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 what to do with gauge swatches
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nellcm
Chatty Knitter

161 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  09:06:11 AM  Show Profile Send nellcm a Private Message
What do you do with all your gauge swatches, once you've completed your project? One person said to make them into an afghan, but simce mine are different sizes and different fibers, it would be one ugly, ungainly afghan. Any other thoughts?

Nell

MissPooh
Angel

USA
640 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  09:34:50 AM  Show Profile Send MissPooh a Private Message
Think of it as a knitting journal you can snuggle under. You can put borders on the swatches to make them the same size. I see it as a knitters version of a crazy quilt.

Mary Lou

"The reward of a thing well done is to have done it." Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Shalee
Permanent Resident

USA
2046 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  10:07:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shalee's Homepage Send Shalee a Private Message
Do you keep any kind of a journal on your knitting? A copy of the pattern with your notes and a picture attached. The swatch with the ball band attached.

I have a 3-ring binder with copies of the patterns, pictures, ball bands, notes as to needle size, date started/completed, who it was for, etc.

Even if I am not going to buy that yarn again I keep all of the swatches together - ribs, sead stitch, garter, etc. The swatch can be a life saver if the finished item ever needs mending! Also, the swatches can give you a visual on your expertice progression. Amazing how much my edges have improved since I started working on my knitting QUALITY! Of course, when you are younger you don't think of these things! Wish I had done this all along, although I do have all of the patterns I charted 20 years ago when I had never seen charts before!

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!
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achrisvet
Permanent Resident

USA
5986 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  10:12:46 AM  Show Profile Send achrisvet a Private Message
I've heard of people sewing them into little sachets and filling them with dried lavender, etc.

Anita
My completed projects
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HilaryL
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
360 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  11:51:54 AM  Show Profile Send HilaryL a Private Message
So you're supposed to save them, huh. Oops!
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Momma78239
Permanent Resident

USA
4859 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  1:11:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Momma78239's Homepage  Send Momma78239 a Yahoo! Message Send Momma78239 a Private Message
If you have a really pretty one, you can pin it to foamboard and frame it. Bigger ones can make good dishcloths. They can be coasters. Sew a couple together back to back, and it's a hotpad.

Some people store them with the garment they came with and always wash them together, so that they fade/wear the same way as the garment. Then if the garment gets a hole, you can frog the swatch to make an invisibly woven repair.

If you want to make an afghan out of them, give each of them a matching border first.

-Wendy
Did you know God was a knitter?
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13

[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v632/Momma78239/StripyFixationribbedsocks.jpg[/IMG]
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maribelaprn
Permanent Resident

USA
2033 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  1:23:32 PM  Show Profile Send maribelaprn a Private Message
Like Sharon, I keep all my swatches in a project binder. I make notes about the gauge, the needle size, the pattern I used, washing information, etc. I'll often make up a couple swatches using different size needles for a yarn that I'll use over and over (like Cascade 220 or Lamb's Pride) so that I have a reference for future projects.

They also make nice mouse afghans......

Mari


Don't confuse knowledge with wisdom. With one you make a living, with the other you make a life.
http://maribelaprn.blogspot.com/
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Pinky Yarn
Permanent Resident

USA
1045 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  1:28:52 PM  Show Profile Send Pinky Yarn a Private Message
I keep mine in a basket, I think I'll sew them into a mismatched crazy blanket type thing eventually.


-Katie

"I remember when getting high meant swinging at the playgrounds. The worst thing you could get from a boy was cooties. Race issues were who could run the fastest. The only thing you smoked was the tires on your bike. Life was so simple and carefree, but the thing I remember the most was wanting to grow up."
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cableready
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
386 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  1:50:03 PM  Show Profile Send cableready a Private Message
Not all my swatches get made into a project and I have the swatched yarn in my stash. So I keep all the swatches in a basket labeled with the needle size I used, name of yarn, and before and after washing measurements. That way if I find a project I might want to do I can go through the swatches to see if somehting I have will work for it. Although I have used large cotton swatches for dish clothes, too. :)

Pamela
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Susan T-O
Permanent Resident

USA
2481 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  5:55:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Susan T-O's Homepage Send Susan T-O a Private Message
If they are washable, how about using them as coasters?

"Implying that Fran can't knit is kind of like implying that the Pope can't pray."--RachelKnitter
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blazfglori
Permanent Resident

USA
1333 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  7:02:58 PM  Show Profile Send blazfglori a Private Message
I frog all my swatches and use them in the project.

I see swatches as wasted yarn.
I can't be the only one with this opinion, can I?

~Lori

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SerMom
Permanent Resident

Canada
6412 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  7:46:43 PM  Show Profile Send SerMom a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by blazfglori

I frog all my swatches and use them in the project.

I see swatches as wasted yarn.
I can't be the only one with this opinion, can I?

~Lori



Nope, you're not. I don't keep mine, either. And I'm not very good about needle size, yarn used, etc., either. I've got a blog, but I kow I leave a lot of those details out. Which I'm sure I'll regret in 10 yrs. or so.

Barbara

Healthy conservatism promotes the continuity of civilization, the importance of community, the dangers of thoughtless change. It does not, or should not, assert the right of white, Christian heterosexual males of a certain age to limit the rights of everyone else. The past 100 years of social history has been dedicated, on good days, to constraining the dominance of this minority. Yesterday was a good day: J.Ibbotson, June 29/05, on the passing of the same-sex marriage bill.


