Once in a while, I get a message from someone saying their hat or sock or mitt ended up a surprising size. I know how disappointing this can be, and I always feel bad for folks when this happens. I usually write back and ask if they got gauge when they swatched. Nine times out of ten, they didn’t swatch. Now I know swatching can feel like a waste of time. I totally understand the urge to just start knitting. But all I can say is that the more I knit, the more I realize just how much time is saved by swatching.
That other one time out of ten, the person has swatched. My next question is something along the lines of ‘and did you block your swatch?’ The answer there is almost always ‘um…no.’ Now I know, asking you to block your swatches is sort of like asking a seven year old to open their Christmas presents a day late. But I promise it’s important. If you find yourself wondering, just take a look at this picture. On the left are the blocked cuffs. On the right are the unblocked cuffs.
They’re small enough to make good standins for swatches. See something of a difference between the two? Which would you rather be basing your measurements on? So, I know you’re impatient, and I know you’re eager to get started. But I can’t stress enough how important it is to make a good swatch and then to block the swatch. It’s totally worth it.