Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame
11

What Style of Crafter Are You?

April 22nd, 2011

Pin It

What style of crafter are you? Some work up a swatch for every project, and others grab the yarn and dig right in. It’s a little like the difference between rehearsing for a play and doing improvisation.

Rehearsed crafting is generally a great approach – it means you know how much yarn you’ll need before you get started, and what tools to look for. Swatching really comes in handy when you are making garments or trying out new patterns. Think of the swatch as a way to get a sneak peak at the final project. You’ll know exactly what’s coming up next!

Improvisational crafting is more unpredictable, and works best for more standard pieces like simple scarves or basic hats. Improvising can be a great chance to experiment, especially if you are very familiar with the yarn and know the basics of construction by heart. Extra trim or appliques are good improv projects because they are small scale and won’t affect the fit or size of a larger project.

Always remember: crafting should be fun! A little improvised flower pin can be a nice, energizing break from a complex afghan, and a beautiful cabled sweater can be a thrilling challenge if you are used to simpler, smaller projects.

How do you prefer to craft? Are your projects Mostly-Rehearsed or Often-Improvised? What yarn-filled adventures are you looking forward to? Leave a comment to let us know!

Subscribe to our channel on YouTube
  • http://profiles.google.com/juli1961 Juli Williams

    I do a bit of both. For a big project like a sweater, I will swatch; for a smaller project like a hat or scarf, I’ll just jump in and do it.

  • Jolenedamian

    I like to dig right in! I can always frog it.

  • johabli

    As you pointed out in the blog, the type of project dictates my approach to its creation. I have to point out a fact, however, I don’t recall ever seeing discussed in the crochet community. I don’t make a lot of garments but the reason for that really has nothing to do with making a swatch. It is a matter of gender. I’m sure most will agree; garments tend to be made by women for themselves or other female friends and only on rare occasions are garments made for men. If you have been around the yarn working world for any time at all, you will probably have come across more than one article concerning making men’s garments, they might actually ware. Often there is a horror tale about spending a lot of money and time making something the maker thought was lovely (and probably was) only to see the item disappear into the far reaches of a closet or a drawer, never to see the light of day again!
    While a man might have a better idea of what another man might wear most of us don’t have an abundance of male friends for whom they might make such an item.
    The problem is simple; measurements. Asking another man about the size of his gut or their favorite color is just too weird. One might ask a brother or other family member but beyond that the possibilities are slim and slimmer.
    There is another side to this coin, there aren’t a lot of ladies who want to share those measurements either and even if the women might be willing to hand over the stats, their husbands might not cotton to the idea of some guy out there having such information. The long and short of it is we men are often relegated to shawls and scarves and most of those don’t really require a swatch.

  • Julie_rebecca75

    Hi, at this point, I am completely improvational. I am also a baby in the knitting family! =) I don’t know if this question is appropriate to this bog, but not sure where else I can go, so here it is: I can’t for the life of me, learn to purl! I’ve been banging my head against my computer desk b/c I just can’t wrap my mind around it. I’ve watched every utube video known to man, I know it’s supposed to be a “backwards knit”, but I just can’t get it. Thanks for help!

    • Elisekt

      I would say if you know knit where your yarn is behind being drawn through making a smooth stitch in front & bump in back(purl). In purl your yarn is in front being drawn from back to back making bump.

  • Lvblairgallagher

    Mostly an improv crafter, however VERY occasionally I will follow the directions and make a swatch use the called for yarn and have enough of it on

  • Anne Wolf

    I’m more a weaver than a knitter. For a big project I sample. For a smaller one, I don’t. I frequently use your patterns but substitute the yarn I have on hand.

  • thewriteteach

    I am most definitely rehearsed. It drives my husband crazy, but I want my projects to be perfect! I have a basket of swatches awaiting the day they too become something of a sum of their parts…we shall see. ~Kelly

  • http://twitter.com/artlikebread Art,LikeBread (Cami)

    I follow patterns, swatch, and plan, but I consider myself more improvisational, because I am ALWAYS substituting yarns and doing small projects on the fly.

  • Heather

    I don’t swatch, but I do follow the patterns (I need the direction!).  Speaking of patterns, can you give us the pattern for the blue/green/cream bedspread in the picture??  I’m still learning, so I know it wouldn’t turn out right on my own.

css.php