5 lessons from my swatches

I’ve been working on the Anzula swatches for several months now. I’ve learned many valuable lessons already, today I’ll discuss five that I think are the most important. I’m excited to discover what I’ll learn as I continue my explorations both in Anzula and in many other yarns.

lesson one – swatching is a habit

Yes! I built a new habit. Before jumping into a new project, I pause to swatch. If it’s a completely new to me yarn, I’ll purchase extra so that I can knit and crochet in a few different stitches. I love that I now want to systematically understand each yarn I work with.

lesson two – understanding my preferences

This is more subtle, as I work with a wider range of fiber blends and yarn weights I can make better first choices in my tools as I approach the swatches. What does this mean? I’ll look at a yarn and know that I’ll be happier hand-winding it, or will prefer a pointy crochet hook, or that I’ll be happier knitting a particular fiber blend with bamboo knitting needles.

lesson three – library

This is the most exciting part of this project and while I knew the swatches would lead here, the experience is more invigorating than I expected. I am building an amazing reference of swatches. Both in the physical sense, and in my experiences. Yes, there are still yarns I prefer over others, but I now have better understanding of stitches, fabrics, and colour.

lesson four – substitution

As my experience with many different yarns grows beyond my comfort zone, I’m understanding how to best make make substitutions in my own projects, and offer advice to others. This goes beyond the book-knowledge of well that yarn blend is similar/different based on xyz and into the practical.

lesson five – creativity expansion

An unexpected and very exciting result of this project is that I now have more swatches turning into sketches and proposals than ever before. It’s exhilarating and a bit scary. I hope that my confidence can keep up with my creative pursuits. I need to finish my Squishy crochet wrap before I let my next set of swatches move onto the next stage.

I hope these give lessons help to entice you to embrace swatching. If you wish to follow my swatching adventures, I’ll try to tag them all with #psgswatches.

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