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    « Superdog | Main | Terrier Tuesday -- Alpha and Mom's Worst Nightmare Edition »

    Monday, February 28, 2011


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    I'm firmly in the anti-swatch camp. I kind of feel that swatchers are like vegetarians. It is a valid choice, as long as you do push your agenda on people who make another choice. I have have things come out an unintended size very occasionally, but I feel that these are the times the universe is telling us that our intended recipient is not the right one.


    I meant DON'T push your agenda. Should have previewed...


    KateMet: I have the exact same experience with meat eaters. I won't push my vegetarian agenda on you if you won't push your carnivory on me.

    At least we agree on swatching. I check gauge occasionally if it's something where gauge matters and figure that's good enough. And most of the time, it is!

    Seanna Lea

    @KatMet and @Mel: I have been a vegetarian since 1992 (something that I am still sometimes surprised by), and I just tell the uber-meat eaters that my not eating bacon means more for them.

    So, by being a vegetarian we are making the world safe for those who hate brussel sprouts and ensuring adequate bacon supply for meat eaters!


    Seed babies & Mr. Jeffries: double cute to start the day!


    i try to be a good swatcher. But I hate it when a pattern says so many stitches to the inch unstretched, and then "X" number of stitches to the inch sttetched, after washing. I mean really??? Isn't swatching enough???

    Mary Fran

    So happy to see I have kindred souls.


    Swatching stinks. Glad to see that Mr J is on his way home.


    We want more Mr. Jeffries!! Swatch? Don't swatch? Whatever! We want the man!!


    No one likes to swatch but what about blocking? I am one of those old school knitters that only block when absolutely necessary, and never even heard of the whole after-knit spa treatment until knit blogs came along. How many are with me?


    Hurray, Mr. Jeferies is coming home. His fan club misses him, we love your blog . Donna


    My comment is in your post! WooHoo!


    "There are lies, damn lies and swatch-lies." Woot! I used to swatch, adjusting needle size until I got gauge. Then "they" started saying to wash it and block it. Heck, I don't even do that with the FO! (I'm with you, Donna.) I tried ONCE and ended up learning that I needed size 8 needles for a project that recommended size 2. That, of course, was a swatch-lie.


    Looks like the poo-pots are working for you! Hooray!


    Look, little green growing things! How exciting!

    I swatch, but I make tiny little swatches, not big ones like you're supposed to. I feel I get *some* information from the tiny swatch, but I don't expect much from it, and don't give it a chance to lie to me.


    Seed babies - love them.

    Swatches - I usually need to go down several needle sizes, so I hereby place myself, based on long experience, in the pro-swatch camp. BUT - I refuse to wash, block and remeasure anything made with wool!


    Hey what is going on there, you mean to tell us there were no pro swatching comments? I mean a full heartedly swatch or you die comment!


    Love the RD version of anti-swatching posts interspersed with pictures. Love, love, LOVE the poo pots. I thought about getting some, but I don't really have a place to put them and I'm not sure I'm ready to set up artificial lights, etc, so once again, I'm going to garden vicariously through you. Please plant some collard greens in my name. ; )


    I don't think you are reading anything into the picture of Mr. J! That's exactly what he is thinking! I swatch but then they I don't swatch as much as I think I'm supposed to. Plus, I can't get more yarn down here!


    Ok, I'll admit it. I made a swatch yesterday AND washed and blocked it.

    I bought some beautiful handspun that I'd like to match up with a pattern, and I'm a half inch off of the gauge. Math is going to be necessary to make it work, so I figured a swatch wouldn't be a bad idea. We'll see.

    Count me in as another who'll be happy to see Mr. J back.


    I must admit I don't swatch. If I have to rip out, it was practice and hopefully, I got with the rhythm of the pattern. The next time I do it, I will be more confident that I know what I'm doing. Glad Mr. Jeffries is coming home soon.


    Those are baby broccolis, aren't they?
    And I agree, Mr J looks terribly homesick...
    (Back to starting my sweater over because the swatch lied. Knew I shouldn't have bothered swatching. *sigh*)


    I am of the wash and block contingent, primarily due to the fact that I have 5 cats and 5 dogs in the house and am not an award winning housekeeper. Also, it really makes the yarn bloom and gives you a clue about the inevitable pill factor. I do spin my items out after washing, and the blocking is cursory rather than stringent unless I'm desperate for that extra half inch.
    Give that Mr. J some hope!

    Elise H

    I have begun swatching for sweaters and am finding it very helpful, though I understand about the time, etc. Basically I am now starting on sleeves and knitting for a bit and checking gauge there. Sometimes I knit a few inches in stockinette and give it a quick dunk in the sink if I don't really know the yarn. Also, I usually check for stitch gauge rather than row gauge. I was resistant to swatching at first, but I have been converted.

