February 21, 2016

Swatching: The Art of Picking a Pattern

A couple of weeks ago I was able to quickly decide what I wanted to knit with my Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn.  Everything just clicked together without any effort at all on my part - it took under five minutes to make a decision.  I chose to make the Farmhouse Shawl by cabinfour and I ended up with a shawl that I love and will be worn frequently.
Swatching for a sweater
Now I am looking for my next project.  I know I want to knit a cardigan or sweater but it is taking me so long to decide.  There are just so many options on Ravelry that it can be overwhelming. Plus, knitting a sweater is a huge investment of my time and I don't want to put all that effort in and not be happy with the result. It seems that the more I know about knitting, the more particular I am about which pattern I will knit. 

Madelinetosh Pashmina:  Baroque Violet

 I knew I needed a strategic plan to figure it out. I decided to focus on four different yarns that I was interested in knitting with.  I then went through my Ravelry queue and Favourites list.  I wrote down the names, kind of yarn, gauge, and needle size that would work with those yarns.  I then knit some swatches, and from there I am going to see if any of the swatches will work with any of the patterns.  This way, I will have figured out not only the next sweater I will knit but hopefully the next two or three.

Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label:  Painted Jeans

West Yorkshire Spinners DK

Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Sport:  Tannenbaum

So what's a girl to do while figuring this all out?  Knit socks is what I highly recommend!  I've had this beauty waiting it's turn for some time.  Julie Asselin's Piccolo, a 80% merino, 20% nylon yarn.  It is incredibly squishy yarn, so I can imagine how lovely the socks will be to wear.  A recent convert to sock knitting, I have to admit that I choose handknit socks to wear everyday over all my commercially made ones.  They are so comfortable and breathable. I never used to see what the big deal was about sock knitting, but now I totally do.

Julie Asselin Piccolo: Plume

The pattern I chose was Business Casual by Tanis Fiber Arts.  It is a cuff down construction with a simple cable running through.  As I knit through these socks, I will continue to swatch and look through my sweater pattern options.   I find sock patterns so much easier to choose than sweater patterns despite there being so many to chose from.  

Hopefully no more new and amazing patterns will be published that will divert my attention from my final decision.  That won't happen, will it?


  1. Love your process of choosing the pattern! So thoughtful and devoted! And all the yarn is such a treat to look at!

    1. Thanks Alina! I wish it was easier for me : )

  2. your swatches are all so beautiful, and I know what you mean about it being so difficult to decide on a pattern- the overwhelm is crazy! Love your pretty socks in the meantime.

  3. sigh. I was checking an old email account earlier today and now it's decided that's my id. I'm the mystery kittenpie007 comment above.

    1. Ha ha! No problem. Thanks Julie! I think I have narrowed my choices down thankfully.