Saturday, January 23, 2010
on the importance of felting a swatch
fez or propeller beanie?
This week I learned a painful but important knitting lesson: felt a swatch!
If you're going to felt a new yarn, or a yarn other than the pattern calls for, save yourself the agony and knit up a little swatch & felt it first. How long does it really take to knit a gauge swatch and then felt it? How many years of felting have I managed to get through so recklessly?
It's true, it will delay your project by a couple of hours. But oh! the humanity. You should see the mess I've made. $30 worth of scrumptious alpaca-cashmere-merino yarn and a week and a half of my precious, precious knitting time are down the drain. That horrible fez-like thing at the top of the page is the result of my hastiness. It was meant to be a jaunty, vintage-style cloche for my sister's birthday, which by the way is tomorrow. Did I mention the agony???
This actually happened the other night, but paralysis set in, and just this morning I got back on my feet, ordered some replacement yarn (an old standby, Merino Style - forget this experimental luxury baloney) and bought my sister a stand-in trinket until her specially-ordered cloche is ready. It feels good to move on, it really does.
So the moral of the story is: don't be lazy like me. Knit, measure and felt a gauge swatch before you start that felting project, unless you're using Cascade 220 for the hundredth time and know what you're getting yourself into. I used to be one of those reckless felters, but I've learned my lesson, oh have I ever.