I'm a huge fan of swatching. I'm always surprised when I hear other knitters talk about either not swatching all together, or just flat-out detesting it. For me, it gives me the time to practice a stitch pattern, get to know the yarn and develop a little bit of muscle memory for a particular match-up between needles, yarn and pattern. I call it bonding time. Sometimes it's hard for me to leave bonding time and actually move into the project. I have a whole bag full of swatches which I try to remember to label with what yarn it is and what needle size I used, and whether or not I used a stitch pattern from a particular book.
I'm not always successful, and I find myself treasure hunting for all the missing information. I pull them out of the bag every once in awhile and lay them out on my table, like puzzle pieces. Turning them right side up and positioning them correctly, I remember back to what I thought a particular yarn would be good for, or where I bought it. They're like little bits of memory for me.
So when I finally finished my poncho design from VK Holiday 2010, I had quite enough bonding time with Cascade 128 Superwash. Quite. Enough. But, I do love it and wear around the house all the time. When I sit on the couch, it sort of lays out like a blanket and I've started referring to it as my Snuggie. It's just better 'cause it's got a hood too.
Speaking of bonding, I had a lot of extra bonding time with Cascade 128 Superwash. The design I have in VK Winter 2010/11 is knit in the same yarn.
I do love it. It's a bulky weight workhorse'uva yarn. I had such a great time knitting up this particular design. The cabling becomes mindless, and the switch-up towards the top with the lace keeps it fun. Annie Maloney, the author of Aran Lace, the book where I got the stitch pattern from, gave me a shout-out on Ravelry and is knitting it up herself! I was so flattered when she e-mailed me.
And, what better way to bond with your fellow knitters than at VK LIVE!!! I was there yesterday helping out at the Pro Lab with one of their technical editors (Hi Lori!), and what a blast! I've had good and bad experiences when it comes to conventions, and this one was done right. Very organized, great venue, plenty of space and just enough to see, hear and talk about. Amidst all the yarn, I came across the most adorable knitted and felted dolls from ak traditions. I'm not a huge fan of knitting and sewing little things. I always lose interest by the time I have to put all the little pieces together. But, I couldn't resist these little cuties! So I bought one of their pattern books and am going to make a "Huggable". The little huggable bodies are like pillows. So adorable.