Got Swatches? January 30, 2014 – Posted in: How to, Project Ideas, Thursday This and That

Thank you all for your comments on the last blog. I am quite over the slump, I assure  you! However, it was good to talk about it and so get it out of my system. Here is a picture of the little something I started last Thursday night and finished Saturday.

IMG_9353This is “Chevzam”, knit in Manos del Uruguay “Maxima” – I love it!

During the two years this blog has existed I have been pestering you with my notions of swatching which means you might have accumulated said swatches with your projects. Unless  you rip them when done and use the yarn for the project. Since I often wash my swatches to see what happens, I usually have some hanging around. What about you? Got some nice squares with lacy patterns or lovely coloured stockinette swatches at hand?
Well, Melissa had an idea what to do with them – and I am going to tell you all about it!
If you do not have any swatches, this can become an interesting exercise – with you choosing patterns  you like and always wanted to try, and small knitting projects that are finished quickly to boot. I decided to go with one kind of yarn in different colours (I used Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend) and knit the same pattern in my so-called swatches – to be turned into art, as you will see.
Swatch Art
What you need:

  • 3-4 swatches, about 5.5×5.5″ when blocked – here are the instructions to mine (click to download)
  • Ikea “Ribba” frames to go with your swatches (these are deeper than regular picture frames) 9x9x1.75″ – I have four white ones
  • Glass head sewing pins, or if you prefer, simple metal ones

After knitting your swatches, weave in the ends, wet block and pin them to required size. Let dry thoroughly.
Then open the Ribba frames and pin them over the opening of the framing mat. The opening is 4.5×4.5″ – a swatch measuring 5.5×5.5″ covers it nicely. Secure with four pins in each corner. Place in frames and secure. Voilà! Knitted art.


I have tried to place them under the mat and have just part of the swatch show – I like the raw placement better, but in the end it is really up to you . Placing the swatch under the mat is probably more suited to using a swatch you have from one of your projects, which might not exactly be the size you want.
I do think a grouping hung on a wall looks especially nice, but placing just one on a shelf works too! (Since I haven’t finished all of mine, that is what I have been doing so far.)
Happy Knitting, as ever!
– Mona
P.S. Oh, look: Melissa is all done with hers! She chose to use different stitch patterns, which adds another layer of interest. Great collection! Makes me want to go and finish, too.