It only takes a quick glance back through our posts here on our blog or on our Facebook or Ravelry pages to know that I swatch… a lot!
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Swatching isn't just about testing your gauge (although that is a HUGELY important reason to swatch), it is also about testing the fabric you are about to make. If I haven't worked in THAT stitch pattern using THAT yarn with THAT size hook or needle… there's gonna be a swatch.
I used to just toss my swatches into a box and not really give them much attention until one day I remembered a particular swatch done in a particular stitch in a particular yarn that I had experimented with. I wanted to use that pattern in this new design I had sketched so I dived into my box of swatches and, eventually, found the swatch. WOOHOO!! Chalk one up for being organized and not having to do double work re-swatching!
So… with hooks at the ready, I re-swatched testing out a couple of different hook sizes and reconstructing the stitch pattern. No, it didn't take forever to re-swatch, but I was a busy man and didn't have time to sit around re-doing my work dang it!
Swatching was FAB and all but now I saw that I needed a new way of keeping track of my swatches and the details of how those swatches were made. I thought of making a spreadsheet with photos of the swatches and just decided that was too much work. Although… now that does seem like a good idea if I just… nevermind… Moving On!
Thus was born a new organizational habit that has resulted in us being on the annual thank you card list for one of the companies that manufactures hang tags. Okay… that might not be entirely true… but we do use a LOT of hang tags.
Look closely at the photos and you will see we put a great deal of information on our tags. Our usual cataloguing method is:
1. Yarn Information
I like to put the name of the yarn company, the name of the yarn, and the name and number of the yarn color.
2. Hook or Needle Size
Not only do I put the letter/number/metric designation, in the past year or so, I started putting the brand name of the hook or needle I was using since different ones can produce slightly different results.
The more information here the better so I'm not spending maddening amounts of time going through files or flipping through books trying to find a particular stitch.
I will also put the name of the project like the working name of the book or the name of the magazine with the issue number. Again… we have codes for all of our design pieces that tell us information like the publication date, where it is being published, and the name/style of the design.
How do you mark your swatches? Because we know y'all swatch… right?
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