If you're confused about swatching when you crochet, you're not alone!
Crocheters typically feel like swatching is a waste of time, not crucial to their project, or they just are not sure what a swatch is (or, what it should do).
Let's start with a few basics:
What is a swatch?
A swatch is just a small sample, or test, of a stitch, fabric, or pattern.
What stitch should I use to make a swatch?
Whatever stitch(es) are used in your pattern! If a specific stitch / row repeat is used, that's what you'll use to swatch. Or, swatch the stitch pattern(s) used in the largest section(s) of a pattern, or where size is most essential.
There are lots of reasons swatching can be a helpful tool when you crochet, and here are our top 3:
- Swatch for gauge: Gauge is a measurement of the stitches (wide) and rows (tall) within a fabric, typically offered in a 4"x4" square. Not every crochet project is size essential, so you don't always have to swatch for gauge; it's only crucial if size is essential to your project. Swatching for gauge will display your stitch / row measurements, and that gauge will determine your finished size.
Swatch to practice: Just like any other subject in life, if you want to really master a skill you've got to practice! In crochet, creating a swatch can help to practice in advance, before you start your project. A practice swatch can help to even your tension, perfect the stitch and row repetitions, and learn new and special techniques.
- Swatch for color: Will color enhance or hide your fabric? Color combinations can make or break a project, so creating a swatch will help you to choose the best colors for it. Seeing how colors look together with a swatch of your project will help to decide the order, placement and total number of colors you'll use.
Now that we've outlined a few reasons to swatch when you crochet, do you feel more confident about creating a swatch?
Let me know in the comments!
Peace, Love & Crochet