Swatching Colorwork Knitting in the Round is Yukky

swatching in the round colorwork

It’s a bit embarrassing to show this swatch of colorwork because I messed up big time. But I don’t plan to do this again.

A while ago I watched a video about swatching colorwork knitting in the round using this method, so I thought I’d try it.

swatching in the round colorwork

When swatching for a sweater, I always make my swatches flat, or sometimes I will begin knitting a sleeve to measure the gauge. But, if the gauge is off, the sleeve has to be knit over again.

Sometimes people will carry the yarn around the back of the swatch and begin knitting again. See an explanation of this at the Quince & Co. blog post and watch the video below made by Webs. A long, circular needle is used to knit the swatch and the project is slid back to the other side of the needle when finished. Straight needles will not work.

This is how I made my swatch, except that I did not carry the yarn, but cut my yarn at the end of each row. I did my swatch this way after watching a YouTube video and decided I would try it.

I’ll never do that again…!

The swatch curled up on me terribly (which is bound to happen, but was annoying) and I didn’t know how to keep borders on the edges while knitting the pattern. My second colorwork section in my swatch is horribly messed up, not that it matters because this is a swatch, but I couldn’t wait to bind off. Then, I had all these loose ends which I tied up using 2 strands each. It took forever.

The swatch will be a good reference for needle size 3 Fair Isle in the round, but it wasn’t fun to make. It’s much better to carry the yarn around the back – just make sure the strands are long and wont pull on the front – because no ends need to be dealt with! Just wash and dry leaving those strands in the back. Will this be okay? I don’t know.

All Knits and No Purls Mimics “in the round” Knitting

The reason for knitting this way is that every row is a knit row – no purling – and that mimics “in the round” knitting. This is supposed to give you a more accurate gauge measurement. It wastes a lot of yarn though, and it’s knit in a way that you can’t unravel and use the yarn after.

See more in another video (below) with colorwork swatching in the round. However, there is no advice on how to end this. Cut the strands? Or don’t cut the strands? If they are cut, then you have ends to deal with. If I wash it first, can I then cut the ends and be safe? Maybe that would work with wooly yarn, but won’t for all types.

I’m not saying that swatching in the round is not a good idea, but just know what you are in for when you do it. Keep the swatch as a reference and be sure to label it with yarn type used and needle size.

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