March 15, 2017

Why Are Swatches Important?

You either love them or hate them.
What is the importance of taking the time to make one? Why can't I just do the project?

Swatches are important for a few reasons, especially to new loomers.
  1. With swatches you can determine the best yarn thickness for the loom you want to use. For example, by doing a swatch on a smaller gauge loom, like the All In One, with a bulky type yarn you will find out that you may not want to use a bulky yarn--that the project works up harder and more tight. Or you may simply need to change the stitch you use with the yarn. The same goes with a thinner yarn on a bigger gauge loom. 
  2. Swatches also provide an opportunity to practice a stitch before beginning a big project. They help you to get comfortable with a new stitch or technique before incorporating it into a bigger project. 
  3. If you are attempting to design a specific letter or shape, swatches help you to figure out how many pegs and rows you will need to complete it without having to figure out in the middle of a project and risk having to then frog it if it doesn't come out right. 
  4. Swatches can be a great reference to what stitches look like. You can tag each swatch with notes like the loom used, the yarn, the amount of pegs, etc. This might come in handy later on when designing an item.
I'm sure there are other benefits to taking the time to make a swatch. If you know of any please share below.