Swatching and Finishing – Part 1

I’m doing a very short blog series on how swatching and finishing affect the accessories and clothing that I knit.  It come out of my experience recently in getting stalled on completing a couple of projects, and how I am now working through a new one.

Part 1: The Mystery Knit-along

Long-time readers may know that I have been challenged in doing mystery knit-alongs where I am satisfied with the end result.  In part, it’s because I really am largely a product knitter – knitting for an outcome, and since I don’t know what I am knitting, often I am not all that happy with what is made – which is nothing to do with the designer’s capability, just my personal taste.

Shortly after the race issues got raised in the knitting world, I realized that I had been living in a lily-white bubble as to who I was following on Instagram and my blog-reader, so I upped my game and found some great new-to-me voices, such as @lolabeanyarnco and @untangling.knots, and I’ve really enjoyed @drunkknitter, both her posts and her YouTube channel.

I decided to join Saffiyah’s (aka Drunkknitter) mystery knit-along which was designed in the throes of the final episodes of Game of Thrones, which I haven’t watched since season 1. The plus was that I could knit from stash, so this was all about supporting a designer.  I did knit a swatch (lost to history but didn’t wash and block it,) and then knit-along:

There were some pattern reading adventures along the way (a couple of errata, but mostly me not paying attention), and it looked like this as I got almost to the end:

The thing was, it seemed really small – and I’m not a large person. I finished the knitting, but was feeling discouraged by other knitting too (see the upcoming Part 2), so I just stuffed it away, somehow hoping all would be get fixed by ignoring it.

Finally, I realized how many kinds of stupid that was, so I put it in a bowl with wool wash, blocked it pretty aggressively, and voila!


All the worries about size are gone. And it looks enough for me to wear or give as a gift!

Lesson: sometimes it all does come out in the blocking!

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