Over the years I’ve found I’ve become habitual in the stitch patterns and yarns I choose to work with. There’s nothing wrong with that but I miss the experience of being surprised by the unexpected. Yes, I swatch, but only when I’m looking to meet a particular gauge. To play with yarn, colour, texture, fabric without a project in mind is something I always say I’ll do but rarely seem to take the time to do so.
This year, I decided to go through the sample skeins I’ve acquired over the years and work through my stitch dictionaries and try pairings of yarns, needle size, and stitch I wouldn’t always think play well together. I’m aiming for one a week, posting to Instagram on Saturday nights. This month, I’ve been working through my Anuzla mini-skeins, they are approximately 10 yards each.
So far I’ve worked through Haiku (70% Superwash Merino, 20% Bamboo, 10% Nylon, +/-400 yd / 365 m, 7.5 sts / in US #2), Croquet (50% Superwash Merino, 50% Tussah Silk, +/- 230 yd / 210 m, 4.75-5.75 sts / in US #4-7), and Meridian (55% Tencel, 35% Alpaca, 10% Nylon, +/- 812 yd / 742m, Lace Weight).
At the moment I’m interested in fabrics that are either reversible or created with small stitch or and repeat requirements. These swatches reflect that. Haiku is knit in Rib & Welt Diagnoals, which is fully reversible. Croquet is Rosette Stitch, which creates a firm fabric over even stitches and 4 rows. The Meridian found me playing with different needle combinations and as initially designed only requires 2 rows for the repeat over an even number of stitches.
I have many more yarns from different companies, bases, and dyers to swatch and many more stitches to play with. The current plan to knit, weave, and crochet as the mood strikes me. I can repeat stitches, yarns, needles, anything. Maybe I’ll combine weights, maybe I’ll combine handspun with millspun, maybe there will be hybrid projects with fabric that is woven, crocheted, and/or knitted. The swatches don’t need to be square or rectangular. Really, the only rule is that I need to make a good faith effort to create a new swatch each week.