Monday, May 2, 2016

Swatches

What to do with all those swatches?  We all know as a good knitter or crocheter you have been making swatches.  A proper sized swatch is about 5 to 8 inches square.  Some of us have also started sweaters or other large projects that for whatever reason have been abandoned.  I know I have a few.  If you don't want to frog your project and deal with the ramen noodle* yarn, you will probably have left it sit there unloved.

Does this seem to also relate to granny squares?  It should.  Squares are amazing for so many things.  Granny squares are not just the ones that were ever so popular for centuries.  Google granny squares and you can come up with hundreds of different patterns.  There are books upon books of granny squares, old and new.

If your projects are usually the same color family, you will have an easier time.  But even if they aren't, you can still put together a unique and completely charming project.  It is best if the swatches are the same size, but even that can be gotten around by adding a frame or border around the edge.  By using one color for the border you can make them all not only the same size, but you can make them all cohesive, like adding the black border to the old granny afghan squares.

Joining the swatches/squares can be just as fun.  There are the old standards of slip stitching them together, single crocheting them together, or sewing them together with your choice of method.  Whipstitch was my husband's grandmother's favorite.  I like that one and the mattress stitch.  Please don't use a sewing machine.  The yarn gets caught in the feed dogs and jams.  The thread can cut the yarn over time.  The yarn gets caught on the presser foot.  It doesn't look nice because you usually can't get the tension loose enough.

Ok.  Swatches and Granny Squares.  Check.  All the same size.  Check.  Joining method picked.  Check.  Now what can I make????  The list is almost endless.  An early post here is about a cardigan for a baby.  Afghans come to mind but that is a no brainer.  Don't need that many afghans?  If this is what you love to make anyway, here are some ideas.  Donate them to your local Warm Up America project, hospital for cancer patients to use during chemotherapy treatments, hospital or maternity home for underprivileged babies, animal shelter for them to have a comfy corner in what amounts to a concrete jail until they can be adopted.  Seam small ones together in a variety of ways to make eyeglass case, soap saver, scrubbies for dishes, wash cloths, hats, cushions, pillows, tote bags or purses.  

What are your ideas??  Post below.


*ramen noodle yarn is the crinkly curly yarn isn't straight after ripping out.  This is worse the longer the project sits in the knit or crochet state.  Winding into a long hank, tying in at least 6 places, and washing by hand (soak for at least an hour in water with a rinseless wool wash) then hanging to dry can fix some of this.