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PatriciaS
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
537 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  8:36:22 PM  Show Profile Send PatriciaS a Private Message
Well, thanks to what I've learned and read here at K-R over the last year, I've come to see them as a resource, a bit of a journal perhaps, and an important record that I should keep. I'm not saying that's how OTHERS should see them, just how I've come to see them.

HOWEVER, I'm seriously flummoxed about how and where to keep them. They do NOT fit in my knitting journal -- no way, no how. They're big and awkward (4x4 inch minimum is HUGE compared to how we used to get away with doing swatches, which is 1/4 that size -- a mere 2x2 inches). The 2x2s could be stapled to the page of the knitting journal, but not these mothers.

In a few cases I have 3 or MORE of some yarn swatches -- trying to get gayge , trying to get PATTERN in gauge, just trying different needle sizes to see how the yarn behaves.

They're sitting in a big ziploc bag (2 gal with a little room to spare), up from a medium sized ziploc, and that's only 1 year's work AND I haven't been all that industrious about knitting up swatches.

I would LOVE to have them stapled or pinned to paper or cardstock and in some book-like format, but I'm thinking huge carpet-swatch contraptions to hold them, and that doesn't do it for me. I'm thoroughly disgusted. I don't want to let them go, but I'm unhappy with this awkward bag of what feels and looks more like junk right now than a helpful record of anything.
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Bullmonty
Seriously Hooked

814 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  9:21:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bullmonty's Homepage Send Bullmonty a Private Message
This is a great thread - I've knitted quite a lot of things off the top of me head but have never kept a journal. I do frog my swatches back into my projects coz I tend not to buy an extra ball/skein for what I'm doing and so far I've been lucky...!

The Maniacal Multitasker
[img]http://www.network54.com/Realm/Lisa1961/21916473.thm.gif[/img]
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blwinteler
Permanent Resident

USA
3145 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2005 :  10:55:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit blwinteler's Homepage  Send blwinteler a Yahoo! Message Send blwinteler a Private Message
I haven't swatched much. I end up knitting a few rows of the project (mostly smallish stuff) and checking gauge. I have swatched for felting, and used one of those as a pocket for a felted bag. I can see the swatches being a good doll blanket, bean bags/hackey sacks, coasters, washcloths, and so on. Perhaps I should swatch more. Then I would have a bunch of little things to add to gifts. Oh! you could make a gift tag. Write the info on a small card and stitch it to the center of a swatch a bit bigger than the card. That would be cute. I will have to try that.

Take care!
Brandy

My finished projects

Seen on a church marquee: Blessed are the flexible, for they shall never be bent out of shape.
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Manicgirl
Chatty Knitter

Sweden
203 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2005 :  01:12:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Manicgirl's Homepage Send Manicgirl a Private Message
I too frog my swatches, because I usually don't have the extra yarn. I love the idea of keeping all my swatches with needle size info, washing instructions etc, and I always plan to do that. But I never do...

I've also found that my gauge differs over time, eventhough I know it's the same needles and yarn, so keeping them for future reference is not an option for me. I have to make a new swatch anyway, to see what tension I'm currently using.


Tina
(My blog: http://ulltopia.typepad.com/wooltopia)
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bonnie jean
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2005 :  03:28:20 AM  Show Profile Send bonnie jean a Private Message
I frog them all too. For some reason I am always paranoid that I won't have enough yarn to complete my project and think that the 4" square might make a difference.
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Boogie
Permanent Resident

USA
3073 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2005 :  04:02:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Boogie's Homepage Send Boogie a Private Message
If I need to use the yarn I frog them, otherwise I keep them with the project notes. I figure that way if I get a nasty snag or moths (shhh) then I have yarn I can frog for a repair.

amy
http://theboogerblog.blogspot.com
http://www.spunkyhats.com
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lgrabbit@yahoo.com
Chatty Knitter

170 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2005 :  04:28:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit lgrabbit@yahoo.com's Homepage Send lgrabbit@yahoo.com a Private Message
I tear mine out. My gramma used to attach them to the patterns she used. She made some lovely things. Now I have the patterns and the swatches.

Laurie

"Under the fence, Catch the sheep, Back we come, Off we leap!"--Purl Rhyme
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jbug
Chatty Knitter

234 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2005 :  05:03:38 AM  Show Profile Send jbug a Private Message
I saw a book, a sock book, I think, where the person kept knitting the new swatch onto an old one. It gave a record of different needles, stitches, and yarns. A long skinny thing.
Could be a scarf or just keep for reference. I usually do as Lori says, feel like I am wasting the yarn if I don't use it back in the project.

jbug
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katieknits2
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2005 :  05:30:24 AM  Show Profile Send katieknits2 a Private Message
I've given some of my swatches to my daughter to use as blankets or throw rugs in her dollhouse. She also uses them for her tiny dolls and animals (i.e. Polly Pocket, Calico Critters, etc.). I sewed a few together into sleeping bags as well. She particularly likes the ones that are made from her sweater yarn since she usually selects the yarn herself.

Otherwise, I am paranoid I'll run out of yarn for a project, so I typically frog them and save them for seaming at the end.
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