the story of the swatches

Pile of Anzula SwatchesI mentioned a large project a few weeks ago. Now I can share more about it–I’m crocheting swatches to investigate all of Anzula’s yarns. My first post explores For Better or Worsted. I’ll provide a crochet contrast to Jill’s knitting focused posts. It’s a good thing I love fun swatches!

There are many parts I need to keep organized — from the making to the writing. I have my planning grid in addition to spreadsheets, a comprehensive to-do list, and key dates in my calendar. As I was figuring out how to approach this massive project, I decided to work each yarn in the same set of stitches. That allows me to both standardize my task forms and also creates swatches that I can eventually compare and contrast.

The swatches

Anzula Milky Way swatches drying I use the same hook throughout the process for each yarn and create four different swatches (granny square, basic crochet stitches, textured, and net/lace). To provide contrast, I also knit a swatch with both stockinette and garter stitch. Anzula has 21 active yarn lines so that’s a lot of swatches!

As these humble bits of fabric multiply, my writing opportunities expand. I’m not sure all that I will write about, but I plan to explore differences. What happens when all that’s changed is the yarn weight? How do different fibers create fabric that’s very different, even when worked up at the same gauge and stitch? I’ll see if the swatches that include superwash wools stay fair when they fare the unknown innards of my washing machine.

Why?

This project started because I thought it was brilliant, Anzula has a lot of yarn. It can be overwhelming trying to choose one. In addition, I haven’t found a good resource exploring differing yarns and how they crochet. My crochet books speak only of doing a quick “rub test” (not to be confused with the extensive Martindale test though the concept is similar) to test a yarn being appropriate or not for a particular project. I’ve always been in awe of Knitter’s Review and wanted to examine a variety of yarns in a systematic way.

I hope you’ll join me as I meet and become familiar with Anzula’s yarns. If you see a yarn you’d like to work with, ask at your local yarn store! If they don’t carry that particular yarn or colour, it can be special ordered.

Please excuse me, I need to get back to my swatches!
Pile of yarn swatches & text - Meet the Yarn For Better or Worsted, Part 2

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