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tricoquelicot
Warming Up

Japan
65 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2003 :  6:56:30 PM  Show Profile Send tricoquelicot a Private Message
I like to make swatches, in waiting to realize toooo many projects, it makes me calm down a little. Other than that, I love just to try new yarns that has arrived in my stash.

The problem is, how we treat this tiny square after that.
Any ideas? I prefer to save them as the smallest piece of work...

Trico

BLN3320
Permanent Resident

USA
3808 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2003 :  9:47:51 PM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
Hi, Trico and welcome to the forums. Years ago I taught a knitting class and I would sit during the week (the class was on Saturday morning) and knit mistakes when I was tired of correcting the ones I had made on whatever I was knitting. Every week I would think to myself, "What happened to those mistakes I knitted last week?" Well needless to say the answer was they had been corrected in the class. Now about your swatches--I haven't a clue what to do with them but if I get a wild idea I shall let you know. I seem to have a habit waking up about three in the morning and worry about such things. The last thing I did that with was a dog sweater which actually turned out to be more like a dog suit or that is what I call it. Take care and nice to meet you. If I have any ideas I shall pass them on. Beverley

"Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live!"

Bev
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Clara
queen bee

USA
4406 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2003 :  06:42:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message
Hi Trico! Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer has a marvelous pattern for a little bunny that you make from leftover swatch squares. Here's the link:

http://www.heartstringsfiberarts.com/bunny.htm

This is just one idea. Another one I like to do is seam the swatches together into a crazy quilt (and it can definitely be crazy) or pillowcase.

Keep us posted on what you try!

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
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LJ
Permanent Resident

USA
1940 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2003 :  06:53:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit LJ's Homepage Send LJ a Private Message
Hi Trico!

I recently attended a "Why to swatch" class with Edie Eckman. Edie brought a beautiful tote bag she had made with her swatches. She sewed them together to form a patch work like circular bag. It was quite lovely.

Linda

"Randy lay there like a slug...it was his only defense." Ralphie
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chris
Permanent Resident

USA
2463 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2003 :  08:32:16 AM  Show Profile Send chris a Private Message
I saw a sweater made with swatches! They had been meticulously pieced together to make a beautiful sweater. I don't think I'd have the patience for it; the maker said she had measured each piece then determined on graph paper how best they would go together. She also took into consideration how the textures and colors went together. Whew! Naturally, she had to make "fill in" swatches to go wherever there was a "hole". It took her several months (off and on -- she said at times it drove her crazy) to make.

chris

Keep on knittin', mama, knittin' those blues away!
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Elsa
Chatty Knitter

154 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2003 :  10:53:31 AM  Show Profile Send Elsa a Private Message
I like to fold them into triangles and stuff them with lavender from the farmers market. Then I throw 'em in with my stash to keep the critters out.

Elsa

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Hello Knitty
Permanent Resident

1069 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2003 :  11:52:59 AM  Show Profile Send Hello Knitty a Private Message
Gee, I always unravel mine and use the yarn!

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mbmoody
Gabber Extraordinaire

583 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2003 :  5:00:16 PM  Show Profile Send mbmoody a Private Message
Mine always seem to end up as cat toys, intentionally or not.
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Dot
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2003 :  5:39:17 PM  Show Profile Send Dot a Private Message
I do the "Hello Knitty" thing...unravel and use it. The only time I save swatches is when I'm not sure what pattern I'm going to use and I do a few for gauges on different patterns or to see how different stitch patterns look. Once I've decided and the project is underway, the swatches get tossed. One of the keys to maintaining sanity in a tiny city apartment is to be a very selective pack-rat. Half-balls of yarn? Keep 'em. Swatches? Use 'em or lose 'em.

But for those of you who keep them, there are some good ideas in this thread.

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Patience
Permanent Resident

USA
1080 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2003 :  6:52:11 PM  Show Profile Send Patience a Private Message
Hi Elsa,

Gee, what a great idea you have for swatches. They would make a lovely little sachet to throw into drawers, gifts, and of course, stash as you pointed out. Using them this way is good because you don't need to knit each one the same size in order to make an afghan, purse, etc., and as an added bonus, very little seaming.

Regards, Patience
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chris
Permanent Resident

USA
2463 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2003 :  08:16:28 AM  Show Profile Send chris a Private Message
For those who unravel them, does this mean you don't wash and block them after knitting?

chris

Keep on knittin', mama, knittin' those blues away!
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Hello Knitty
Permanent Resident

1069 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2003 :  11:07:19 AM  Show Profile Send Hello Knitty a Private Message
I've never washed and blocked a swatch. Truthfully, it never occurred to me to do that. All the yarns I've used, I've had good advice from the stores I bought them at so I've never worried about how they'd perform. Also, I can't use wools or other animal fibres because I'm allergic. Maybe I'm wrong, but synthetics don't seem to stretch as much. Or maybe I've been lucky so far and the few sweaters I've made myself have just turned out! Maybe I'd better do the wash and block for the Egyptian cotton I just bought for a cardigan, It's really expensive and it would be terrible if it didn't wash well!

