Like moths to a flame, you’re drawn in. Standing before you is an image of an elegant model standing just so dressed in a gorgeous cable knit sweater that makes your yarn-loving heart race with joy at the thought of casting on. You buy the pattern, grab your supplies, open to the data page and curse words only known to sailors… and knitters.
After my visit to Americo Original in Toronto last year, I had yarn in stash that inspired such a sweater design. Once I decided it would be a seamless in the round design, I knew it was my designer duty to bite the bullet and swatch thus in order to get accurate gauge information. I quietly accepted that duty, but my heart wasn’t in the stitching. I knew, of course, of the cheats – floating the yarn across the back to mock in the round or doing a tiny swatch in the round. But what good is a swatch too small to get an accurate sampling? And that back float thing – ya, it’s faster, but still ends up with something that doesn’t fit into my flat swatch blanket and really serves no other purpose.
So I input the parameters to the little grey cells and pondered how do I take this “swatch in the round” requirement and “upcycle” it into a wearable design. Et voila, a flash of lightening from Heaven above illuminating “Swatchers cowl” before my eyes. The more I tumbled the concept around the more I liked it. Excitedly, I pulled out my supplies, cast on and actually enjoyed swatching!
With the simple solution of providing the swatch in the round a useful life after gauge gathering, I now looked on swatching in the round with joy!
After knitting, washing, & blocking, I could use it as a “swatch” to gather all the gauge info I need for both the pattern repeat and Stockinette stitch section…
but then I could wear it! I could fashion it tight for a fashionista look. Or wear it loose for rambling with Puddles. After testing the pattern, Serena Darrin exclaimed her favorite aspect, “The ties make it -very- adjustable, and it’s also a quick knit. (I also -love- the fact that it stays in place when I pull it up to cover my face! Most cowls tend to slide off my nose. :D)”!
I think you’ll find with Swatchers cowl that the best part about this transformative design is that the front panel may be swapped out for any stitch pattern you are needing to swatch in the round. So grab your needles and rejoice when you see “swatch in the round” knowing the solution is to make it a swatchers cowl!