25 Things You Can Do With A Swatch

I’ve seen some pretty borrrring ideas for what to do with swatches. What do you do with yours? Have you seen some nifty things you can do with them online?

This is the place to post em…

I’ll start. In SnB: The Knitters Handbook the first swatch you’re told to make is saved for a sunglass cleaner. Debbie tells us to toss it in our purse, because as we all know sunglasses never get dirty in the house. Duh.

So, Re: with your fantastic ideas. For those of you who do not save your swatches and are thrifty knitters who frog the swatch and use it in the project you are swatchin’ for, tell us your swatch horror stories, if you have any.

Another idea: new knitters can make a “knitting notebook” or Touch N’ Feel Stitch Dictionary ™. Just put your swatches in clear, reusable envelopes. Punch holes in the envelopes and stick 'em in a 3-ring binder. Add a sheet of paper with notes on how you made your swatch, yarn info, etc. Might also be cool to name that stitch.

23 to go…who’s next?

my children use them for blankets in their dollhouse. quilting squares are the sheets. --is this what you mean??!

if they are nothing but garter or stockinette i felt them and cut them up for flower pins.

i had a gigantic baggie of swatches, until I read in either Felted Knits or Knit One Felt Too that you can felt them and make coasters. so that’s what I did with some of them. I was going to save them to make a gigantic patchwork-type blanket, but that would take forever…
I’m afraid to use swatches on my glasses b/c I don’t want the lenses to scratch (I’m anal about my glasses) .

I’m not allowed to post my ideas…JK :smiley:

I rip mine out to do a different kind of swatch. At least, that’s what I’ve been doing so far…and “so far” isn’t very far if you know what I mean. I usually practice making mistakes on my swatches or practice a certain type of stitch that’s going onto an actual project. Haven’t seen the need to keep those. However, I am working on my “knitting journal” and getting it organized. I plan to put some swatches in there for demonstration where I can put notes beside it for whatever purpose I was aiming for at the time.

:shock: Oh geez…I’m supposed to save my swatches?!? I rip 'em out and then start knitting my pattern…oops! :oops:

you don’t have to save them! some people don’t, some people do.

Two of my swatches came out nice and were largeand very soft. I used them as baby washcloths. :slight_smile: [color=red][/color]

I do all sorts of things with swatches, like toss them under the bed, stuff them under piles of paper, tuck them neatly into my yarn stash with stitch holders on them (so that’s where all my stitch holders go!), etc.

I use some for pot holders. All my pot handles get hot, and I use an Italian stove top coffee maker that has burned my knuckles more than once… but not with a handy dandy swatch/potholder!

The swatches I’m using for gage testing get frogged for working into the pattern. But mostly because I always eyeball how much yarn I’ll need for a project and often end up short (because I usually alter paterns and don’t actually go through the bother of calculating how much I’ll need, like I really should).

I generally re-use the swatch in my knitting but occasionally I’ll keep it as a samples. I sell my scarves so it’s handy to show them the variety of colours and type available.

I’m supposed to follow that part of the directions and actually DO a swatch??? :mrgreen: :oops: LOLOL.

I’ve made several of these bunnies! http://www.heartstringsfiberarts.com/bunny.shtm

I also have a notebook of FO records and swatches.

I get the subscription of sample hanks from Elann (it was a gift). As I don’t buy every yarn they sell, I’ve set aside the hanks for now. I’m either going to make a funky striped purse or scarf or a try out different stitch patterns and attach the squares together as a sampler.

I’ve also considered frogging the swatches and using them as trim on other knitted items to jazz them up.

Greeeeaaaat topic, Denise!

They make good pockets for bags, sweaters, etc. They can be hidden inside, or shown prominently outside–if it looks good. (Throw them inside a child’s sweater. What kid doesn’t love a hidden pocket?!)

Sew a few together and add an elastic for a fun scrunchie

Add a strap, and you have a baby bib (see “Getting Started” page for an example and easy instructions). Works best if garter stitch, or other stitch that doesn’t roll in. Stockinette stitch could maybe be backed by a heavy fabric to keep it from rolling.

You could sew a bunch together for a pretty fun scarf!
The challenge would be to keep it from rolling. Maybe just orient them so that they alternate facing in and facing out–so they’d roll in opposite directions. Not sure how it would look, but it would be fun to try! :slight_smile:

Amigarabita, that’s a great idea to felt them and cut them into shapes! You could cut out anything: flowers, fish, cats, dinosaurs, stars, angels… I see lots of Christmas Ornament options, as well as applique ideas! Or even just circles, for round coasters.

Felting Instructions: Works for wools, but not acrylic yarn. Throw the swatch into a top-loading washing machine with 2 pairs of jeans, and hot water (soap is fine, not sure if it’s necessary or not). Agitate in the machine until felted as small as you want it. Can take 1/2 hr. or so of agitation. Keep an eye on it, because wools and machines are different. Looks best, I think, when you can no longer make out the stitches; but you can really just stop it whenever you want to.

I think I’ll link to this thread from the “Getting Started” page! Great topic for beginners, especially! (What to do with that first rectangle they’re so proud of?) I think I’ll sneak in and bold your ideas, for quick browsing, I know y’all won’t mind. :wink:

Thanks, Amy! Lots of ideas!

I think the bolding is a great idea.

Just discovered this use when I dropped a practice swatch on the floor–a cat toy! :smiley: My first little cabling attempt has been ruined within 30 seconds. I’m sure you could sew a little swatch up with some stuffing and catnip and make a cuter toy, but my cat seems pretty happy ripping up the little flat square.

I tried this, not just to use a swatch, but on purpose… one of the cats ATE through the yarn and then went crazy nutso for the cat nip.

I wasn’t going to post a picture, but I thought Beldie would like to see it (i know she loves kitties)… don’t be fooled though, he weighs 15 pounds now!

my daughter made a cat toy by sewing a practice swatch together in a little rectangle with some catnip we grew last summer

Amy you should check out the felted coasters in ‘last-minute knitted gifts’ ~they’re really pretty.

Aww shucks, you didn’t have to. I mean “really” you didn’t have to. REALLY!!!


Ohhhhhhhhh! What a cutie! He looks a lot like my first cat, Pookie. Thanks for sharing!

15 lbs, now, eh?! That’s a big cat! That little kitten picture is definitely deceiving!

:slight_smile: Amy

I think I’m in love with that kitten pic :inlove:

Another swatch project for the politcally inclined:


Read/check out the whole site - it’s pretty cool :thumbsup: