|Swatches and samplers|
Happy New Year to all of you!
"There is something in every human soul which seeks to create a thing of beauty, given any sort of opportunity and materials to do so. Throughout all ages people have pursued their own ideas of beauty, building, shaping, weaving, painting, decorating. They have carried on that pursuit through every medium that ever came to hand: wood, stone, feathers, bone, ivory, cloth, jewels, metals, glass, clay, shell, leather, pigment ... and yarn. Knitting is very much part of that age-old pursuit of the beautiful. Many patterns known today were first formed by hands that have become dust hundreds or even thousand years ago; but the same patterns may still be formed by other hands. Thus knitting is a true folk art, in that it has been developed over the course of centuries by millions of ordinary people, whose delight it was to create beauty with their hands."
"Every knitter should keep a "sample box" of patterns that have been learned, to serve for future reference. Test swatches can be saved, so that they can be reconsulted and re-checked for gauge when you are deciding on a pattern for a new garment. A very pleasant way to learn many patterns, and still make good use of the yarn, is to knit some article as a sampler. Delightful afghans can be made in sampler style out of squares, each knitted in a different pattern."
"Never sit down and begin a garment, then, in a new and unfamiliar pattern without first making a test swatch. Most really experienced knitters do this as a matter of course. Having made the test swatch and blocked it, you must take its gauge."
"So - don't just knit something. Knit something beautiful."
Barbara G. Walker, from the Introduction to "A Treasury of Knitting Patterns"