swatches. I made four (although only three are pictured here), one each on US size 7, 6, 5, and 4. The size 4 swatch was definitely too small, and the size 7 was too large. While I was fretting over whether to use size 5 or 6 needles, I decided I might as well take some photos of the swatches. And this started to happen.

Swatch Abuse

Eventually, it turned ugly. I'd forgotten how much the smell of wet wool (apparently) drives the cat bonkers.

Swatch Abuse

Look familiar?

Cat on Scarf

He kept going for the smallest swatch, eventually giving it the rabbit/disembowel feet kicks.

Swatch Abuse

So, you hear that swatches? I did everything I was supposed to do. I washed you and dried you and measured you. If you lie to me, I'll let him loose. And he has no sense of mercy.

Swatch Abuse

Oh, and I ended up going with the size 5's.

Angostura Progress


voip services said...

the cat is interesting

wildtomato said...

That sweater is going to be so beautiful!

My cats go nuts over the smell of wet wool, too. I usually sick the dogs on them if they try to mess with my drying sweaters. ;)

Fajri 'Arjuna' said...