Saturday, February 7, 2009

American Beauty: Do you believe in swatching?

If you are here reading this post, chances are you are thinking about knitting yourself some roses for Valentine's Day. I am posting the American Beauty Chart Key (for the entire project) along with a swatch chart. The chart key will give you a modest idea of what is coming. The swatch is the "ground" motif for our project, and I call it Rose Petals.

When I was designing this piece, I started by looking for a symbol of Valentine's Day. I played with heart shapes and roses and this project is what developed. When I think of "American Beauty" a few things come to my mind. First are Roses, and in particular This Rose. The second is music, and in particular this music. The third is a movie, and in particular this movie. The third (visual) says it all. So I invite you to join me and wrap yourself in a bed of rose petals!

This pink swatch was knit with some left-over 2/24 yarn and silver-lined gold beads. This white swatch was knit with some Shetland cobweb weight and copper-lined clear beads. I would have used my project yarn, but I am already using it for the project and I didn't want to break it! That should tell you what I think about swatches! Not really...I actually swatch a great deal, but I didn't make a swatch for this project from my project yarn. So there. The point of the swatch is to give you a chance to try your yarn with your beads and see if they work for you.

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Review the Chart Key carefully. This is the only time I will post it and if you have any questionsyou can post them in the comments section. I will reply in kind and it will be our own FAQs, if you will.

To knit the swatch, cast-on four stitches. Turn your work and begin the chart at row 1. Only the right side (odd numbered) rows are charted. Even numbered rows are knit for the garter stitch and purled for everything else. Once you finish row 41, knit row 42 across and cast-off loosely. Soak in warm water and lay flat to block. Decide if you like the way your beads and yarn work together. Decide what size needles to use during this process. The choice is very individual.

I am trying a new technique to post my charts and I hope you enjoy them. I'll be back next week with our real cast-on. Until then, keep knitting!


  1. Have you seen this?


  2. This is, for my aging eye, the most legible chart you have ever produced. I printed it landscape at 65% with a Mac/Brother laser printer combo. Thank you!

  3. loved the chart once someone suggested I print landscape! It's perfect!