Ways to label swatches

I really enjoy the knitting meet-ups with the Ravelry group. They are once a month-ish at the Dock Cafe, which is an honesty café. You pay what you like. You can bring your own lunch. I only noticed in tiny fine print last time, it’s run as a sort of church.

“Why did you have to swear?” She was clearly glowering at me. I went bright red trying to think of what I’d just said. I assumed in an instant she was very religious and I had offended her with my usual potty-mouth. (One summer at sea, and I swear like a sailor.) But I think all I had said was “damn”, oh dear.

“What did I say?” I asked, afraid of the answer.


Then I laughed, we laughed *phew*.

But lesson learned, swatching, at least in this knitting group is a dirty word.

I feel so rebellious because I’ve discovered I really enjoy it.

I like not having the pressure of making “something” and can just enjoy the yarn, and see how it looks. I can faff about, try different stitches and it’s no biggie.

I’ve not yet tried swatching to match a pattern, so I don’t know the pain of swatching.

For now I just like making them.

Labelling swatches

I now understand why you have to label them. I had swatches I did just last week and I couldn’t remember what the heck the needle was.

There are handy tricks ways to do it. Such as adding knots in the tails to mark how many stitches and what needle as shown on a blog called Slow Knits.

In her book Little Red in the City, Ysolda advises using yarn overs to mark whole needle sizes and purl bumps to mark 1/4s. So a 3.25 mm would have 3 yo, and 1 purl bump.  I saw some swatches from Amy Herzog’s advice on swatching and they look to use the same system.

I want more info. What yarn, the stitch count, etc. I think in future I’ll measure before and after dimensions of the swatch too.

I like Deb Robson’s idea of “Serious (and Silly) Swatching” in her Know your wool course on Craftsy. (Free course!)

Deb advises making 2 (probably more!) swatches.

  • Swatch 1 = a 10 cm center with moss or garter to minimize curl ins.
  • Swatch 2 = a pattern swatch, with 15 cm approx in center.

Deb’s advice for Serious silly swatch Labels:

  • Yarn name
  • Company/source
  • Needles, size which ones.
  • Stitches in swatch
  • Also an extra yarn tail on tag.
  • She doesn’t tie the label onto the tail.

I think I also want to add gauge information as well. I wish I had measured the entire swatch and took pics before and after, but I was keen to get it soaking ASAP that night so it would dry overnight.

I like the remark Deb made in the resources in the Craftsy course. 

If it isn’t fun, I don’t finish! I reclaim my yarn and start over with something that will be fun!- Deb Robson

1 thought on “Ways to label swatches”

  1. Wow, this is some serious devotion to swatching and swatching lore that I was not aware of. Food for thought! I don't keep my swatches though… I always unravel and start knitting with the yarn.

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