Swatching Hell

Troubles in Lace Land

Well normally I don’t do the swatch thing. It really isn’t necessary for many things if you are close to the yarn weight and needle size recommended ( mittens, hats,scarves). Of course, the exception to this is making sweaters that actually fit the intended wearer and I have had problems with that even after swatching, but that is a post for another day.

For the MS3, I was not going to swatch. I actually had the same yarn and needle size as the designer and thought, ‘No problem’, I mean, it doesn’t really matter if you are off a few inches in any direction in a lace stole, I mean, come on.

Then after reading some of the groups messages I began to get a little worried. Some were having size problems and others were have problems with their beads and the list went on. So I decided to swatch.

Here is the result.

New Swatch

This is a very simple lace pattern that I have used before (see these socks) and was very easy to memorize, but look… Yes, there is a mistake in the (very simple!) pattern, but, after ripping out the swatch once and then making another mistake in about the same spot, I decided to leave it. I doesn’t affect the reasons for doing the swatch in the first place; testing the yarn and needle size to see if you like the resulting fabric. The pattern is not the one used in the Mystery Stole but will give a very good idea of how the yarn and needle will look. I like the combo I used and the colour of the beads, but I do not like the size of the beads. They seem too small!

This of course has been a nagging doubt in the back of my mind for a few weeks now. The pattern calls for 8/0 sized beads and I just took some seed beads out of my collection and thought they would do nicely. I had no idea as to their size. Now I do…

beads per inch

As you can see from the picture, they are 10 beads to the inch which makes them 10/0 beads, too small for the stole. Add to this that I had trouble threading them onto the crochet hook and yarn, well I may be dense but I’m not dumb! I need to get bigger beads!

A word of caution for those of you using the crochet hook method. If the bead hole is a little small and the hook won’t easily go through, do not force it! The hook may end up going through the bead with a little nudge but may break with the yarn forced through it and guess what! Yarn gets sliced up by broken glass! Go on, ask me how I know!

So I placed an order through an Ontario company and will have to wait a week or two for the proper sized beads… No Probs, I can wait! Then I looked at their FAQ’s… They say that 8/0 beads have 12 beads to the inch! What the ??

I have sent in an inquiry to the company but don’t expect to hear back from them for a few days! Oh woe is me. I guess I will have to wait and wait to start the MS3. Some folks even have the first clue finished already! (Moan and Groan)

I am going to knit socks now, to take the edge off while I wait!

How about some cute baby bibs crocheted for our neighbors’ new baby boy?

Bibs

How can anyone not knit or crochet for newborns? It is such a quick and satisfying project. Just ask the Yarn Harlot who seems to be addicted to Dream in Color baby sweater kits!

So, I am glad that I swatched. I learned quite a bit about handling the yarn and needles, and how to bead with a crochet hook. Most importantly I realized the beads were too small. All things I didn’t need to experiment with while actually knitting the Big Scary lace Project. So maybe swatching is a good idea after all.

Good creative knitting and have a great Canada Day!

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7 thoughts on “Swatching Hell

  1. Julia

    I think it is allowed to curse a little when the swatches is going so bad as yours. I know I would.

    I hope ypur beads come soon!

    The beads are “greenlandic” beads, my mother gave me. They are also called 8/0.

    /Julia

    Reply
  2. Anna

    I don’t swatch either (sssshhh!), especially not for things where the size doesn’t matter so much.
    I did run into a little trouble on this stole, but that wasn’t a size thing – I just made a small mistake around row 79/81. After some tinking it was fixed though.
    I’m also knitting without beads, as I just don’t see me wearing a thing with beads. But it still looks lovely.

    Reply
    1. CreativeWhimsy Post author

      Hi these Bibs were crocheted. They are from my early days when I wasn’t keeping notes as well as I should have!! Sorry I’m not sure where the patterns came from! :(

      Reply

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