I love to crochet. One of my favorite things to crochet are dishtowels. They are the workhorses of the kitchen. Not only do they wash and dry dishes, but you can use them as potholders and hot pads. You can throw them into the wash and they hold up great. By using dishtowels instead of sponges, you keep trash out of our landfills.
Most of my crochet projects start out as dishtowels. The 8 inch by 8 inch square is the perfect size for a swatch. When I am trying to decide on a stitch pattern, I grab some cotton yarn and stitch up several dishtowels to test out the pattern. This way I will know if I like how it looks. Then I keep my favorite out of the tests to use as a template. The others go to the kitchen as dishtowels.
The Ribbed Crochet Dishtowels I have featured on Etsy and Craftsy are one of my favorite stitch patterns for kitchen accessories. The ribbing makes the towels super absorbent. That same feature makes them really thick, so you can protect your table and counters from hot pots and pans with them. Ribbing gives the towels plenty of texture, so that you can scrub your dirty dishes without scratching.
Sometimes, my stitch choice is too open to make a good dishtowel. When that happens, the swatch goes into a box that I have. It may stay as a swatch for future reference or it may end up as part of a scarf or blanket. When I use luxury yarns like angora, mohair, baby alpaca or silk, I usually keep the swatch and label it with the yarn band and I make a note as to what size hook and what stitch I used. This way when I go looking for ideas, I have a stash of swatches to choose from.
What do you do with your swatches? Or do walk on the wild side and never crochet a gauge swatch? Drop me a line and let me know?