I like the cat toy idea for swatches but isn't it bad for them to chew and swallow the fibres? If not, I'll happily spoil my two extremely spoiled cats even more!

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Marg in Mirror
Permanent Resident

Canada
3205 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2003 :  1:38:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Marg in Mirror's Homepage  Send Marg in Mirror a Yahoo! Message Send Marg in Mirror a Private Message
Quilters call 4" blocks of cotton cloth, "Charm Squares", and generally make them into wall hangings or table runners. With knitted squares, they are more appropriately used in all the wonderful ideas so far submitted. Also for mini-afghans (or "Chill Chasers") or hearth rugs, or (if in cotton) pot-holders or dishcloths, or perhaps 2 squares sewn together and stuffed as a pin-cushion for a favourite needleworker...

One quilt shop I frequent puts a stack of charm squares in a glass jam jar (you know, the kind with a ring-and-sealer lid), includes a free pattern for assembly, and calls it "Charmalade". I love it! Perhaps this could be done between knitters, sort of a swatch exchange.

-- Marg in Calgary

TLWKOTB
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Elsa
Chatty Knitter

154 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2003 :  3:48:49 PM  Show Profile Send Elsa a Private Message
Hi Patience,

Yes- they do make pretty sachets, especially the lacey ones! Those I tie up the lavender in cheesecloth first so i don't loose any bits. I like to think it adds to the gift when I give them the matching swatch/sachet to store the item with and explain the reason behind it. For men you could use cedar , sage, or mint if they didn't like the lavender.

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Marg in Mirror
Permanent Resident

Canada
3205 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2003 :  4:36:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Marg in Mirror's Homepage  Send Marg in Mirror a Yahoo! Message Send Marg in Mirror a Private Message
Elsa,

Sounds like a lovely idea!!

-- Marg


TLWKOTB
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Dot
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2003 :  4:50:18 PM  Show Profile Send Dot a Private Message
Chris, I must confess to not being good about washing and blocking my swatches. I've done it twice. Once with a cotton for a sweater. My swatch held up fine. I hope the sweater does as it was a gift--all gifts come complete with laundering instructions--and is certainly heavier than the swatch. And the second time was just a few days ago. A friend gave me her winter yarn stash when she moved to Florida, all on cones as she worked for a sweater manufacturer. So I figured the mysterious mohair needed a further checking out. Lovely. Otherwise, I haven't bothered as I'm almost always knitting with tried-and-true yarns that I know, from other knitters or my growing experience, wash and wear well.

Should I be more zealous about washing and blocking? I'm fastidious about swatching for gauge so I always have that little square I can wash.

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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2003 :  5:02:34 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
I only wash and block swatches about which I am uncertain. For example, I have some yarn for machine knitting that I swatch and wash because it has some kind of finish on it that washes out and I want to see what I have left after it is washed out. I also wash and block cottons or any other fiber that might shrink. Standard brand name acrylics that I have used again and again, I don't swatch because I know I will get a certain number of stitches if I use a certain size of needle. I only swatch for a reason, not just because someone tells me to do so. I do most of my swatches because I am playing with the yarn and trying out new stitches, etc.

fran

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Dot
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2003 :  8:21:17 PM  Show Profile Send Dot a Private Message
Thanks, Fran. You said it better than I did. It's those yarns I'm uncertain about that I put through the paces. Except for that gauge-swatching. Even if the yarn is one I've used before, if the needle size is different or the gauge stitch, I'm off-and-swatching. Seems like I'm still finding my tension and those swatches help me make decisions before I plow in.

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ride&knit
New Pal

USA
25 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2003 :  9:42:48 PM  Show Profile Send ride&knit a Private Message
I am like some of you, I have never washed a swatch and I usually unravel and reuse. But would they not make good doll blankets or childens blankets when the swatchs are sewn together?

Doreen Catoe
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BLN3320
Permanent Resident

USA
3808 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2003 :  10:43:01 PM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
Hi, Trico: Someone said about making sachet bags for whatever--how about little bags of herbs to go in to beds for dogs and/or cats?

Beverley

Bev
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DaisyRts2@aol.com
New Pal

United Kingdom
3 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2003 :  03:20:00 AM  Show Profile Send DaisyRts2@aol.com a Private Message
i am an unpicker where swatches are concerned - i hadnt even thought of keeping them.... i love it that we are all so different! i made a beautiful sweater though made up of swatch like patches - intentionally. i chose all my colours of course, but then did random squares and rectangles in lots of different yarns and different stitch combinations, then crotcheted them together using the crotchet as a feature and also crotcheting in little bits that were between some of the peices. it hangs really well because the swatches are peiced with some of them on the side and some of them right way up, so there isnt much give in the resulting fabric. i always get comments when i wear it, and i sometimes add a few beads or sequins to the odd patch or two between wears! i do like the sachet idea though........
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