Saturday, May 24, 2008

Swatching Storm Front

I've emerged from a high pressure inner-weather system with a report. It's similar to Robyn's latest entry about her designing process. Coincidence? Or does blogging about a Day in the Designing Life lend itself to blogging about the designing process?

I think I identified the sources of the pressure: there are 6 yarns I want to use first with equal passion + I'm making a personal garment but using a professional process (more on this below) + I have a tight time limit if I'm going to wear a new design (or 6?) to TNNA!

The 6 yarns that cast a spell over me: Kollage Yummy in Foggy Dew, Sirdar Baby Bamboo in a heathery metallic lilac (see both in 3rd photo below), Tess Cascade Silk in handdyed pewter, Plymouth Shire Silk in radiant tweedy aqua (both at right), Plymouth Royal Llama Linen in 3 earthy neutrals, and Great Adirondack Sierra (see above) in a painted rainbow. (These are on my Ravelry Stash page.)
I swatched 5 like crazy (the storm part) and noticed something new about that. As I mentioned, it's been 2+ years since I could design a sweater for myself rather than for professional deadlines. The swatching resulted in a number of good designs from a professional standpoint, but none that made me commit to making one now for me. It was weird--I enjoy a good swatching marathon in its own right and I've got a stack of some great swatches now--but for future reference. Huh? I need something now! What's going to close the deal?

Luckily I didn't stop swatching. I picked up the 6th yarn, Baby Bamboo, and magic happened. My fingers and eyes tingled (a personal response to the yarn). I tried a new stitch pattern that captured my imagination (I call it "Waterlily"). After two rows I was hooked personally, not professionally. I guess that after 2-3 years I forgot that there's a difference LOL!


  1. Hey Vashti, I know, I know. Swatching is good, swatching is necessary (see the swatch, feel the swatch, be the swatch). But no one except perhaps you with this post can convince me swatching is fun. You do revel in the prospect and the process. May we suppose you block, mount, file and cross-reference your brilliant swatches as well? :D

  2. I can see how my post might give the impression that I lovingly, painstakingly, preserve and display my swatches. No way! I take photos of the good ones and then rip them out! I love this system.


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