We swatch so for many reasons.
We want to be sure we understand the techniques used in a project.
We want to test out the needle size with our yarn to see if we are getting gauge.
We want to wash and block a little bit of fabric to make sure the yarn doesn't bleed when it get wet.
When swatching in the round, the knit side (right side) of the work always faces us. We don't want to swatch flat for a project that will be worked in the round because our knit and purl stitches are almost always worked at different gauges. The less “stretchy” a yarn is, the more obvious this might be. We have a couple options when it comes to working in the round:
When posed with these options, I opt for the latter. I like working a swatch so I’m sure I like the fabric that is produced using the yarn and needle selections. I do not necessarily like working more than twice the necessary stitches to gather the information necessary for a successful cast-on. Time is precious, and I am wanting to get the best information I can in the most efficient amount of time.
So… I swatch “in the round” with floats.
Sometimes we are asked to swatch a colorwork pattern before the charts are released. for these cases, I created a free pattern with a couple chart options. Download the pattern by clicking on the link.