Explorative swatches

Not completely aimless, just mostly

Now that the jumper is done, and I’m wearing it, and I’ve established that it’s the most comfortable item of clothing in the world universe, I’m trying to work out what to do next. Another jumper, but what.

I’m not a pattern follower; I need to ride my own bike. The online tutorial I followed for the first jumper was perfect. Earlier this week I bought Amy Herzog’s Ultimate Sweater Book, which has instructions and ideas for dropped shoulder, raglan, yoke, and set-in sleeves and The Twisted Sisters Knit Sweaters which has instructions and ideas for up-and-down and side-to-side construction for dropped shoulders. Between the two of them I should be able to figure out anything I want.

I also got the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible from the library and I may have to buy my own copy of this little treasure.

So I’ve been swatching and thinking.

#185, Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible. I stopped because there were myriad mistakes but mostly because I was using too big a needle and it just looked sloppy. Later, because this yarn is meant to be washable, I threw it in with a load of clothes. Obviously this is not what they meant you to do.

Garter stitch, all the colours. I did a garter stitch swatch with all the colours. In stockinette, the stripes looked like bad sports socks, but in garter stitch both sides are interesting. I love, love, love knitting back and forth garter stitch. I love, love, love feeling its firm squishiness. But it is so stiff, even when I went up a needle size.

#55, Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible. This time I knit “in the round” on circulars by sliding the work back to the original needle and carrying the yarn along the back as a float. This pattern required K3T and I was barely managing K2T with general purpose needles. At one point, I thought I didn’t drop the three stitches off the needle properly and “fixed” it. Later I discovered (at least) two dropped stitches, so clearly I created the issue rather than fixing it. I wasn’t sure how to recover from this, so I abandoned this swatch as well.

Campfire cardigan cable. I didn’t abandon this swatch, but I didn’t do the world any favours by finishing it. Supposed to be a cable pattern from Herzog, but please don’t blame her. It was disastrous enough before I got off by one.

#2, Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible. I finally finished one! It took a ridiculous number of do-overs to get going. You wouldn’t think a person could invent so many ways to mess up, but I have great talent. At one point about halfway through the yellow section I had a serious mistake that took forever to fix, but I did it! I was just going to skip the bobbles because they are actually crocheted, but when I got to the first one I made myself read the instructions and it wasn’t really hard. There was some interpretation required, but I got through it!

#104, Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible. This one is a WIP. I deliberately choose one with cables. Obviously I need cable practice. Also, I successfully fixed another mistake. I think I may have some YO challenges* to overcome though, as some of the holes don’t look quite right. Overall, I feel very confident now in selecting patterns from this book that I can succeed with.


  • Read the pattern with your eyeballs
  • Always try to fix your mistakes
  • Don’t be afraid of scary symbols when selecting patterns
  • Patterns with only knits and purls on the wrong side can be knitted flat
  • Patterns with symbols that have different meanings on right and wrong side rows should be knitted in the round if you value your sanity
  • Maybe don’t change colour in the middle of a swatch, especially when you have more of the first colour
  • Invest in some ChaiaGoo or Hiya Hiya lace needles if you continue with the JKSB
  • I can’t imagine anything in garter stitch that I would want to wear

*ETA I found everything you always wanted to know about yarnovers. This information confirms my theory about why my holes are different sizes and advises exactly the sampler I was intending to try. Maybe I am learning something.

Go on, you know you want to say it...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.