In the last post, I invited you to join in the swatch project. Together we will build our own library of information so we can make better informed substitutions. We’ll do this by researching details about the yarn and swatching.
There are many other projects to help you learn to swatch. My goal for this project is to help you build a personalized library of your favorite yarns, stitches, and the swatches you create.
We’ll begin with one yarn and research and swatch it thoroughly. Here are some suggested tools you should gather:
- Yarn, it can be the remains of a skein, but you should be able to make two, approximately 4 inch (10 cm) square swatches.
- A knitting needle or crochet hook in the size you think you want to work the yarn.
- A way to record your research and findings. This can be a notebook, a folder to keep sheets of paper, or a spreadsheet.
I created a free worksheet to help you begin to record things. This first version (2020-08-28) is a very basic document. All of the information included within it is available in this blog post. The PDF provides some structure to formatting your information to help you make comparisons to different yarns and swatches later.
Information to record
We’ll begin with the yarn.
- What is its name?
- Are you using a specific colorway?
- What is the yarn weight?
- How is the yarn put up? Is it a hank, skein, cake, cone, or some other type? This is where I also record the yardage and unit weight.
- What fiber is this yarn made of? If it’s more than one, what are the percentages? You can often find this information on the label.
- How is the yarn structured? Is it a single strand? 2-ply?
- How is it suggested you care for this yarn. If you don’t find anything on the yarn label, there my be care symbols, check the company’s website.
What I’m swatching
My first swatch is in Oink Pigments Coven.
- Yarn Name: Oink Pigments Coven
- Colorway: Cautionary Whale, variegated teal, navy, and light grey
- Yarn Weight: Light fingering
- Put up: Skein, needs winding
- Unit Weight: 100g
- Yardage: 460 yds
- Fiber(s): 65% Silk, 35% linen
- Structure: 3 ply (not cable),
balancedgentle twist — not high twist, not loose
- Care: Hand wash cold, lay flat to dry.
- Additional notes: The grey looks much lighter than the image on the website.
If you need help describing your yarn, there are many resources available. I often turn to The Knitter’s Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn by Clara Parkes.
Next time we’ll fill in information about our needle or hook, and details about the first swatch.