Remember how I said something the other day about hating swatching? It seems that something has changed - it may have been all of the helpful, persuasive comments, I'm not sure. Either that or some swatching version of OCD has kicked in.
Perhaps, on the other hand, these aren't really swatches. They're design notes (I like the sound of that).
For the last couple of days I've holed myself up in my apartment to avoid the cold outside and sat and tried out lots of lace patterns. Lots and lots ... these are actually just a fraction of what I've knit. The ones that didn't work out at all got ripped.
Every single one of these is tiny. I've decided to call them microswatches, mostly because it amuses me. As I said, I'm not sure they're really swatches, they have nothing to do with gauge (I'm just using leftover sock yarns and normal sock-size needles). Some of them are as little as 7 or 9 stitches, and I think the biggest is about 25 stitches across.
Microswatches have a downside. When it comes to lace patterns with patterning on every row, I've had to figure out how to do purl decreases that lean right or left for the wrong sides - I still don't have the right and left leaning purl decreases straight in my head. Either that or I can't think backwards, which isn't really surprising. I won't even mention the hour or more I spent trying to figure out how to execute a diagram-less trick that had something to do with one stitch into three over three rows. I spent a lot of time cursing with that one and still don't have it worked out - but then again I'm the one who chose to use Japanese stitch dictionaries, right?
The upside to microswatches, however, is that it's absolutely noncommittal. Sit, pull out a pattern, knit it up. I can be tired, grouchy (that affects gauge, you know), have a short attention span, and they still serve some kind of purpose. Even if the purpose is to tell me that the Japanese stitch dictionaries must have nailed their swatches down to make them lie flat (just saying).
I should point out - or someone will point it out for me, I'm sure - that I'm doing this to avoid what I should really be doing. Finishing the second sock of the new pattern I've designed, writing up the two patterns I've worked out recently. Figuring out how to sell the
damn things on the blog.
I'm thinking, though, that maybe I shouldn't push it - trying so hard to find a new idea. Because in two days of microswatch-land, I still don't have a good one. I had incredibly good luck (either that or I'm getting better at this) with the last two ideas, and maybe I shouldn't push for a third before its time.