This is a fantastic blog post. I like getting another’s perspective on the subject of swatching. Oh, and don’t forget to scroll down and read all the comments. I got a few chuckles, but also some other great insights as well!
Originally posted on Knitting to Stay Sane:
If you’re a knitter who knits sweaters or shawls, or other items intended to fit either a large portion of your body, or to be worn over a portion of your body in a very fitted manner (sweaters apply here, also knee socks or long gloves), this means you’ve encountered the directive to pay attention to gauge. Usually this means that before you start knitting the pattern, you’ll need to make a gauge swatch. Or a tension square, depending on your lingo.
Much of the time, this step can deflate some of the New Project Joy we get from sitting down with a new pattern and a (possibly large, possibly expensive) pile of yarn, possibly at the beginning of a shiny and bright day off, or at the beginning of a full hour of obligation-free time after dinner. Maybe you envision casting on the project right then and there and magically having half of the body of the sweater done before bedtime, because man, this project is going to be so awesome. And then, perhaps, you read the notation about pattern gauge or an accompanying note about the need to work a gauge swatch just to be sure, and wonder out loud, “do I have to swatch?”