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Swatch Buster

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Project info
Swatch Buster
ninja-knitter on ravelry
Needles & yarn

Swatches, what do you do with them? I’m a dutiful knitter, I swatch for projects where fit is important. Sometimes I frog them to reuse the yarn in my project and sometimes they end up washed and blocked and congregate in strange places. There’s a batch of swatches in one of my knitting baskets, a few in the drawer and others are pinned to my wall of clipboards or on the notice board in my office.

I want to use them as the basis of a freeform project.

I carry my life around at work in a rectangular dark green plastic tub. In it goes my laptop, my hard disk or USBs, text books, calculators, white board markers and the eraser - everything I need to teach. It’s boringly functional. I want to cover it so it reflects me more.

So I found the swatches and dragged them all out into the light and pondered.

Then for January / February 2015 the lovely ladies in the IFFF are hosting a FFAL with the theme of polar opposites. Roseknits24-7 is the guest moderator gently and whimsically leading our explorations. With Rose steering the ship, it will be anything but boring.

And so a plan started to coalesce with some holiday musings.

The swatches are one point of reference. These represent order, following the rules, regular angular geometric shapes. There are sober neutral colours - beige and tan and cream, navy blue and deep grey. I can see a puritan or a Amish person happily wearing these. But some of these things are not like the others. There’s a blue and orange, double-knit checkerboard swatch, a red strip and a peachy blue pastel square.

So my polar opposites so far are:
Straight lines and angles vs. curves
Shapes with vertices (squares, rectangles and triangles - those swatches) vs. circular shapes (circles and ovals and spirals)
Order vs. chaos
Symmetry vs. asymmetry
Outside vs. inside. (My box has an inside and an outside and they will be polar opposites).
Sober colours (neutrals) vs. riotous colours (jewel and neon, multi-tonal pastels). (Though there was a suggestion that the opposite of sober is drunken and some speculation as to what drunken colour would be?)
Old vs. New. Reuse, recycle, re-home old swatches and scrumbles and knitting experiments. create new and interesting swatches and spirals and curves.

Actual knitting progress
What do you do with a plain white swatch? Turn it into a scrabble letter of course. The letter comes from my knitted letters book and I Swiss darned it onto the swatch.

I’ve long wanted to knit a medieval illuminated J. Here was my excuse. The pattern for this is a cross stitch / needlepoint pattern.

I also found the stash of free form knitted flowers and leaves. Some of these are going to end up in here too.

I partially assembled the outside of the tub cover but have a gap I need to knit something to fit.

I borrowed Lynne Barr’s Reversible Knitting from the library (again) and actually put needles to yarn to make up some of the swatches here. So far we have: 45 Circles in 4 seasons pure wool printed in variegated reds and 03 Faux Crochet Bobbles in pink variegated acrylic.

I used up the last of the Moda Vera Instinctive I used to make Curly Wurly to make a small section of the Summit shawl pattern to overlay across some plain swatches on the bottom on the tub.

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no date set
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About this pattern
Personal pattern (not in Ravelry)
  • Project created: December 19, 2014
  • In progress: December 19, 2014
  • Updated: January 12, 2018
  • Progress updates: 3 updates