I hate to swatch. But I do it because I know that the consequences for NOT swatching, especially with a sweater, are not something that I want to have to deal with.
For those who do not knit, a swatch is a small piece of knitted fabric, worked with the size needles and yarn that you are going to use for the big project. You work this small piece so that when you work the whole garment it will be the size that it is intended to be. I am not Stephanie Pearl-McPhee so I cannot whip up a sweater in a weekend (Have you SEEN the speed at which she knits? It is phenomenal). It takes MANY hours for me to make a sweater. I want it to fit when I am done.
I will admit that there are times when I do not swatch.
I do not swatch before knitting a hat or a scarf.
I do not swatch when I am going to knit a pair of socks. I am an experienced sock knitter and I can usually tell if a pattern is going to fit before I start. There has been the occasional misfire but not often. I am not going to swatch a sock.
I do not swatch when I am working lace. It is lace. It usually has holes in it that I have put there deliberately. I am not going to swatch lace.
But a sweater?
That I swatch. Even though I hate to do it, I do it because the consequences for not doing it is spending MANY hours knitting a garment that, when you are finished, doesn’t fit correctly. That is not good. That is very discouraging. I knit to have zen not to have frustration and sweaters that do not fit.
But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Although I do like the picture of the swatch.