Swatching is as much a part of knitting as the heat is a part of summer. Don't put your needles and hooks down just because the mercury is rising - Summer is a great time to swatch and practice your knitting skills! Think of them as the ultimate summer project as they are relatively quick and portable and you can knit without being under a pile of material. Swatches provide the opportunity to get chummy with your yarn, needles, and pattern to ensure all involved will get along! They are especially important if you are knitting an item where fit will matter, you should always take the time to make a swatch.
When you have knit your swatch, take the time to treat it as you will the final garment. Give it a bath and let it dry! This will ensure an accurate stitch count. Don't fret if your gauge does not match the pattern! Take a break, stretch, maybe get a snack, and come back to the yarn with a different set of needles. If you have too many stitches per inch, try it again with a larger needle size. Work with a smaller needle size if you find you have too few stitches per inch.
After your swatch has served its purpose give it another use! Several could be joined together into a larger piece for yarn bombing! Or maybe your favorite little one would like it as an accessory for a doll house? We spotted this one on Pinterest: pop the swatch into an embroidery hoop as wall art for your own home!
Summer is also a great time to work on ornaments and get a jump on your holiday decorations and gifts! Don't forget, you have the opportunity to have one of your ornaments finished for free! You have a little less than one week to finish up your ornaments and bring them in to the shop. We will select one winner at random from all the ornaments we have received to get the finishing done for free. The ornaments shown above were finished this summer. The ones above were stitched by Mary Alice; the ones below were stitched by Arvid. Aren't they lovely?
Whether you choose to swatch or to stitch, we hope you are having a great Summer! We would love to hear about your summer projects - leave us a comment or stop by our Facebook page or Ravelry group!