Like most knitters (I think), I don’t especially love to swatch. When I start a new project, I always go back and forth as to whether I really *need* to swatch, and if I do, how small of a swatch can I get away with.
And on nearly every skimpy-swatching occassion, I end up with a garment that doesn’t fit very well. Argh.
So, I’m starting a new sweater project (a KAL with the lovely Espino) and here I go again debating if and how much I should swatch. The Devil on my shoulder says, “oh just make a little square, back and forth, it’s close enough.” The Angel on the other shoulder says “you better make your swatch in the round or you *know* it won’t be accurate!” And then Elizabeth Zimmerman walks up behind me, swats the Devil/Angel off my shoulders, and says “why not knit a swatch cap?” Oh you wise and wonderful woman.
I’m not sure why – but the swatch cap doesn’t *feel* like a swatch. It’s a hat! I’m not knitting for calibration (which really isn’t a bad reason to be knitting), I’m knitting a future finished object that will have a practical-wearing use. And, I’ve also learned the hard way, if you don’t block your swatch, then why on earth did you even bother knitting a swatch?? The swatch cap is a perfect little blocking garment too (dries fast).
So, I’m half way through my Merle/BT Loft swatch cap and I’m so glad I listened to EZ. Granted, I’m going to take a little longer to get to the sweater (sorry, Espino, I’m knitting as fast as I can), but I’m confident that this sweater is going to fit me (and not the poor person I gift it to because I can’t bear to see this beautiful sweater just sitting in my closet).
When I read in Meg’s newsletter a week ago that the Updated Edition of Knitting Workshop was finally available, I didn’t even finish reading the newsletter – I went immediately to Schoolhouse Press online and ordered my copy. [Then I finished reading the always-delightful newsletter.]
It arrived yesterday and I (again) immediately dropped everything to read through it.
Cully and Meg have worked a masterpiece here. Knitting Workshop has always been one of my favorite EZ book AND favorite knitting-help books, but often the instructions were a teeny bit lacking and often the pictures (B&W) weren’t easy to see. The Updated Edition still has all of EZ’s original text but is now supplemented with TONS of editor’s notes, color pictures, hand drawn diagrams showing exactly the processes being described, and on and on. Cully and Meg added a few EZ journal entries they have found over the years and fit them into the book where it seemed appropriate. A wonderful extra addition.
If you love EZ (then I probably don’t need to tell you this but), you should pick up this book as soon as possible. It has certainly just become my #1 go-to knitting-help book. If you appreciate the way things are explained in Knitting with Two Colors (Meg Swansen & Amy Detjen), then you will appreciate the updated Knitting Workshop as well.
In celebration of my vacation that just started (hooray!), you can now purchase the happy Kells Cowl for only $2.50.
It’s good travel knitting – small, lightweight, simple and, when you’re done, ready to wear (no blocking necessary).
In the words of Elizabeth Zimmerman: “A round shawl [or cowl], in fine wool, on a circular needle, is my invariable companion when space is limited, waiting-around probable, and events uncertain.”