Wednesday, January 11, 2006

swatching away

I'm swatching.

For non-knitters, that means making a test run of your pattern to check and see if you as a knitter are getting the stitches the same size as the pattern writer.

I don't swatch often. I haven't made too many things that were dependent on my gauge. A dishcloth here, a scarf there. But sweaters require swatches.

I'm also not very good at following directions. I'm better than I used to be--nothing like going through the ordination process to realize that half the battle is showing up and following directions.

So learning to follow somebody else's lead is a good spiritual discipline for me. (Which is why I've gotten back on the Flylady wagon and am trying to just turn my brain off and follow directions. Because the stewardship of the household doesn't go so well when I try to figure it out myself.)

So I'm swatching. I'm immersed in the Follow the Leader Aran Knitalong (FLAK) which I stumbled onto when I signed up for the Aranknit Yahoo group. I have learned to tighten up my moss stitch (not to mention actually READ the ACTUAL directions--that cleared up some of my gauge problems right there.)

Part of spiritual maturity, I think, is learning when to think for yourself, and when get some help. When to leap in with both feet, and when to swatch.

For now, I'm swatching.


At 7:52 PM, Blogger Kay said...

Your post tonight really rings home with me. I just finished my "homework" for guild. I know me well enough to know that if I didn't do it tonight, it wouldn't get done. Check that flylady site and see if she covers how to get cats to dust. I'm sure I saw something like that on her site. :-)

At 7:53 PM, Blogger Emily said...

It was also a real act of trust to let Margaret check my gauge and watch me knit. We figured out I needed to tighten up when switching between the knit stitch and the purl stitch.

Voila. Gauge problem solved.

Wilbur would make a good dust mop. He's very fluffy.

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Susan said...

Swatching. I almost like swatching better than actually knitting the thing I'm swatching for. At least a swatch usually knits up fast. But then I have a whole item left to knit.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Annie said...

Mr. Dickens keeps the space under the bed free of dustbunnies.

I'm gonna save all my swatches and if I ever get enough, I'll work them into an odd patchwork scarf or something.

Fly lady! Oh yeah!

At 7:23 AM, Blogger Songbird said...

It also helps to have instructions you're experienced enough to follow and/or adjust as needed. I made a mistake in thinking I could adapt a pattern to a different yarn with the result that #2 Son's Christmas sweater is something he doesn't want to wear out in public. And I don't know if I'm smart enough to take it apart and use it for something else. So depressing. I could have used a knitual director.

At 12:42 PM, Blogger mibi52 said...

I'm a tad lazy, so I very rarely swatch. Only once (on a complex pair of socks)did that get me into trouble. I figure I'm lumpy and a nonstandard size (as are most of the rest of the universe) so a slightly imperfect fit is inevitable.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Annie said...

Y'all are completely blowing any misconception that I might have once held that knitters are perfectionists ... I might just fit in with this crowd.

Now, why do my knots just sink into the space between my cables?

At 2:54 PM, Blogger see-through faith said...

SORRY about the mix up with Oct 25th :(

I just suddenly had an idea - and as it looked free I did it.

I still have one outstanding Eph 4 but asked Rev Mommy to swap it -esp if church nerds slots aren't actually allocated anymore there are still plenty of undone slots.

love Lorna

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Lorna--I had just volunteered to do 10/25 b/c it was open, if you had something written that's great! Go for it. No problem there at all.

At 6:25 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

A newbie knitter here--I loved this post on several levels.


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