    Wishing for spring here too in upstate NY. Love seeing the sprouts. Mr. Jeffries doesn't look too bad....but I am sure he will be so happy to be home.


    comment -- i hate swatching but do it just for discipline's sake. Can you tell I went through 8 years of Catholic School?

    Bring Jeffies HOME!!!!


    I've already expressed my opinion on swatching....but I do want to say that the seed babies look *extremely* happy! I've got my own tulips and narcissus coming up and we only planted the bulbs last week! (of course we have "warm" California weather to help them along)


    Seriously? I LIVE for the day your face suddenly appears! :^)
    Are we off swatches? going to 'to bathe and block or not to bathe and block'? I do indulge in the bathing proper and blocking knitted items. Gives them a more finished look.
    Mr.J..soon darlin', soon.
    baby seedlings, they have The Cute.


    Swatch? Never happen. And I have been burned... but only once. I made a sweater with the recommended yarn (a gorgeous alpaca, linen, and I think, mohair blend) for a size 12 cousin. She wore it once and it stretched SIDEWAYS!!! It has been renamed my "shawl, with sleeves" and I use it to warm my rather ample self some of these cold ME evenings. Am excited about your little garden! And Mr J coming home!!

    Jen B

    Seed babies - sigh . . . swatch, don't swatch - it depends on my mood, but I tend to use sleeves as a swatch.


    Wow, I feel like a rock star! My comment is in your post along with a picture of Mr. J in his crate? Does life get much better? Thanks Norma!

    I came to blocking via lace knitting..... since it improved the looks of lace so much, I figured it would improve the regular knitting, too.

    Barbara M.




    Totally anti-swatching...I takes my chances, and live with 'em. I do, however, bathe and block. Many yarns look so much prettier after a good bath.

    I'm waving my sign and yelling "Free Mr. Jeffries".......I miss the little buggar.

    Rosemary McN

    Are you still counting/collecting comments, Norma? I always thought baths were for people and cars--didn't know that swatches needed them. I just want to knit, not play with a rubber ducky!



    I am not the person to talk to about swatching. I am not the person to talk to about blocking. I free-associate when it comes to picking which yard to use. I was born in 1960 -- all that Flower Power must have rubbed off on me!


    I learned many painful lessons over the years. I tried not making a swatch, knitting a swatch but not soaking it and finally do it the right way. I found out how the yarn can 'bloom' after a soaking. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

    OMG - Mr. Jeffries can't wait to come home. I miss him too (and I don't even live with him)!! He is the cutest! His darling personality comes through on your blog. Thanks Norma! I look forward to Terrier Tuesday (as well as every day) on your blog. And your little sprouts are so cute!


    Ah, well the warm weather on this end of the country means we already have mosquitoes and tornadoes, so there's that.

    As for the swatchiness, I consider them to be sources of information, but know they do not tell the whole story. They are something of a jumping off point for me. Many problems come from ignoring/skipping or relying upon them as though they have all of the information needed. However, I really am not concerned about whether anyone else swatches or not. They may take away my Community Knitter Badge, but I cannot bring myself to either force someone else to swatch or rip the swatch off the needles of another knitter. Now I'm just rambling and have taken off onto a different topic.

    Hope your HP is well soon and the crab cakes and salad are wonderful.


    Yeah, Mr. Jeffries is coming home!

    elizabeth a airhart

    good night


    Now that I have moved beyond scarves and hats I do swatch a little more. However, I have learned (much to my dismay)that swatches occasionally lie. Thus my love hate relationship.


    I am commenting because:
    1. You used my swatch comment in today's post
    and I feel almost famous-
    2. Looks like you might have to go and rescue
    Mr. Jeffries in the big city. That crate
    doesn't look likes it's getting ready to
    go anywhere.
    3. You needed the comment your numbers UP!

    have a great week!!!

    kelli ann

    >>and I just tell the uber-meat eaters that my not eating bacon means more for them.<<
    Love cool vegetarians with a 'to each his-her own' attitude. Love coming here to read the enthusiasm about food, knitting, gardening and the occasional dog.

    Word Lily

    I think my feelings on swatching are changing, gradually. I used to be in the anti-swatchers club, but I'm starting to come around.


    I have too many thoughts on swatching for this little comment area. I will blog about it instead!

    But I wanted to leave a comment anyway, so I get credit for helping you get to that 60k threshold!


    I've swatched, I might even swatch again, if Santa is watching. Otherwise, I either use the project as a swatch or knit things that make gauge irrelevant. Life is good.

    The comments to this entry are closed.


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