design process, yarn

Swatching inspires design ideas

Mini Palett

I’m just loving working with Sandnes Mini Palett (colourway 0964). It’s one of the yarns I picked up to swatch for my next series of designs. The colours flow through the ball in slow colour shifts and it’s mesmerizing.

Palett ribbing

While watching the colours develop, sparks of new ideas kept firing off. I had knit about 8″ of a sweater back and realised that if I really wanted to explore the new ideas I would need to rip back.

dropped stitch

Then something caught my eye; a dropped stitch … several inches down. Bleh! That decided it—definitely time to rip!

While the change in colours makes it exciting to work with this yarn, it requires a little more attention than a typical yarn. This is because it’s a fairly loosely spun single which has a tendency towards being a little splitty.

When working in stocking st I usually don’t watch what I’m doing, hence the dropped stitch. I’m paying only the tiniest bit more attention now and I’ve had no more problems.

palett swatch 2

The Mini Palett has a halo making the yarn look like it has a bit of mohair in it, but according to the ball band it’s a superwash wool/nylon blend. I did discover that this halo makes ripping back a little more challenging, but the reknit yarn still looks great.

palett swatch 1

So I have a question for you. When you find an error in your knitting a few inches down, how severe does it have to be before you’ll rip back? Do you always rip back? Do you never rip back? Do you try to fix it in other ways? I guess that was more than one question!

7 thoughts on “Swatching inspires design ideas”

  1. If it bothers me enough, I always try dropping just a few stitches down instead of ripping all the way back. I figure if I really mess it up, ripping is always an option anyway. Most things I can fix this way, and even if it doesn’t look great while I’m still knitting, washing/blocking usually hides any fixes.

  2. I will rip back, or do what ever is necessary to fix the problem. I have had a few issues with the scarf I’m working on, which has yarnovers I sometimes mess up and a Centered Double Decrease I’ve flubbed a few time’s but I was able to fix it without going back all the way to the offending row.

  3. I *always* rip back if I see something amiss, no matter how painful it is. I want my pieces to be around and cherished for a long time, so in the scope of things, extra time spent fixing an error is better than having something flawed out there. It could have something to do with my OCD tendencies, too. 😉

  4. I generally try some sort of mid-row fix – depending on the mistake. A miscrossed cable, I will drop the stitches of the cable and then latch the stitches back up. Dropped stitch, likewise. For lace, it’s a bit trickier -not only is the pattern ‘look’ affected, but the number of stitches for upcoming lacework is impacted, too. Lace is also almost impossible to do a drop-down, latch-up fix, although if it is just a missed YO, you can sort of sometimes get away with it. I do rip back, however, when alternative methods won’t work or I know I won’t be happy with the result.

    I love Carmen’s response – clear and definitive! Incorporate, incorporate, incorporate!

  5. I am facing that dilemma right now! I have a small hole in a scarf I finished for my Mom. Didn’t even notice it until I had cast off. I haven’t a clue what I did since it is a straight garter stitch. Since I am very allergic to “mend” and “repair” and “do over”, I am trying to figure out how to hide or fix it or just tell my Mom that it is a spirit hole similar to the spirit lines Navajo Indians create in their weaving to allow the bad spirits to leave.!

    so I wonder, how would Carmen hide it?

  6. Mmmm, I love seeing how that yarn is working up… those colour changes are mesmerizing.

    But if it’s stockinette, I always rip back… if it’s lace, it depends. Sometimes, I’ll just fudge a new yo somewhere. 😛

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