View Full Version : 25 Things You Can Do With A Swatch

02-23-2005, 09:49 PM
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 (TM). 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?

02-23-2005, 10:12 PM
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.

02-23-2005, 10:50 PM
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) .

02-23-2005, 11:22 PM
I'm not allowed to post my ideas....JK :D

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.

02-23-2005, 11:50 PM
:shock: Oh geez.....I'm supposed to save my swatches?!? I rip 'em out and then start knitting my pattern...oops! :oops:

02-23-2005, 11:52 PM
you don't have to save them! some people don't, some people do.

02-24-2005, 12:12 AM
Two of my swatches came out nice and were largeand very soft. I used them as baby washcloths. :)

02-24-2005, 12:49 AM
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).

02-24-2005, 04:04 AM
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.

02-24-2005, 12:56 PM
I'm supposed to follow that part of the directions and actually DO a swatch???? :mrgreen: :oops: LOLOL.

02-24-2005, 08:42 PM
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.

02-25-2005, 12:22 AM
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! :)

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. ;)

02-25-2005, 02:53 AM
Thanks, Amy! Lots of ideas!

I think the bolding is a great idea.

02-26-2005, 12:24 PM
Just discovered this use when I dropped a practice swatch on the floor--a cat toy! :D 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.

02-26-2005, 01:13 PM
I'm sure you could sew a little swatch up with some stuffing and catnip and make a cuter toy

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!

02-26-2005, 01:17 PM
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.

02-26-2005, 01:25 PM
I wasn't going to post a picture, but I thought Beldie would like to see it (i know she loves kitties)...

Aww shucks, you didn't have to. I mean "really" you didn't have to. REALLY!!!

02-26-2005, 01:32 PM

02-26-2005, 04:51 PM
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!

:) Amy

05-07-2005, 05:38 PM
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:


05-09-2005, 09:34 PM
hmm well I am knitting all my swatches ( don't have many....yet...give me time) together and using them for a coffee table rug. Another idea my wife had was to stitch them together for cheap curtains.

10-28-2005, 05:23 PM
:cheering: Hi, I am so happy to have found this site. There is some
awesome learning tools here. I am new here as well as new to knitting.
I have a question I hope someone could answer. The knifty knitter round looms they sell for $14.99 and they give you several differn't sizes of the looms, are they beneficial for the some one just starting to knit? Or is it just as easy to knit with the needles?
Thanks for any help
potpie ;)

10-28-2005, 05:49 PM
Welcome! I think the knitting rings you're talking about are really different than knitting with needles. What I mean is knowing how to use one does not relate to knowing how to use the other, though the rings have their uses, too. I have some that I bought for my grandson, but I haven't used them. I just love my needles too much.

10-29-2005, 12:11 AM
Righty-o Ingrid. I have some of the looms my own self and while they are very easy to use they will not help you learn knitting with needles. I actually move faster with the needles but that is just me, there are people that swear knitting with looms is faster. I think that it is just personal opinion which you would use. Watch Amys videos on this site and try the needles Knitting is a great hobby :D

03-14-2006, 05:36 PM
More yarn has been in and out of my cat than on my needles! :roflhard:

I love the bunny thing on this thread!! I just happen to have pink-y yarn. But, alas the pattern scares the crap out of me. :shock: < my face after reading half of the pattern. I really should read all of it. :rollseyes:

03-14-2006, 06:43 PM
:oops: I am actually using a few swatches for polishing and cleaning my shoes. They buff up leather so nicely :D

03-14-2006, 06:51 PM
good idea!

One of the women I work with has this RIDICULOUS scarf... all different colors, yarns, strings hanging, crazyness. She made it out of a bunch of swatches and left over fun fur (it's a champagne-ish color, goes with everything). Definitly funky.

03-14-2006, 06:51 PM
Fun thread.

I keep my swatches by the computer to remind me to get off and actually knit something. ;)

03-22-2006, 02:26 PM
Such neat ideas!

I've just been keeping mine with the label from the yarns used so I'll know how to wash the thing, etc.

03-12-2007, 12:43 PM
I am just learning to knit but I plan to felt them (thanks for the info on how to do that!!) and use them as cloth diaper stuffers! YAY!

03-13-2007, 07:18 PM
i've heard u can save them for sewing into an afgan

or u can turn it into a small bean bag

03-13-2007, 10:11 PM
I've been saving them and sewing them into a blanket (even though some of them are mismatched in size). I figure it will all even out eventually -- even if I have to crochet around the edges or something to make it look even. LOL

03-14-2007, 05:51 PM
My DD takes them after I am done with them. She makes all kind of crafts with them. :teehee: Nothing that can be used yet but she may disover something :??

03-14-2007, 06:00 PM
I don't swatch. :oo: Shh...don't tell! The Knitting Gods may come and zap me and tell me to start. :teehee:

03-14-2007, 07:22 PM
I don't know if anyone has said this, but I think you can felt your swatch and stuff it with sand, and make a pincushion with it??????????

I'm dying to make a pincushion like that made to look like a ladybug. :eyebrow:

03-14-2007, 07:39 PM
I don't know if anyone has said this, but I think you can felt your swatch and stuff it with sand, and make a pincushion with it??????????

I'm dying to make a pincushion like that made to look like a ladybug. :eyebrow:
I'd try stuffing it with rice or lentils or crushed walnut shell. You can find the walnut shell at some pet supply places - it's used for the bottom of parrot cages.

03-14-2007, 08:17 PM
Doesn't the sand keep the pin edges sharp?

03-14-2007, 08:55 PM
I don't think so, but maybe. I think it was for corrosion, but most pins now days don't corrode.

03-14-2007, 10:30 PM
I sometimes rip the swatches out and use them as stuffings for knitted toys :wink:

04-13-2007, 02:03 AM
I think u can make little bags. Felt them with lavender or any other aromatic stuff. And put it on a wardrobe or in a drawer.
If u like lavender smell of course.
Remember that lavender keep moths away.

Great Ideas Great site


07-25-2007, 04:00 PM
I don't swatch. :oo: Shh...don't tell! The Knitting Gods may come and zap me and tell me to start. :teehee:
Hi Sarah,
I don't swatch either!
The only small pieces I have are when I learn new patterns. I knit it for about 10 rows. After having 30 pieces of different-colored patterns laying around, I cleaned up the clutter like this:

got a lavender color yarn
knit 11 rows of the next 15 new patterns with out casting off
added a purple novelty yarn for the borders and cast off

I ended up with a textured scarf and gave it to my mom. For new knitters, it's a way to have a quick scarf and get motivated to learn new stitch patterns.

07-25-2007, 05:59 PM
Such neat ideas! I was thinking of seaming them into a skirt someday. (when I have enough!--I rip out those for patterns I follow and save those from my own designs for later referral)

07-25-2007, 06:17 PM
I love the microrevolt site! I'm don't swatch (:hiding:) but will knit one to send in - what a fantastic initiative *grin*

That's made my night :-)
Fi xxx