I know that those of us who do swatch do so because we want our finished items to knit to the size and proportion that we’re trying to achieve, and we don’t want to frog back a huge number of stitches. Some of us also swatch to practice new-to-us stitch patterns.
I also think that swatches are a good tool for practicing finishing techniques, which brings me to today’s topic of weaving in ends with a crochet hook because we’re knitting with a chunky yarn called Toy Box. Yesterday we looked at the colors and yarn structure of Toy Box. Today, you can see what it looks like knit up.
With just a few balls of Toy Box, each at 109yds per 100g balls, you can knit up quick projects. When you swatch, you may find there’s a large range of possible gauges because the yarn is squishy and has a lot of loft.
The ball band recommends size 11 US [8mm] needles to achieve a gauge of 12 stitches and 15 rows per 4”, but when I knit my swatch I had different results.
So I’m off the recommended stitch gauge by one less, so I knit the swatch loosely apparently. But…
For the row gauge, on US 11 [8mm] needles, I’m getting 17 rows, instead of the 15 recommended on the ball band. So, if I were doing a garment, I would be knitting my rows too tightly and my stitches too loosely. It goes to show why ball band gauge is just a recommendation, not a rule carved in stone.
Duplicate stitch or Swiss darning is a way of adding strands of yarn, usually to the knit side of a stretch of stockinette knitting, but by using the same principles and a crochet hook, you can weave in ends. It’s hard to thread chunky yarn onto a tapestry needle sometimes, so I prefer to crochet them in. This video will show you how I accomplish this.
Practice weaving in ends – YouTube
I hope you enjoy swatching with Toy Box, but more importantly, I hope you enjoy the soft and colorful knits you’ll get from just a few skeins. Tomorrow we’ll look at some free patterns that would look great in Toy Box.
This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Out of the Toy Box! Knitting with marled, self-striping chunky yarn
Go to part 3: 6 patterns are very soft knit up in Toy Box yarn
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