Updated: Oct 29, 2021
This Make It Wild Weds Blog Post is not about a specific stitch, but the journey to ALL stitches, especially in the world of Crochet Pattern Creation.
Swatching, in its most functional sense for designers (me), is used to define gauge for a specific yarn so your hat comes out close to my hat when you make a hat from my hat pattern…but ohhhh my YarnGoneWild - Yarn Craft friends…swatching is or can be, so much more than that.
It can be your own form of escape, from…whatever…as you yarn over, draw up a loop, yarn over again, pull through, **. Y’all know all about those asterisks😉. It can be your wizard behind the curtain time, breathing life into fans, archs and my jam…bobbles, as new combinations that weren’t there before, in that way, with that yarn are created. Swatching can be a wind up or a wind down from wherever you are…using varying colors as the hook does its magic, you know…a little quieter in soft creams and peaches or Lawd Have Mercy… Jook Joint loud, in hot fuschias and citrons. Yeah…Im partial to that last combo.
Im always on a journey to understand how a yarn (that’s new to me) works up. Hook in hand, nestled as far back into the corner of the oversized chair in my studio as I can be (pillow supporting the back and everything), I morph into a Half Double Crochet making machine. It starts with 20 chains or most often 20 foundation hdc, and onward I go, looping til Im satisfied, netting a squarerectangle-ish object of pure joy. Every now and again the joy is in realizing the pairing of yarn and stitch will not progress pass the swatch, but most often, it’s the springboard to the next level of some new Funky Head Gear Swag.
Along with swatching tied to pattern creation or leaning into understanding new yarn, most of my swatching is connected to learning a new stitch or technique, which of course leads back to pattern creation. But without that being the intention, its my bestest ever favorite kind of swatching. My mind is open, clear, free, without expectation(s) other than, can I follow the instructions in the book or video…and then repeat it…and then make it into something…something new and different, something that can bring IT, whatever IT may be at that time.
Trust! Im here to tell you, swatching has led to a unicorn moment or 20. It even led to me connecting those that I have not had to give back to the hank GODS, with those made from yarn ends, creating strips for what one day will be a throw…for what purpose I do not know (perhaps for sitting outside on the patio having an adult beverage in the winter…it’s a thing) but I do know, it will be swatchalicious and no you cant have mine Renata, Adrienne, Linda, Chris, Ilka, Q, Carolyn, Nicole. Just letting my girls know.
Anywho…I dig swatching. I encourage swatching. Whenever I get to cute to swatch…Im always sorry I didn’t and most often have to do it anyway. The Point of it all is “Get Your Swatch ON and enjoy it!
To all of the Indie Dyers and Yarn Companies who's yarn I have use…I SWATCH you, I SWATCH YOU!