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Old 12-06-2008, 03:19 PM   #1
brookerussell
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Gauge swatch question
Hello,
I just got some lovely new yarn to make a pillow case with. I am going to do a gauge swatch to determine how many stitches etc..
My question is, once i do the swatch, wet it and dry it, then measure, can I unravel it and use it to start my pillow case?
Could I perhaps just gauge it without wetting it? I don't want to use up the yarn on the swatch as I might not have enough to finish the project then.
Thanks.

Brooke.
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:24 PM   #2
jill65
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Swatch
Yes, you can just cast off very loosely so it is easy to undo
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:24 PM   #3
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It isnt always necassary to block 9the wtting and drying) a swatch, particularly for somthing like a pillow ase where fit and size aren't uber important. I often do swatches which i don't block that i don't cut the yarn for and can then unravel and re-use.

If you do unravel a blocked swatch, you can re-knit with it, but you might find that it has a lot of kinks in it and is difficult to work with without giving it a chance to relax, which can be done in a few ways such as by hanging it straight with a small weight on, wrapping it loosely back into the skein or dampening and drying straight and flat (re-blocking it).
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:36 PM   #4
brookerussell
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size..
Thanks for your replies. So if my pillow is 14x14", should I aim to make it a little bigger to allow room for possible shrinkage when I wash it? Actually, I think the yarn I have is more prone to stretch, Alpaca Silk Aran, 80% Alpaca, 20% Silk.
What do you think?

Thanks,

Brooke.
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:41 PM   #5
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I'm guessing you'll handwash in cold water--if so, it's been my experience that alpaca tends to "bloom" and get a bit bigger. Since your yarn has so much alpaca in it, I'm guessing it might do that.
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:02 PM   #6
brookerussell
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The yarn says it can be machine washed, but I think I would just wash it by hand anyway. I read somewhere that silk tends to stretch when washed.
Anyway, I think I will do the gauge swatch without blocking it and make it 14.5 x 14.5.
Does this sound like a good plan, or is there something I do not know that would cause a problem?
Thanks everyone. This is my first time trying to do something other than a scarf!

Brooke.
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:10 PM   #7
Marria
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If that 14.5 is in cm, then I'd say you're good to go. If in inches, you probably don't need a swatch quite that big.
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:17 PM   #8
brookerussell
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Ooops!
What I meant was I will do a gauge swatch and not block it. Then I will start knitting the pillow and aim to make it 14.5 x 14.5", instead of the pillow size of 14 x 14".
The swatch will be 4 x 4".
Does this sound ok?
Thanks.

Brooke.
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:17 PM   #9
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That should be fine as long as your gauge swatch supports it. You might just want to wash the swatch though, and see if it shrinks or grows.
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